I have been asked by my friend, lytha, to post some stories about my horses. Part of the reason for my lack of posts has been because I am still unable to spend much time in the barn so I'm really not doing anything big with the horses. I guess I have fallen into thinking if it's not something long term, it's probably not note worthy.
Lytha's request got me thinking. There are certainly plenty of little stories to tell......so lytha.....this is for you.
I know I've said this before and I'm sure I'll be saying it again. Legs is a character. He has how own unique personality and he's not afraid to express it. I just never know what to expect next. The only given with this horse is there will always be something.
I suppose it only makes sense if a stallion is known for having a cat, there will be other uncharacteristic things about his behavior. Sometimes these things are annoying and other times downright endearing. You can decide which you think this little story is.
One of those things about Legs' character, he is a pretty outspoken Arabian horse and his face is particularly expressive. If he thinks he needs something, one way or another, he will find a way to make his needs known.
Currently we are experiencing some very cold weather, not cold like Minnesota or Alaska, but definitely cold for us, frozen hose kind of cold. Horse keeping in such circumstances has some particular challenges and a horse like Legs is bound to have his opinions about it.
Most of my horses have those muck bucket size tubs for water. Between the increased volume and the protection of sitting on the ground, the tubs take longer to freeze. That really helps us keep horses in drinkable water in these freezing temperatures.
Legs, however, is one of the exceptions who does not have one of those tubs. His stall has outside wall on two sides with a 4.5 foot high wall open to the pasture on one side. Keeping track of what goes on outside that wall, the horse has destroyed, by either running into, kicking or displacing, enough tubs we no longer even try. Instead he has two,hanging, 5 gallon buckets which somehow manage to survive his antics.
A couple of days ago as Lindsay went by Legs' stall on her way to the manure pile, the horse let her know he was not happy. Pinning his ears, snaking his neck while shaking his head angrily, he glared at Lindsay. He was demonstrative enough Lindsay couldn't possibly have missed him. He even reached over the wall at her, thumping a leg loudly against the boards just in case she'd missed his tantrums.
Upon seeing his demonstration, her first thoughts were that the horse's water must be frozen. He's been known to express that complaint similarly and the weather was right for that possibility.
Climbing onto her perch outside the wall, Lindsay peered over the wall to see Legs' water had already been filled and both buckets were ice-free. His stall had already been cleaned as well but something was clearly bothering the horse. It was not just a scratch or a treat he wanted.
With the horse still displaying his displeasure, Lindsay decided to go into the stall to see if she could figure out what was causing his consternation. Legs immediately backed up making way for her to enter while still gesturing his objections.
Now Legs is a horse who loves his jammies although he hates wearing a hood. In the wintertime he wears a neck warmer along with his blanket. It keeps him nice and toasty without interferring with his vision and he considers it a necessary part of his wardrobe. If it's forgotten when he's dressed, the horse will stand by the people door in his stall knocking on the wall to communicate his warmer has been forgotten.
With this cold weather I had added the neck warmer several days ago. Now as Lindsay scanned the horse's clothing she realized one of the buckles on his neck warmer had come undone causing a gap. Other than that everything seemed to be in order except for the crabby horse in front of her.
Not knowing what else to do, Lindsay redid the buckle and straightened the thing up so it completely covered the horse's neck. Legs stood quietly for this process and briefly nuzzled Lindsay when she was done. Now content the horse left her to go back to his vantage point at the wall where he can survey all that happens on his farm.
Lindsay giggled as she realized she had discovered his problem. The horse apparently was not happy with the draft of cold air on his neck......go figure......
Note: This picture is Legs reaching over his wall visiting when one of his foals. This portion of the wall is the opposite end of the wall from where his water buckets hang but you can see from his behavior why those poor tubs never had a chance.