Sunday, February 14, 2010

Naughty Little Boy!!

This picture tells a story. It's a story of love, and hate, and friendship.

Actually the story is a little different than that, but it sounds good, right?

Yesterday was a BEAUTIFUL day, so rather than ride, I did what I always do... I turned out the horses and set to work "grooming" the runs, picking up poop, and other barn chores.

I moved several scoops of poop off the pile, then rototilled the arena. I laid down the strips in center, then went cross-ways, so there wouldn't be anything missed. Then I broke out the ATV and drag, and groomed the surface.

NOTE - All day, for the most part, Honey and Bullwinkle played kissy-face over the fence, which was turned off. (I don't like having to walk to the back of the barn every time I want to do something in the pasture - even though I could use the exercise!)

I finished around 3:30, which, according to the horses, is "pretty darn close to suppertime, isn't it?". I returned to the barn to put the equipment up, take the rototiller off the tractor, put the ATV get the picture.

When I was done, I started in with my water check. I scrub and rinse tubs, refill, and make sure everyone is good on water for the night. As I was walking through the barn, heading out to Jazzy's water tub, I see Bullwinkle come loping up the pasture, eyes on Honey. (Like father, like son. Cecil was in love with Honey too)

Unfortunately for Bullwinkle, Jazzy was turned out with Honey.

Jazzy DOES NOT like Bullwinkle. At all. Period.

Jazzy spies the "evil intruder" and it begins. Ears back. Teeth bared. Unearthly screaming. Pure equine hate and fury. Thankfully, Bullwinkle is smart enough to run. However, he was apparently NOT smart enough to go back over the fence from whence he came. (Did I use that word right?)

When the mares came up to the top of the pasture, Bullwinkle apparently walked through the fence. He must have stepped over the bottom two strands and just kept walking. So the top two strands were down, and the bottom two were sagging. He could have easily stepped back over them. But no, he wanted cuddle time with Honey.

I grabbed a halter and headed out, just as Bullwinkle ducked through the gate and ran to the barn, Jazzy hot on his heels. She would have kicked the crap out of him, but I jumped through the tapes, gave a big yell (I'm pretty godd at that, according to my husband), and she slid to a stop, turned on her heels and vacated the run. She DID however, stand at the gate, once I got it shut, with her ears pinned and her nose pinched.

You know how horses get "spun up" and even when you are trying to "rescue" them, they run from you. Me and Bullwinkle made several laps up and down the run, before he let me put a hand on him. Once I got the halter on the far side of his neck, the sweet, scared, sweating, puffing baby tucked his nose and looked for the halter. Such a good boy!

As all of this is going on, I was vaguely aware that Frankie is still in the pasture and is calling for his buddy. I opened the gate to lead Bullwinkle back to the arena and looked up in time to see Frankie make an enormous bound over the bottom straps of tape. It was only about 4 inched, but he leaped three feet, easy! (One of those "overkill" moments)

I thought to myself, "Oh crap. Here we go." But Frankie loped up the pasture, hooked up with Bullwinkle, and followed us back. I put Bullwinkle in the arena, and Frankie waited until I came back to get him. Then he step calmly over the two strands of tape. When I got Frankie into the arena, Bullwinkle let out a call and headed for Honey, and being blinded by love (either that or he's mentally deficient), ran smack into the closed gate. BANG!!!

"Where you going? NOWHERE!"

He called for Honey a couple times when I returned to the barn for feed. I figured the easiest way to keep horses contained, was to bring them up to the barn and feed them. Honey and Jazzy could easily have trotted down to the end of the pasture and been out and running around in no time!

Then I went out to inspect the fence. UGH! From the picture it just looks like there are tapes down. But you know the plastic tape hangers... there are 14 of them that are broken. It's hard to see that on the nearest post on the top strand, the tape tensioner is bent beyond use. So is the one below it. I went last night and bought supplies. Bullwinkle's little act of undying love(or complete stupidity) cost me $40.

At least it's not a vet bill. He was winded and sweaty, but otherwise, not a mark on him. He tries that again and he's going to be wearing MY "hoof mark" on his butt!

All fixed!


Anonymous said...

"OH MY" is what I said out loud as soon as I saw the picture.
Needless to say, I couldn't wait for the "rest of the story..."

Naughty - LOL - that is not what I would have called him! Hahaha

K.Park, Lk Wales, FL

Karen V said...

Naughty is not what I called him either, but I didn't want to post it. LOL! He got a "talking to" all the was from the barn to the arena. I'd have made any sailor very proud!

It only took me the last hour and a half to fix it. However, it just occurred to me that I forgot to turn the fence back on...


Nikker said...

Oh, young love!
Thats a pretty funny little tale! Its hard to contain those sailor words when the animals are making more work for you than you needed. Those words save sanity somedays I do believe!

Sally said...

I really tried hard not to laugh!

luvredponies said...

Kind of on topic, but how do you like that tape? We have had a problem with ours sagging when it snows or we have freezing rain or ice and we have to turn the fence off. Any tricks you could pass along?

Karen V said...

luvredponies - I actually LOVE the tape! The spans you see in the pictures are about 40 ft, and that's just too much. We put in four posts yesterday.

As for sagging- The trick it to keep it tight, and have a post no more than 20 ft apart. (I actually like them closer than that.)

Also, how old is your tape? It seems to last forever, but it does stretch and in the "high-activity" areas, we are almost to the point that we need to replace it.

luvredponies said...

Our tape is less than a year old, but there are a lot of places that are continuous lenghts for 100 - 200 feet. We though it would be better if we didn't have a lot of splices and connections, but you think that is ok? We do have posts every 12 feet. I absolutely love how visible it is - it scares me when the horses come running right at it, then turn to go through a gate at the last minute. We are getting ready to fence off a couple more big pastures and were thinking of using the rope instead, but again, I am concerned about the visibility. A broken fence is sooooo much better than a broken horse :)

Karen V said...

I don't think you have anything to worry about. My perimeter tapes down the long side are more than 200 ft.

I wouldn't worry about splicing - it gives you the opportunity to tighten the tape without having to walk the entire fence-line.

That's assuming that you aren't splicing every 4 or 5 feet - that would look tacky.

Our tape was installed when the property was built - almost 8 years ago. We have not had to restring any of the existing tape.

As for the snow and ice build up - Mike and I walked the fence, each with a heavy wooden dowel and whacked the tape from the underside to knock the ice off the tape. We only had to do it once or twice.