That look. “Why them and not me?…”






Have you ever given a cookie to a horse in one pasture… and then looked at the face of the horse in another pasture?

‘Why them and not me?’

Have you ever let out one horse to graze and not the others?

‘Why them and not me?’

For example…

I let Finn, Wrigley and BG (arrow pointing to her legs) out to graze on the new grass. They are in front of Missy Miss and Mo, who are in their pasture.

You don’t know Missy Miss, but this is definite STINK EYE from her. “Why them and not us?” It doesn’t matter that their gate is open to the 5 acres of grass below. What matters is that they are not allowed OUT RIGHT NOW like these other horses. Hence, stinkeye.

You also don’t know Dalton, but believe me, this is the “How could you?!” look. It is also, the “I don’t love you anymore and go away” sideways ears look. The Pony King is too new and too polite to show any upset…

FIRST IS BETTER THAN ‘THE MOST’.

I once read a study that with most animals, it doesn’t matter the AMOUNT you feed them, what matters is WHO IS FED FIRST.

Try it sometime…

I can feed a handful of hay to Finn, and as long as he’s first, he will ignore that I gave Wrigley an entire flake.  Of course, as soon as Finn is done with his handful of hay, he will push Wrigley away from his flake and steal it for himself.

The same scenario goes with Dalton.  He is King of his pasture.  He MUST be fed first – even if I just give him a bite.  He doesn’t care if everyone else gets full flakes, as long as he is first.

What they hold dear is seniority and hierarchy, not value.

I find that so interesting…

WITH HUMANS…

With humans, we value the ‘most’ one can get, not being first necessarily – unless it is a race or Olympics or something.

Whereas I don’t think it is ‘instant gratification’ that motivates horses, because they won’t do what they don’t want to do – for a cookie.  But, they will push their friend out of the way for a cookie if they deem themselves senior.

Humans wouldn’t do that – in public, anyway.

So I guess all I’m saying is that in horses, respecting the hierarchy, keeps the peace.  And what is good for one better be given to the others… to relieve the viewer of stinkeye.

 


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It’s the little things…






First of all, let me apologize for taking a 2 day hiatus.  The first day, I was just too tired after a huge weekend at work… the next day, our new gardener let the dogs out – so I was frantic all day.  Natty came back.  Good boy!   A neighbor found Vivey mooching off of construction workers near their home.  All is fine now.

Today, I have excellent news!

I have a ‘to do’ list for the horses.  Some of the items on the ‘to do’ list, I cannot do myself.  So I pick a few things at a time and have my neighbor – who is a contractor and has guys with him all the time – come over and spend a few hours.

This morning, I had him:

  1.  Put in a gate at the dogleg of the far pasture so I can block it off with a panel, use it for grooming and then lead the newly groomed horse out the other side.  It would be an area that could be used for any horse, easily, because of the in-out feature.
  2. Fix a few fence boards that were on their last legs.
  3. There was a treacherous T-post that had come undone from the original fencing job.  I had wrapped the sharp head with duct tape (the horses kept playing with whatever cap I put on it) to keep them from poking themselves with it… anyway, it needed to be pulled out and replaced.

VOILA!  These things made me so happy!

Here they are, contemplating the new gate… I wanted to use the dogleg for grooming because it is flat and has shade trees.

This is the very dangerous support T-post that had come away from its wood post. (We live on a hill and it has eroded so much, the fencing is all askew.) I had wrapped the post tip with duct tape because the horses kept taking off its cap.  (Note the sweet birds on the fence.)

New fence boards! They are sitting in front of where they need to go. The previous boards look fine from afar, but they were not so fine up close.

Here are the new boards with superduper screws.

Missy Miss is contemplating the new wood. (Mo is behind her.)

And here we see that the wayward T-Post has been replaced with a wood post. AND, the gate is off the ground – they fixed it!. It is so nice when gates work again!

WHY DON’T WE BUILD A BARN?

Yes… great question.  The biggest reason is the cost.  We are sitting on top of a hill.  There is very little level ground.  We’d have to excavate, build massive retaining walls plus the barn – and all the permits here in California.  For us, this is cost prohibitive.

Why did we purchase this house in the first place?  Well, another good question… It isn’t good for horses; which I didn’t realize when we bought it.   I think we just seized this house out of relief and frustration – To be honest, after 2 years of living apart and 4 years of looking for properties we could afford in this area, we grabbed the first 10 acres we could afford without being challenged by a cash buyer.  We toured it on a very foggy day.  I swear.  It sounds comical, but it is true.  We could not see the acreage due to the dense fog, we could only see the house.  Since we lived 5 hours away, we had to make a decision RIGHT THEN.  For me, I figured 10 acres… how could that not work?  Well, I was ignorant to SLOPES.  Anyway,  we made an offer and it was accepted.

To be fair, we LOVE the area and the town of Paso Robles.  Our house has exceptional 360 degree views.  All that is great.

But, the horse part isn’t so great.  That’s why the fences are always crooked (the slope and erosion) and why I have no area to groom or wash or work or round pen…   So, putting a gate in the dog leg of the pony pasture (flat land because the dogleg is adjacent to the house) will allow me to close off that area for solo grooming, and allow me to take the horse out from that area peacefully for a walk or whatever I can do on that day.

Making the best of it…

The human parts are very nice.

We live in beautiful, sought-after wine country.

Our views are for miles and miles.

Out the back are rolling hills…

Always gorgeous sunsets…

 

MARCH BUCKET FUND!  SO SKINNY, THEY HARDLY LOOK HEAVILY PREGNANT, young, starved and left on a kill lot… MARCH BUCKET FUND tribal fillies: Keona and Kiki!

We are only $100 short of our goal!!

All donations are 100% tax deductible!  THANK YOU!

Click here to donate!  (Thank you!!)

CLICK HERE to read their story!


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Supporting The Bucket Fund through Amazon Smile
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HORSE AND MAN is a blog in growth... if you like this, please pass it around!