Monday, January 25, 2010

The boredom sets in, the wood works begin...


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...

24 Comments for OSL:

Pricilla said...

Are you sure she is not part goat?

Ratty said...

I had no idea horses would do this. It makes perfect sense though. It's a good example of their different personalities.

Rural Rambler said...

Whoa Gemma Horse! I am impressed. That is some serious busy work there! Julia, also some serious paddock slop to slog through :) I think I love Alfie and his stand-up happy mane!!

Mountain Woman said...

Goodness. They have found ways to keep you busy but they are all so beautiful. We have major mud here too at the moment and we haven't been working as much.

DayPhoto said...

What causes this beside boredom? Are they lacking salt or just plain determined to do something.

Our corrals have the same look, from the wood eating horse, although it's been years and years since we had one.

Linda
http://coloradofarmlife.wordpress.com/

Sara said...

Gemma has skillz! Is she tunneling to visit some friends? Have fun replacing the boards. Do you do that or does the man? Jon has already started logging his complaints about my future horse. He says it is just one more thing for him to take care of. Your post here reminds me that at some point I will need his help in the caring of the horse, cause I have no wood skills. :/ Gotta think on this and figure out a good negotiation with him.

Olde Dame Penniwig said...

You are in rare form, m'dear....GIANT TERMITE....lol....

I'm scairt of those big horsies!!!

Not to be rude, but notice it's the FEMALE horsie causing trouble...the one that is an equestrian doppleganger of her owner, mayhap? Sassy, young, full of **** and vinegar, and definitely on the wild side...

Sharkbytes (TM) said...

Whoa. I didn't realize you had several horses! Now I knew they would eat the rails off fences and all that, but I've never seen horses eat smooth vertical walls. I think you have extra talented ones. Or is it a ditzy California thing?

IanH said...

Ok, this is foreign to me in a way. Our horses started eating the poles holding up the horse shelter, so I intervened by installing a heavy duty wire mesh over the poles, also the big cottonwoods in the pasture. Problem solved! How come you confine them? Ours weather out in rain snow, and everything in between.They like a good mud hole, although cleaning them up for a ride is sometimes a nusance. Just wondering.

Julia said...

Hi Ian,

My turn out fields are only 3/4 of an acre each so if i were to turn them out in this weather they'd churn their turnouts into two to three feet of mud. We have surface water and ground water issues. Basically, with the seasonal creek that flows across our property there is a lot of water. If they were out there, not only would their fields be a total quagmire, but they could get hurt slipping and sliding around in the mud. Also the mud they'd generate would promote some serious foot issues like thrush and such. If we were on "drier" property and had bigger fields I'd turn them out all year round. So when the rain stops and there is some dry down time I can turn them out and they will have grass in the field and won't be wallering. :)

IanH said...

Are you sure that this is california and not Lousiana? Glad you are feeling better!

The Mind of a Mom said...

The good thing about the rain is soon you will be floating away and you will be heading my way for a visit :o)
Hang in there ~ try to stay dry

The Muse said...

Great equine shots!
The rain would be a welcome change for us...we are still living winter to it's fullest...the snow is all encompassing.

Vixen/Apron Frenzy said...

Ah poor Gemma. First you confine her and then you compare her to a beaver AND a termite? Oh the insults. Poor thing!

Life Ramblings said...

the weather has been very hot, humid and rainfall has been very light here for several weeks. I wish it would rain and bring the temperature down a few degrees.

Debbie said...

I agree with your equine friends. Too much rain and confinement drive me nutty!

So Not Mom-a-licious said...

Geez, Gemma must have been a woodchuck in a former life. So the rain really has the entire state in uproar! I'm already over the rain here. I swear it rains once a week. Just when shit dries up, it rains again. I might as well live in Washington!

theUngourmet said...

Didn't know horses did this. This playing innocent act reminds me of my dog and the way she jumps up on the couch every time I leave the house. She tries to fake me out when I get back home, even though I see her up there just waiting for our car to pull in the drive...every dang time!

ga.farmwoman said...

Hi Julia,
I think they are related to Jack! They are all so pretty, so maybe they can get away with a little wood chewing?
And..talk about wet. Was it me complaining about a drought not so very long ago? We have huge rains one right after another lately.

Have a great and dryer weekend.
Pam

Grand Pooba said...

So um, did you know that I thought I already commented on this post?

Yeah, well I did. But apparently I didn't.

But I just want to stare at these pictures all day.

No, not of your half eaten wood, of your gorgeous horses!!!

How long do horses life anyway? You said one is 25?!!!!

kanishk said...

What causes this beside boredom? Are they lacking salt or just plain determined to do something.

Work from home India

Ms Snarky Pants said...

Max is so incredibly handsome! Even if he is a naughty boy. ;) Hope the rain lets up and they get to run free again soon.

Raven said...

You have such beautiful horses! All that chewing must be a pain though. Replacing those 2 X 4's can't be fun at all.

I love the rain too. I find it very soothing and relaxing.

Have a great Sunday!

Carol said...

We just had about seven inches of snow... lovely and not too cold. I love your horses!!!! I am so jealous! The shot of Max with the stunning view behind is wonderful. Good luck with your giant termite!