I had no idea the value of a water feature inside of a horse paddock until today.
Sure, I’d heard the expression “water feature” but to me it just meant some glorious infinity pond or some other luxury liquid item I couldn’t have – just in case my horses fell into it.
Well, today was a wonderful day! The ponies and I discovered our own, not too deep, not too dark, natural and economical Equine Water Feature!
First of all, it is 1000 degrees today in Grass Valley. I go outside and I want to stick a meat thermometer into my torso to see if I’m ‘done’. The only reason I go outside is to check on the horses and try to ease the fatigue that comes from sweating and swatting all day… Sometimes I bring apples… sometimes I turn on the sprinklers. But, most of the time, I refill all of the troughs with fresh, cold water.
I have a small trough that sits on the lawn for when the horses are out grazing. I don’t use it all the time, but when I do, I have to switch the switch thing on the spigot so that the little trough is filled instead of the big one.
(Do you know what I mean? You place one of these 2-fer fittings onto your spigot and then attach 2 hoses… One goes to one thing and the other goes to another. If you don’t want them both on at the same time, you have the switch the controls – kinda like rail cars in the railyard.)
Anyway, I did this switcheroo set-up with the lawn trough and used the spigot right next to the pony pasture.
OK, well, sometimes when I fill the small trough, I accidentally leave the spigot on full blast as I go about my business, totally forgetting that I was filling a small tub with a firehose amount of water. I did that today.
When I finally realized that I was watering the entire hill and down to the road (my bad), I ran back to the pony pasture to find a flood and… very happy ponies!
Very happy, very dirty, ‘blown up like little pony balloons’, totally hydrated and smiling Shetlands.
I DIDN’T HAVE THE HEART
At first, I couldn’t figure out what they were doing… I saw one pony rolling in a cloud of dirt and dust and then he would run back to the area of the spigot, then the other pony would run off to roll while the first pony had his nose buried in the dirt.
Were they finally asking the ground squirrels to relocate? Were they suddenly swarmed by ants?
They were playing!
You see, my gusher of a trough overflow had created a flash flood that ripped a new crevice in the lawn and down through the pony pasture. That crevice was like a tiny Grand Canyon and the water flow was like a miniature Colorado River.
They were guzzling cold water, rolling in the mud and then adding a layer of dust! Yippee! Perfect Pony Fun!
The ponies became like little water pirates, lording over their new found river of fun! Poor Norma couldn’t get close to the Water Feature without a pony snap. Sheesh. Not that she cared. Norma is far to delicate to slurp, let alone slurp off of dirt or roll in the mud… My heavens!
Even with their bad behavior, I didn’t have the heart to shut it off. So, I just turned the flow down a smidge and let them continue while I ran inside.
LET THE FUN BEGIN!
I ran inside the house to get my camera.
When I came back, I noticed that both of the ponies had added a phase to their game which I called the ‘rolling procedure’.
It went something like this… Take a huge gulp from the river. Then, put your nose into the crevice and let the water run over your face, then quickly run to a wet spot farther down the hill, roll, get up and run to a really drydusty part of the pasture and roll really hard. Get up, snort, snake your neck and run back up to the Water Feature. Repeat.
I LET THEM PLAY AND PLAY UNTIL THEY COULD TAKE IT NO LONGER
The ponies did this routine for at least 30 minutes. I watched for a while but they didn’t change it up much so I got a little bored.
Norma was bored as well… She looked at me with her ears sideways, “What are they doing? Boys are so silly.”
I was pleased that the pony boys were so happy. In fact, I decided to run the Water Feature 3 times a week and offer ‘Buy One, The Other Gets in Free’ on Sundays.
Pony Kisses. The BEST! ;)
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