October 21, 2012
The Horse Eating, Hay Toting, Bobcat of Death!!!
I arrived on Friday to see Dani for a little bit before meeting friends. The barn was buzzing since the following day was to be one of the quarterly horse shows. Hay had been delivered and so the Bobcat was going up and down the aisle, getting each huge bale and taking it to the end of the aisle. Nearly every horse would run out of their stall terrified as the beast drove past.
It was a scary thing! It looked like a scorpion and then when it carried the hay bale through the stable the hay was lifted over the top of the Bobcat. I can see that it is certainly a horse eating beast to those that don't know better!
I got Dani from the field and even after walking the long distance to her favorite grazing spot and bringing her all the way back the beast was still at work. Today was not the day to do ANY work with the wash rack. I looked for an empty stall but was having issues. One of the boarders said, "oh the wash rack is open". I explained that "Dani was still freaked out about the wash rack and today would not improve that situation". I headed to the outdoor round pen as a last resort but then the gal came up and said I could take stall 4 for now. Awesome! I thanked her. I figured the stall would be perfectly fine as it has been and perhaps this would be good for Dani to experience. We went into the stall and I left the door open so she could fully see the beast as it noisily drove back and forth.
The first time it approached Dani turned her head to watch neighboring horses retreat in fear. She appeared to look at me asking if she should be worried. I stood near her, ready to jump out of the way if she did indeed freak, but just stood calmly and slowly stroked her withers and talked calmly to her. She was SOOOOO GOOD! By the fifth or sixth trip, I wasn't counting, she was totally ignoring the beast, only a cock of the ear indicated that she paid it any mind. She sniffed at the floor of the stall looking for leftover grain that might have fallen from a neighboring stall. I groomed her and loved on her. I was delighted! "What a good girl," I said to her as she sighed.
It was time to bring her back to her pasture, I was already late for my friends get together. Time flies at the barn! The mare pasture was opened up to the little dry pasture at the end of the stable. The mares had received their hay. I made sure to cluck at the bay boss mare and wave my lead rope at her a bit to move her from the gate. One time while bringing Dani into the barn I brought her too close to the boss mare and she balked, giving me quite the rope burn. Now I know I really need to move that mare, and any horse for that matter, a distance away in order to maneuver my mare. It worked well this time. I walked Dani into the paddock a good ways, turned her about and took off her halter. I stood and watched for a few minutes as she approached the boss mare who immediately pinned her ears. Dani skirted around her and settled on a hay pile that was an acceptable distance from the boss.
I love watching horses interact. Dani hasn't gotten beaten up but I have noticed some rump bites, really only ruffled hair and dried saliva so she has had some encounters but nothing that has caused harm. Dani seemed content in the evening light, munching away on her hay. The pictures a bit blurry but there's my cute girl!