Thursday, March 24, 2011

Crazy Herd Bound

I can't believe my eyes.

I went out and brought Beautiful in from the herd, tied her while I cleaned stalls, then put her in a stall to separate her from the herd for a while. I stayed out there about another forty-five minutes to ride Cowboy and came in and sat down.

As I've said before, my main chair overlooks the pastures and the stalls, and when I turned to look out--there was Beautiful trying to climb out of her run. Yes, climb!! She put one hoof on the first rung, then the next on the other, tried to jump to the third and came back down on the ground. Now she's running in and out of the stall.

Hmmmm...it didn't take her too long to get herd bound. I'm thinking it's a good thing I have her stalled alone today. But really, have you ever seen a horse try to climb the rails?

Pics from today:

Two of the three barrels we brought in to practice figure eights, flags, clover pattern--and everything else we can think of with barrels.



A simple jump my husband made for me this weekend. Scrap lumber and PVC pipe.

13 comments:

  1. Well that's a little different. I've never seen a horse try and climb the rails. Maybe she wants to be a trick pony. That would have actually made me nervous. I'd be so afraid she would hurt herself. I'm sure she was missing her herd.

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  2. It did make me nervous. I've watched her all afternoon and that was about the height of her frenzy. It was kind of smart. She has really good use of her hooves--I wonder if it's a Mustang thing. It's very clear she needs time away from the herd for a while.

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  3. The jumps are beautiful. PVC, so nice and light. Thank you for visiting my blog. So nice to know you are a veteran homeschooler. My oldest would like to keep up art for himself; I do not know if he will get time for classes in it at Norwich. He is studying computer for computer forensics (which Nor. actually has a Minor of) and artificial intelligence. Computers sing and dance at his touch; he is a computer whisperer. :-)

    I was going to hang a hay-net where my pony could not reach it, but the OTTB could-- realized that she would probably break a leg trying to get her front legs over the stall partition to reach FOOD!

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  4. What does that mean - herd-bound? That she wants only to be immersed in the herd? Or wants away from it?

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  5. Joanne--I see why you could take it either way. It's fun to get a non-horseperson's perspective on these terms we throw around so casually. Thanks. Usually, when you say herd-bound, it's the same as "buddy-sour" and "barn-sour"--(are there more terms I'm forgetting?)--meaning, wanting to be with the herd or a buddy so much that they have a hard time settling down. I know, with Beautiful, this seems strange because she was only recently running for her life from Cowgirl. There has been a total switch now and she wants to be with them all the time--mostly Red--but Cowgirl, too. I was surprised at the intensity of her herd boundness yesterday. They all get it to some degree, but it causes them to be very distracted and emotional when we work with them. :/

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  6. My sister's horse Cowboy tried to climb out of the panels when they first brought him home. He was almost like a mustang, he'd grown up with no handling.

    I'm glad she didn't hurt herself! You have the square panels without gaps in between, not the ones with rounded ends, right? Those scare me. A horse at my sister's barn broke his leg off rearing up and playing with his neighbor.

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  7. Yep, Mustangs are really, really good with their feet. Until Jesse reached her grown size, she would "climb through" our buck fence, literally, putting her feet in various places to walk right through the rails. When she got too big to do that (about 14 or so hands), she discovered she was strong enough to "pick up" the fence to get out. We had strung a hot wire around the fence to get her to quit going through, so she found the one little section by the feeder without a wire, put her head under the bottom rail, stiffened her neck and lifted, at the same time continuing to walk forward. The rail would slide down her neck onto her back as she lifted her head higher (lifting the entire fence for 3-4 sections). As she continued walking, the rail would slide along her back and drop off over the tail. Several times the neighbors called to say she was out wandering around and I would walk the fence line looking for a break in the wire or any sign of jump marks (she sails over things on a whim, also). Nothing. One slightly muddy morning I saw tracks that looked like she literally walked through the fence. How? A couple of days later, when I was out cleaning the corral, I noticed the fence 'wiggling' and turned around in time to see it thump off her butt. She looked at me like she wanted me to know how it was done; just stood there then walked over to the gate to be let back in!!! Now this is not a small fence, made up of 12 ft. poles, with posts about 8 ft. apart and 4 ft. high, crossed in and out at the center with about a 3 ft. spread at the posts - a pretty normal ranching cross-buck fence. Imagine its weight and you know how strong these guys are. Oh, and don't let the old horse guys tell you a horse can't go under something lower than its withers. If I tell Jesse to duck, she will splay out her front feet to lower her withers and wiggle forward, lowering her butt to get under just about any hitchrail we've been around. Something she learned crawling through the fence. You have to work really hard to stay ahead of the young ones.
    Juanita

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  8. Andrea--my panels butt up against one another. She was doing the climbing thing on the large gate panel--it's a Powder Mountain with the slide-in things (no chains). One of horses got its legs caught in them before kicking and the panel was damaged, but she was fine. It's scary though.

    Juanita--that is amazing!!!! I guess that's something you'd have to see with your own eyes!! But how nice of her to show you how it was done. LOL!!!! Beautiful likes to work with her feet, too--she almost uses them like hands. I found her out of that stall this morning, btw. I think she slid the latch somehow. And what's more, she was herding Cowgirl around!! What is going on out there?!? Spring is crazy time.

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  9. That's a great jump. I'll have to see what I can put together this riding season, if we ever get one.

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  10. Ooh, I'm jealous of that jump.

    My mare was that herdbound, that's how I learned that she can jump 4 foot fences. Frankly I'm amazed she never jumped out of her stall when I kept her in the barn, she probably didn't only because she couldn't get a running start. She's much worse about it when she's in heat- any chance Beautiful might be in season?

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  11. Nuz Muz and smazourek--Thanks. That was an easy jump to put together. We just scrabbled together scrap wood and some pvc.

    And yes, I think Beautiful is in season. Maybe that's the issue. Very observant of you--reminds me of the chapter about Information in Rashid's Whole Heart, Whole Horse-- the only problem is, sometimes it's hard to assimilate all the information--you need extra eyes. Thank you.

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  12. I'd have to say I have never seen a horse try to climb the rails before. Silly Mustang!
    I have been wanting to get some cones to practice some stuff. I really need to do that....

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  13. That's so scary to watch! Tabasco has tried to climb the panels before also. I think he watches people climbing over them and thinks he can do it too. Must be a mustang thing?

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Please feel welcome to join our discussion--tell us about your own thoughts and experiences.