When Safety Doesn’t Come First

The promised update:

Both horses are fat and furry. Mathilda’s winter coat may be plumping her figure more than than she actually is, but overall doing well for an old lady. Using the universal horse birthday of Jan 1, she just turned 29.

The biggest problem we are having with Mathilda is keeping our promise to let her be a horse. After her last Houdini act [Out], she was going out at night by herself. Then it started raining and we lost our nerve. When the footing gets slippery, it’s all too easy to keep her penned up for just one more day. She is making it quite clear she does not appreciate the hovering nanny attitude.

Rodney is amenable about going wherever we need to put him. When we don’t want Mathilda hanging over the barriers [Debriefing, pictured] or trying to escape [Jailbreak] at night, into the stall he goes. When we want to let her out for a few minutes during the day, into the pen he goes. As long as he has a pile of hay or grain scraps to scavenge, he’s a happy pony.

My biggest problem with Rodney is the weather. Cold, dry air increases the odds of static electricity. Rodney does not appreciate being zapped while being groomed.

How do you balance what’s good for their minds with the desire to encase their bodies in bubble-wrap?
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Rodney's Saga Reason broom

Categories: Horse Care, Horses

2 replies »

  1. Unless they have an injury that requires stall rest, I don’t even try. Yes, it was hard to watch our seniors grow old. I worried about stuff I’d normally not worry about. Ice, deep mud or muck, extreme temps. But honestly, horses that have been allowed to be horses are pretty good at living through these things even when they become seniors. Obviously, you have to use a dollop of common sense. We rarely blanket here, but the seniors got blankets (usually just overnight or for a day) if the elements got nasty. Had to watch the harrier coats in the heat, too. But a few added supplements and safety precautions aside, they managed their golden years quite well. Had they not …. well, I’ll choose euthanasia when the ability to function like a horse is no longer possible without constant human interference. *Shrug* I’d much rather let my horse go before they’re miserable (injured, colic, choose your demise) than wait until I have a serious crisis on hand. Especially with the seniors. I’ve done this both ways and believe me, the letting them go peacefully trumps horrific, tragic, untimely death every time. Just my .02 cents.

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