Mustangs Part III


I just set up the game camera in the pasture—I’ve been wanting to do it for a while, but other things kept pushing it out of my mind. Unfortunately, the best shot I have are us cleaning up the pasture and Cav from a distance, and an extreme close-up of me while I was setting up the darn thing!

But I do have some other pics:

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Had a lovely day yesterday, too: 64 degrees and sun in the afternoon, but with a crap ton of wind! Up to 35 mph! Part of the fence were blowing, as well as the greenhouse, but everything held. I let the horses into the south section, which has grass, while I cleaned up the other one and the barn and trough.

Wow. Can’t skip days, that’s for sure, although in my defense, everything was covered with snow this past Saturday.

They had a great time, and of course THAT’S when I should have had the camera set up! Chestnut and Cav were racing around and Cav gave a few little bucks. Too cute! He was really feeling those oats . . .

I’ve been hand feeding Cav, holding the bucket for him during the first half of breakfast or dinner. We’ve progressed from his fuzzy little forelock all the way down his face, his cheek, and just yesterday, his neck and mane. I can’t really say he “loves” it yet, but he rarely startles anymore.

I’ve been working on his right side, simply because that’s how he arrives at the bucket. Last night, I moved to the left.

Well, it seems that scary things are on the left side! Even things that are becoming normal on the right. Just another problem for which to find a solution!

Cody, on the other hand, is still wary. She answers my whistle when I come outside in the morning, and she now stands facing the house instead of giving me a butt view. Little things . . .

Yesterday, when I was feeding Cav, she could see her bucket about ten feet behind me. She rested her head on Cav’s rear and watched, then finally circled around to her own bucket. ‘Bout time—when he’s done with his, he generally aims for hers, and he’s gotten a nibble or two on his ear for trying, too!

Here’s the biggest difference in personality/trust: I opened the gate just a little this morning, so Chestnut wouldn’t come through. Cav came right on in and started grazing. Cody stopped short and looked at me, ears up, waiting. I opened it a bit more and moved back as far as I could, about an arm’s length so I could hold the gate, and she trotted on through. Silly horse.

This morning, we started de-worming. I finally got an answer from the vet on dosage that made sense—no more of this “10 mg per kg of weight” nonsense. That part I could figure, but how to measure it out was beyond me. Sigh. Anyhow, we’ll do this for five days, then wait two weeks and repeat it. It’s pellets that go in their food; I can’t really tell a difference between that and their feed. Hopefully, they can’t either!

I’m increasing their grain, too, a little at a time each day. Cav is halfway to his full ration, but Cody is a bit behind. Slow and easy is much better than overfeeding, especially for horses who’ve never had grain before. Having a third arm would help! That way I could put her bucket down and hold Cav’s AND keep him from wandering away to the unattended bucket . . .

They’re both spending half a day or so in the south section of the pasture, alone most of the time. Chestnut gets her turn too, but she’s much less bitchy when she’s been separated from them for a couple hours. The grass and the ground there is better, but of course, it’s closer to the gate and the road. And with this wind lately, well, we’re doing a little fence maintenance, just in case!

 

 

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Prep Monday—Critters


It’s important to prep for everyone, animals included. Our outdoor/indoor cat, Arthur, has a nice, cozy, straw-filled house on the front porch with an old towel and an old thermal curtain. She does, however, come inside at night when the temps are below freezing. She’s also very fluffy.

Doesn’t need coaxing anymore, either.

Our indoor/outdoor cat, Wilson, is in his element out here. Can’t hardly keep him in, which I prefer to do between sunset and sunrise, at least. He’s a Maine Coon and twenty pounds of muscle (and fluff), so he pretty much calls the shots.

And while the almost-four-year-old puppy loves to go outside, particularly for walkies, she’s pretty picky about going outside to do her business. Weather doesn’t seem to faze her, especially since she’ll just jump in a lap or snuggle in a blankie—or bury herself under the bed pillows—to warm up.

For myself, if the wind isn’t too bad and the sun is out, or mostly out, or even a tiny bit out, I can manage. Particularly since I just got a new Carhartt coat. Holy cow, how did I manage without it? That plus gloves and earmuffs, and I’m set. For windy days, or too much time on the ATV, I have a ski mask.

Also, the greatest socks in the world . . .

The big thing you have to remember is to stay hydrated and warm up every now and then. Even if you’re not sweating, you still need fluids, and while warm drinks are great, be sure to keep up your water intake.

Right now, we’re prepping for our new horses, arriving within the week. I think. I hope. Not entirely sure yet . . .

We’re building a run-in shed, 10X16, with metal siding and roof and of course, a wooden kick panel on the inside. Contrary to the common wisdom of facing south, ours faces east. We seldom get weather from that direction, and our prevailing winds come from the south/southwest. Picked up a couple bales of straw for the flooring, and we’re about ready.

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Our weekly town trip included a stop at our local MFA for feed buckets, a mineral block, and a few vet supplies. Might not need those last, but these mustangs are coming from a range in South Dakota under very harsh conditions, and eventually, at the very least, these things are good to have on hand if you have any livestock at all. Cuts and scrapes from fencing, sticks, fighting, and the odd incident—I once had a horse with a pretty deep “butt cut.” Yes, right THERE. Not even sure how that one happened, but it was a good thing Bingo was a very steady mare, because dressing that thing would have made any other horse completely psycho.

And yes, just like for people, water is important. We have inside and outside water for the aforementioned small critters, and a nice, deep tank for the horses. It’s unlikely to completely freeze, but no, we don’t use a heater—we do it the old-fashioned way, with a hammer and a few whacks!

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