"Smile! It keeps your brain from falling out when you're frustrated!" - Clinton Anderson (Downunder Horsemanship)

"They say boys never grow up, their toys just get bigger. I say I never grew up, my 'My Little Ponies' just got bigger!" - Me

Monday, December 13, 2010

Where's Lady?

Over the past few months my mares have been up in the front pasture by the barn owners house, the furthest possible pasture you can get from the barn. And since the barn and indoor and outdoor arenas sit well back from the house, it's a bit of a hike up there to go get the girls to bring them down to the barn to feed them and do whatever else I need/want to do that night, and then another hike back up to the pasture to put the girls back out and return their halters to the barn. Ok, call me lazy, but the worse the weather gets, the more I hate that hike up to the front pasture. Believe me, it's no fun in the pouring rain, mud, whipping wind, snow, and I've been dreading making that trip every day this winter, through snow and ice and unplowed/half plowed snow drifted driveway. And it's not like I'm one of those boarders who only comes out to see their horse once a week or less, I'm there every day, because I live two miles down the road and I grain my horses and give them their supplements myself every day, so it's a two round trips daily trek that was getting more and more annoying the worse the weather got. At least Cody is in the barn now and individual turnout near the barn because of her knee surgery, but Lady is still up in the front pasture, and the other day I couldn't feel my fingers and my face was hurting by the time I made it back to the barn with Lady, and that was wearing plenty of layers, snow suit, and carhart.

Yesterday my husband and I went down to the barn in the morning to check on Lady, because it had been pouring rain all night, and the lead mare in that pasture doesn't share the shelter with anyone, so I knew Lady had been standing out in the rain all night, and I had a feeling her winter blanket was most likely soaked. And sure enough her blanket was soaked and she was wet and shivering. So we dried her off and put her in her other winter turnout blanket and headed back home, we'd be back later in the evening to feed them. And since bad weather was rolling in, we decided to save ourselves at least one trip up and back to the pasture, and put Lady's halter in the truck so we already had it with us when we came back later.

Lady - 2007
 Rain turned to snow and after dinner we struck out into the blizzard to go check on Lady (Cody stayed in yesterday so her knee wrap stayed dry) and get the girls fed. It was definitely one of those high winds, whipping and drifting snow, ice underneath, white out, can't see much of anything, 4WD kind of nights. So we pull in the driveway and my husband jumps out with Lady's halter as I drop him off at the front pasture, and I proceed to drive down to the barn. He'll go get Lady out of the pasture and bring her down to the barn, while I get their grain ready.

So I get their grain all ready to go, and still no husband and Lady. I'm beginning to wonder what's taking so long, since my horses usually meet you at the gate and Lady knows my truck. But still no husband and Lady. It's then that the barn owner tells me she just moved all the horses around before I got there, and Lady is now over in the pasture on the other side of the driveway and the herd of geldings now have access to the front pasture. Great, so my poor husband is up there in the dark in the snow trying to find Lady and she's not even in that pasture anymore! And I can just picture him going "Where the heck is Lady and where did all these extra horses come from?"

I called his cell phone, he had left it at home. I decide to walk up there, but the blast of wind and snow in the face as soon as I walked out of the barn had me jumping back in the truck and driving back up to the front pasture. As I get there, my husband is leading a horse out of the gate, and as I get out of my truck and the flood light up there finally turns on, I hear him say "You're not Lady!" and he puts the horse back in the pasture. Nope, that's not Lady, that's Waylon!

The poor guy had been up there looking for Lady, and since it was dark and blowing snow, he was looking for the big white blaze with a blanket, because when we were there in the morning, the big white blaze without a blanket was Cheyenne and the big white blaze with a blanket was Lady. So he found the big white blaze with a blanket, put a halter on it, headed for the gate, and realized he had the wrong horse.

Lady, Cheyenne, and Cody - 2009
Well, at least he realized he had the wrong horse before he made it all the way to the barn. Which did almost happen last winter, when he went out into the dark pasture to get Lady, and realized when he got halfway to the barn that he had Cheyenne instead of Lady. But then it's not to hard to mix those two up, they're similar in build, size, and color, they both have a big white blaze, and when Cheyenne wears a blanket in the winter, they both have purple blankets, so in the dark, they do look an awful lot alike, even I've had to do a double take sometimes, along with Cheyenne's owners. And while Waylon is actually black, in a dark pasture, he's similar in size, build, and blaze as Lady and Cheyenne.

So I guess the moral of the story is, if you find a big white blaze in the pasture in the dark, check their feet and count the socks to see who you've got. Four white feet is Cheyenne, two white feet is Waylon, and no white feet is Lady!

Of course, once he got in the right pasture, he found Lady without much trouble, but actually catching her was another story. With so many horses having been moved around all at once in a snow storm, they were all riled up! But eventually he got her caught and we finally got her in the barn. So much for saving on time out in the elements!

So last night at the barn was an adventure, but we survived, and I'm so glad the mares got moved to that other pasture now that winter is here full force! The gate to that pasture is much closer to the barn. And the shelter in that pasture is bigger and so much safer than the shelter in the front pasture, so hopefully Lady (and eventually Cody too) will have shelter this winter, since it will be a little harder for Cheyenne to hog the whole thing to herself. And they managed to share that shelter last year, so hopefully they'll share it ok again this year!

No comments:

Post a Comment