Routine? What Routine?


Lucky enough to have a horse.

Awareness of the outside world. Protests. Pandemic. Politics. Is there any part of public life that isn’t poisonous right now?
Question for those of you who keep horses at home. Do you have a standard barn routine? Or are you constantly making adjustments?

We are tweaking things all. the. time. What to feed. How much to feed. When to feed. Turn in. Turn out.

Sometimes, the cause is human. Ride in the early morning to beat the heat. Rearrange the schedule for the rest of the day.

Sometimes, the cause is equine. The older horse gets hurt and suddenly we have to juggle split turnout.

Sometimes, the cause is environmental. Previous Horse & Mathilda used to drop their hay consumption by half when the spring grass showed up. One load would carry us through summer. The current two maintain a more consistent level of hay consumption throughout the year.

Sometimes the cause is supplier-driven. Even if we buy the same hay from the same place, they may have a new load from a new place. Hence, new hay.

The latest batch of hay has caused a complete rearrangement of the morning.

Note, this is not the hay change that we are blaming for the recent excitement. That was the alfalfa appetizer. This is the coastal main course. But it may also contribute to Rodney feeling better. But I get ahead of myself.

For a long while this year, the grass was green and the hay was meh. Didn’t matter when or how we fed. Everybody had as much as they wanted. There were always leftovers for nibbles.

The new load is yum. Milton vacuums up his serving and then pushes Rodney away from the second pile. Milton is an easy keeper; Rodney is not. Steps had to be taken.

We have fed grain separately for a long time. Now, Rodney gets left in the stall for several hours with a full breakfast: grain, two kinds of hay, & water. He eats in peace. Has time for a nap. Enjoys his me-time away from Milton.

His attitude has improved immeasurably, even after a few days. Feeling peckish makes most of us cranky. In addition, his delicate digestive system probably benefits from having more to process.

So, that’s the arrangement. For the moment.


Stay safe. Stay sane.
Katherine Walcott

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