Saturday, September 25, 2010

Fence and horse both HOT

Bad news first: I had my first RO pull today. C and I went off to the NEDA (not AERC) ride at Red Rocks today, to merrily complete 25 miles each. Except Diego came off the trailer lame, and Dixie refused to drink at the 10 mile pulse and go and ran completely out of gas at 13 miles. We slogged up a big hill (of course the GPS is in the truck and I'm too tired to go get it tonight) and she kept walking slower and slower then just stopped. I got off at the false summit and slogged up on foot, pretty much dragging her up, but even when we got to the real summit she was done.

I did all the health checks I could - pulse not too high, not overly dehydrated, gums good, still peeing yellow and pooping normal poop, ok gut sounds, no cramps in any big muscles - then shrugged and started walking back. I definitely made the right call - she didn't perk up when we turned around, and she didn't even mind the other horses passing us in the other direction. I walked for about 2 miles, but then I was played out so I got back on and rode her on in.

It was really hot today, near 90 with no wind at all. Dixie has a thick coat even in July, and by mid-September she's started growing her winter coat. I think she just got too hot and too thirsty and couldn't go on without a buddy. I really hope she learns to DRINK when there's water. And perversely, I'm very glad she gave up. Horses that just never quit are so much harder to manage, so much more responsibility for me. I'm glad she trusts me enough to say "no more" (and keep saying it, because I did think she was faking at first.)

When we got back, she drank pretty good then started slowly but steadily munching on some alfalfa. C and I sponged her down well, then had lunch. I led her back to the trough and she tanked up again before we loaded up and headed home. I'll update tomorrow with pictures and GPS info.

Not sure what to do about Comstock. I think I will clip her neck and chest; it should be early enough for her to grow a good coat anyway. And I will probably wait til Wednesday to decide for sure, but I think if it's this hot next weekend I should try for the 25, and if it's cool I may possibly still go for the 50. Any input is welcome!

When I got home I got back to work on my Horse Knox fence. It is hot now! The guy at Green's lent me a fence tester, but the little LEDs aren't very bright. So I touched the tester to a hot wire and a ground wire and couldn't see anything. Yall know my motto is "well fuck it," so of course I touched the hot wire. Tingly, about like before. Then I grabbed the ground wire with my other hand and got zapped mightily. I leapt back, cussing and jumping up and down, then called G. I tried my best to explain to him just how hot the fence really is but of course he had to come test it himself. He walked to the furthest point from the ground rods, fiddled with the fence tester for a bit, said "well fuck it" and grabbed both wires. He got shocked so hard his leg spasmed and jacked his knee up. That fence is HOT.

I got the moldy straw shoveled out of Dixie's run-in and the rest of the junk removed from the paddock. The straw went into the manure shed - it's 2'x8'x4' of jank straw, which should make totally amazing compost with some poop and some water and a bit of mixing.

Chicken update, cause I know yall love my chickens: They think slightly slimy cilantro is delightful. They have realized that humans bring good stuff, and they mob us whenever we wander out of the patio door. G is not as thrilled by this as I am. He swears 30 chickens attacked him today. I can count 13 at any point during the day, but never find more than 11 in the coop at night. Two of them are hiding somewhere. Good luck, little idiots!

Edited for anonymity!


  1. I agree about the horse that quits thing... kinda wish I had one of those, maybe I wouldn't be going on a YEAR of rehab if mine had just gone, "hey lady my LEGS are KILLING me here!" and bucked me off instead of being like "oh this is a lot of pain. Well, I guess I will keep galloping and jumping for like 16 more fences."

    Git that horse home! XD

  2. True about the horse. Best type when they say "enough!"

    Pleased the hens are getting along, watch them on the hot wire! Dont want hard boiled eggs!

  3. Sorry to hear about running outta gas, but it's good that she let you know. I would say, listen to her about Comstock, as well. She'll let you know what she's up to.

    I "helped" a friend test her hot wire one time--she was standing there is rubber soled shoes and didn't think it was working; I told her to put her other hand on the T-post. YIKES! I don't think she's ever forgiven me (sorry, Christy!). (But she still boards her older retired Arab gent here with me...)

    Your chickens, and the "girls of lonesome dove" at the 7msn, make me ponder getting a few of my own. But they can be a nuisance, and there's no way my hubby and I could use even one chicken's worth of eggs (we're not big fans), plus we have a neighbor that we can get fresh eggs from, so I guess we'll have to enjoy yours' antics from afar.

  4. Try testing the fence by taking a blade of grass, licking it, then holding a couple of inches of that out to touch the wire. That way it tingles rather than bites.

  5. This stuff is exactly why I started using some elytes. It did help dramatically with the drinking issue (but not the appetite thing) and I was KICKING my butt yesterday that I skipped them and we ended up doing 20 miles before she would bother to drink. ( She was getting pretty consistent on drinking first loop, but the elytes I was using were just to strong and started causing a stomach issue. ) We have had a little cooler weather and I thought I'd try skipping them yesterday, and it did NOT pay off. Our temperment of mare can be so challenging!

    Your mare was definitely "talking" to you. Very good thing that you listen :)

    Hugs and hope that Dixie is better soon! ~E.G.

  6. i remember on our first 50 baasha just pooped out at 30 miles. i was freaked. i couldn't comprehend what the heck was wrong cuz he's never slowed down before. then i saw a big patch of grass and i loosened the saddle and sat down and let him graze for 15 minutes. that did it, he perked back up and was fine. but if that grass had not been there...

    but i did appreciate how my leased mare would just stop, swerve off trail, find a creek, drink, and then continue. it was amazing, she really knew hot to take care. she would actually let other horses move on without her if she needed a break.



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