Turnout

For the last week, Mathilda has been given the option to go out at night. Callooh! Callay!

Mathilda loves it. I suspected free-choice turn-out would do her good but I didn’t expect to see her this perky this quickly. Her spirit is positively bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. Her body is not as exhausted as I thought it would be, even the first night. She’s happy to spend the day resting in front of her fan, but she’s not wiped out. Sadly for the stall cleaner, she still comes into her pen to poop. With acres of pasture at her disposal, she prefers indoor plumbing.

I am thrilled. She had been getting turned out for short periods twice a day, which meant four trips to the barn to catch everyone, move the barrier, & swap them around. My life is not so onerous that this was a difficult task, but I’m just as happy to skip the trips. We haven’t decided what to do come the cold and dark. One season at a time.

Rodney, on the other hand, is not pleased. Horses don’t like change. Rodney adapts to change even more slowly than most horses. Last night (as in Tuesday night, I wrote this on Wednesday), I went to the barn after they had been put up to lay some goop on his back, ‘What are you doing here? No one comes to see us at this time of day. You can’t be here. No one comes in my room.’ So any change to routine is going to twist his shorts. Plus, Mathilda going out to graze means leaving him behind in the barn. He does not appreciate the abandonment.

Update [posted at midnight, updated 8am]: I had put off saying anything about this until I was sure that it was more than a freak event. Then, two hours after it posted, we had an unannounced gullywasher. Last night (Wednesday night), Mathilda was soaked from trotting back and forth on a hill in the storm. Barn was flooded from the door being open. Rodney was hyperventilating from being left behind. This morning, the horses are fine. We, however, may never find the courage to let her out again. On the up side, she trots mighty sweet for a gimpy, old girl.

Update on the update: Mathilda did go out last (Thursday) night. She made it clear we had no choice. Monster. We have created.

Categories: Grazing, Horse Behavior, Horses

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