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Wednesday, January 02 2013


Other Half argues that I spoil the livestock. (Guilty as charged!) I've slowly come to terms with the concept that "They're COWS!" and they don't have to be in a barn. I want to build a giant pole barn to house all cold and wet cattle. (yeahhhh. . . not gonna happen.)  I don't agree with it, but I've come to terms with it.  But what about cowPONIES?  

Other Half is completely fine with the idea that cowPONIES should live like cows - out in the elements.  Unlike the nice 5-stall barn I used to have, this property only hosts a two-stall barn with an attached shed - and we have four horses.  Yeah... 

Here's how it shakes out: 

Joe gets a stall - the best stall - because Joe is older (13) and most valuable (to me!) and sweet and innocent.

Despite the fact that he is a cowpony, Musket gets a stall because he gets along with Joe, and he is calm and easy to handle.


Montoya (who is NOT a cowpony!) and Scout (who is the only REAL cowpony!) get to stay outside because they can be wild and silly to handle and they are most likely to run over you while jostling for resources.  (I know, it sounds cruel, but when you've been on the receiving end of those flying heels you get a better appreciation for the term "collateral damage" and it hardens your heart.)

This has worked out pretty well thus far, but now we've entered the nasty cold, wet winter.  It's cold, and we've had 2-3" of heavy rain this week. Joe and Musket were happy campers, snug and warm in their stalls.  Scout and Montoya were miserable in the cold rain. After the rain came through, and we were left with standing water in the pasture, I decided to flip things.  I brought Montoya inside and put Musket outside. (he's young)  I started to bring Scout inside but he almost kicked me while running Musket overtop of me.  Alrightie then. . . stay out in the cold, Stupid.

Montoya was happy to be inside, but was still a bucking, farting, crazy person at meal time. Scout was much more subdued the second day in the cold rain.

    "Can I come inside now?"

After breakfast today I was able to easily bring Scout inside to enjoy his hay. This also gives him a respite from the cold mud.  He can snuggle up in clean shavings, dry out, and relax a bit.

In the meantime, Joe and Musket can putter around in the mud and get some fresh air while Scout and Montoya enjoy a respite. We'll see how long things work out flipping the boys every 12 to 24 hours.

Someone else is getting a respite from the cold mud too.

This simply sends Other Half over the edge, but I cannot help it. I must bring her inside where she can sleep on the warm carpet and relax a bit.

Outside is cold and wet. She "can" sleep in a softer, warmer spot outside, but she chooses to sleep on cold, wet rocks in the driveway under the horse trailer.

 "I keN gARd beddr fRuM hEEr."

And while juggling horses to give them a bit of relief can get dicey, Briar never causes any problems. She slinks inside, plops down near the heater vent, and passes out. That's it. If you don't trip over her, you never even know she's there. Briar takes full advantage of the respite to relax and recharge her battery.

Do I spoil her?


Do I care?


 "Thanks Mom!"




Posted by: forensicfarmgirl AT 08:34 am   |  Permalink   |  7 Comments  |  Email
You do NOT spoil your animals. You, as a saying goes, have replaced the word "owner" with "guardian" and have the well being of your charges foremost in your heart. If only all 4 leggeds were so blessed.
Posted by Janet on 01/02/2013 - 09:46 AM
I totally get the part about Briar. I have two Pyrs who guard our property and every evening they come in for "family" time where they crash next to the couch. Being inside gives them "permission" to be "off duty" and they crash out.
Posted by Linda Nightsky Farm on 01/02/2013 - 10:58 AM
Do you use canvas rugs in winter for outside horse? We don't have barns here and most horses are rugged late autumn to mid spring. Some even wear white reflective summer coats.
Posted by Liz (Vic Aust) on 01/02/2013 - 01:46 PM
We have blankets for them but I don't like to use them when it's raining because the blankets get wet. They worked great in the snow thought. Next year I want to get them the "turn-out rugs" that they can wear in all weather.
Posted by forensicfarmgirl on 01/03/2013 - 09:29 AM
Well, I think your husband is right. However, I've been farming full time for 40 years and put an air-conditioner in the chicken coop this what do I know?
Posted by Marshall on 01/03/2013 - 04:03 PM
Tommy and I had a very similar conversation yesterday as I mucked out three stalls, with a waning migraine, so that the two show horses and the 2 year old filly could be inside when the monsoon and lightening storms hit today. He muttered, "I don't know why you put them in a stall anyway." That was met with a glare as I stated, "we have had this conversation many times, I don't expect you to do the work it requires, and at this point I don't give a shit what you think." Yep, not one of my more stellar moments. I blame it on the Y chromosome and migraine - not a good combo!
Posted by Dani Ezer on 01/08/2013 - 06:49 PM
Dani, I feel your pain! Guys just don't get it sometime. We have the same fight every time the monsoon rains come.
Posted by forensicfarmgirl on 01/10/2013 - 10:41 AM

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