Monday, January 25, 2010
We're working on about 10 days of consecutive rain here on the left coast. I know.... Wah, wah, wah.... Poor babies.... We in California like to complain about the weather when we have no real justification other than we are spoiled rotten with nice weather and are sullen by the infrequent cloud cover that blocks the sky during the winter. Blah blah blah. I know.
But I, however, really like the rain. On the other hand, my equine friends do NOT like the rain. In fact they melt in the sprinkles, but that is another matter all together. Since the onset of RAIN, they (the horses) have been locked up in their stalls to wait the weather out. Their pasture has a creek flowing through it. They have pens behind their stalls, but their paddocks now look like this. This fine photos shows a layer of muddy slime over rock. Call it slop. But it's not as bad as it looks... really. (And I have an extra job of cleaning these slop pits every day too...)
With nothing better to do then mull over their confinement, some of the prisoners have reverted to former vices, which I do not see during the summer months. With teeth of considerable length and the smell of cellulose close to their noses the reprobates have begun to chew. Chew their stalls that is.
One of the equines, a senior in the ranks of the horse world is Alfie. He is 25 I think. I sometimes can't remember these things. He is the angel of the barn. Quiet, respectful and a clean living man. I don't think he ever had a taste for the stall walls. Tried it once, never liked it. He had a hankering for women in his younger years, but the horses equivalent of crack, i.e. wooden walls did not call him.
"I had nothing to do with this stall chewing stuff, Lady. You scare me with your flashy camera anyway."
The wooden walls of his stall remain in their virgin state and I thank him for this!
Then there is the Anglo-Arab six year old named Max. He is just starting to dabble in the wall chewing. Call him a tea-tottler or a casual chewer.
Here is Max's best, "Who ME???" look.
And the wounds from his three inch long daggers consist of this.
This is best characterized as minor surface damages with lots of teeth scraping rather than actual "chewing."
Then Sharpie, the 14 year old Thoroughbred also partakes in the festivities of wood chewing. But he is in denial telling me, "Can't you see I am eating, Woman! Eating HAY that is!!"
This is Sharp's attempt to hide because after all he is totally innocent of any crime here.
He's only a little addicted to wood chewing. I think Sharpies walls are not in eminent danger for the moment.
The last perpetrator you have seen before. In fact, she has been a notorious wood chewing addict. She is unstoppable. Insatiable. A monster. A destructive force to be reckoned with. I sometimes think that it is a good thing horses are vegetarian after seeing the damages she inflicts upon her stall.
This is Gemma, the termite horse. Her age and parentage are unimportant at this point. She most closely resembles a beaver with long legs and hooved paddles.
Looks are deceiving. The innocent, kind eye. The long lashes. The calm gaze. But inside this horse is the heart of a killer. A killer of my BARN!!!!!
"Confinement does not suit me," she says with nonchalance. "I need my pasture. And NOW, if you please."
FYI: A large portion of the lower panel was replaced last year after she took her chop saw to the wall. Like five pieces of 2 x 4 to be exact. This year it's looking more like 20 pieces of 2 x 4.
In case you could not tell how much wood has been removed, see below. These two by fours will be eaten through by the end of winter at this rate.
I am thinking I will have to dust them with a special pepper sauce or jalapeno spray. I will be grinding up some spicy peppers soon. I just hope I can stop the giant termite in time. And that there are enough peppers at the store for my five gallon spray tank...