ANNIE THE HUN! Annie the bulldozer… Annie the Rhino… No fence can stand between her and – anything she wants!

What happened to my sweet Annie?

This girl was totally contented to live inside of her panel barracks for the first 6 weeks of her stay here.  She never pushed on them, never asked for anything… in fact, she was a perfect angel for the weeks while I was attempting to get to know her and touch her.

But now… a few months later… this girl is full-blown BRUISER!

It is as if she sees fencing as a minor inconvenience on the way to grass.

There is a lot of grass in Grass Valley.  Trouble is – it is all outside the fencelines.


Fences Panels are NOTHING against my power! (This is Annie pushing against the panels that Dodger and Slick use to eat in peace. )

Fences, Panels are NOTHING against my power! (This is Annie pushing against the panels that Dodger and Slick use to eat in peace. )


Bodhi is half Percheron.  He likes to break through things.

Annie is half Percheron.  She likes to break through things.

Is this a Percheron thing?

Is it a ‘big horse’ thing?

Do all big horses wake up one day and realize their size – and then start breaking things?

I think so…

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This is her handywork when I separated the ponies from her. She just broke through… So I put up a panel. The first of many.



Of course, she starts this behavior just as I need everything to be perfect.

(We are in the process of acquiring a rental agent to help us find candidates – provided our escrow in Paso Robles continues as expected.)

Hopefully I can catch her dastardly deeds before she actually gets loose onto the streets of Grass Valley; but having panels tied all around her paddock does not look too great for potential renters.

At least I got a little smarter… After I realized that this ‘fence plowing’ was becoming a regular gig for her, I shut her out of her double pasture so that she could only destroy a smaller area.


I actually drove down to Tractor Supply TWICE last weekend, buying panels to cover up her transgressions.

This one really upsets me. It is right as you drive up to the gate. Thanks, Annie the Hun!

This one really upsets me. It is right as you drive up to the gate. Thanks, Annie the Hun!


I tell myself that she is finding the weak spots in the fencing for me.

But, I’d actually prefer that she just left them alone.

None of my smaller horses have ever, EVER tested and broken the fences like Annie (and Bodhi).

I cannot imagine the type of fencing they must have at the Budweiser horse farms!  Of course, those are Clydes, not Percherons… so maybe they are fence angels.  Dunno.  I could write and ask but they’d probably laugh and say that they use fences tested by rhinos.  That is what I need.  Rhino fencing.

Here she is, during her breaktime from seeking grass beyond the fence lines.

“What are  you griping about?  I’m LARGE and IN CHARGE!”.


I probably am feeding her too well.  Her sudden braun has made her feel like SuperHorse – able to destroy fences in a single push.

In the Sept photos, she looks a bit malnourished and boney.  I’m still trying to figure out if she was pregnant or just had a wormy, bad hay belly.

Now, she looks filled out, taller and like a robust equine machine.

I still am not sure if she is pregnant.  Some days I say, DEFINITELY NO.  Then, we have days where she looks very plump and acts totally hormonal.

If I had to bet, I’d say NO.  But, I am not certain.  I check her udders and haunches every day – just to be safe.

The good news is that I can now touch all parts of her – except her tail.  Still no way to palpate – but we are making progress.  Also, she is a bit touchy on her back legs…


Here she is on Day 1 and then again last week.

Is she pregnant? I still don't know. She's a big girl and maiden...

Is she pregnant? I still don’t know. She’s a big girl and maiden… Here she doesn’t look preggers…

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But here she might… I check her every morning. Nothing unusual – yet.  No udder activity.  No milk vein.


I think Annie now feels healthy enough to show her true personality.  She is a bit p-u-s-h-y.  She is also hungry ALL THE TIME and she gets very mareish when she doesn’t get her way.  Spoiled?  Or pregnant and hormonal?

I just don’t know!

Her Pushy Highness has been dubbed, Annie the Hun, because she not only downs all the fences she can, Hunsie also pushes the ponies around when she is upset.  I actually separated them because I was afraid for the elder Shetlands.

I think I have some training to do…


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5 comments have been posted...

  1. Robynne Catheron

    Yikes, what a challenge! I love that she’ll let you halter and groom her, and even check her udders. Good girl, Annie! While I’m all about natural environments and humane treatment, if it were me, I’d put up a hot wire all around the top of her fencing. Electro braid, with a dual-power (electric or battery, in case of power outage) energizer that has a minimum 6 joules output. She’ll only touch it once. It won’t hurt her, but it will be enough to warn to respect a fence. I’ve accidentally touched it, and although it didn’t knock me on my backside, it jolted me enough that I pay more attention now.

    I think giving her something to do every day coupled with an electrified top strand would result in a girl that is happy, confident, and respectful. Not that she isn’t those things now, but I think you’d see a significant improvement.

    No matter what you decide to do, good luck!

  2. Abigail C

    Haha! Sounds like a drafty thing, but *especially* a Percheron thing. I have heard lots of stories about Percherons and half Percherons. The Belgians and Clydesdales don’t seem to have quite the same propensity for getting into trouble.

  3. dawndi Post author

    Hi Sarah!
    Yes, I’d love to give her a job… but first the stuff she never learned in the 4 years of her wild life! Human touch. First things first. ;)
    I can finally halter her. She won’t lead – yet. But, she has daily grooming, which was a long time in coming, and she is consistently friendly – finally. So, we’ll get there, for sure.

  4. Sarahkate

    Annie is of workhorse lineage – regardless of breed. As in WORK horse. In short – Annie needs a job, pronto.

    You might consider topping your fenceline with electrobraid, too – more visible than plain hotwire. More resilient, too.

    Can your vet do some kind of a preg test? Ultrasound comes to mind. The non-invasive version. But even if she is pregnant she needs to be put into “service” in some way even if it is just daily training – and I do mean daily.

    Big horses sometimes do bully fences but sometimes it’s just that their weight and height is more than the average horse fence can withstand.

    But I cannot stress enough: give this horse a job to do. A daily, regular, physically and mentally demanding job. Draft horses thrive on this and will remember their gentle natures and good manners once they have something to DO. I know – have had draft crosses and a couple Belgian mares (retired PMU rescues) for years. The old mares seem to think their paddock paradise qualifies as a “job” plus they babysit a couple of yearlings. The draft crosses are both in dressage and trail work.

  5. Helen J

    It’s a drafty thing. Lots of them seem to do this. My Clyde cross likes to lean on fences and push. So did the one who used to live next door. We replaced a lot of fence boards, many times and some of our panels are now a heap of twisted metal. Using electric fence fixed them.
    Training may help her ground manners and other things but probably not pushing on fences.

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