Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Pieces to a Puzzle

I have pictures to share but of course technology is besting my abilities at the moment. Some days I wonder if all this technology is worth it, but then I look and see who reads this blog and I think maybe it is!
For the past couple of years, we’ve been hauling horses to my parent’s place for a month at a time to eat down their pasture. It’s not big and really can only hold two horses for a month and then needs a rest. We used to have four horses on it and had to scramble to find different pastures that would work. But this current method seems to work.
Lush grass, no competition, except for one herd mate and everyone seems to improve when I haul them up. I’ve been hauling Junior up every time because he seems to need it the most.
So  last night I hooked up the trailer and took Junior and Lace up to Madison. I would have preferred to take up Bo because he needs more weight but he has no ground manners. So instead he’s in a pasture by himself. I was hoping to keep everyone off that pasture but not to be the case.
Junior and Lace loaded like champs and hauled beautifully, just like these old warriors do. Lace did surprise me by turning around and unloaded. I think that was the first time in years she’s done that. Normally she backs out of trailers but using a stock trailer is different than a slant load. I don’t think she was comfortable unloading off the trailer but she did just fine.
We unloaded the horses and I never did see them lift their heads. Junior had been losing weight ever since I moved them from their winter pen to the spring pen. I hadn’t been able to get out and grain him on a daily basis and was a little worried after Bo started getting ulcers. But with the lush grass, I’m sure Junior will perk up quickly.
I’ll keep them at that location for two weeks and then bring them home. We’ll let the pasture rest for a little bit and then decide if we haul them up again or take someone else up. I’m sure no matter what it’ll be Junior that goes up, it’s a question of who else should go up.
With the ponies in with the mares, and now Lace and Junior gone, I had thought maybe I would haul Rabbit up as well so I wouldn’t have to throw as much hay. But Rabbit has told me that she’s ready to go so I want to keep her final days/weeks as normal as possible. But I did end up pulling her out of that pen and putting her in with Bo. She has line of sight access to all the horses. She’s also with Bo so she’s not alone. I’m hoping Bo will improve with another horse in the pasture. With Rabbit out of the pen, that leaves Mayhem and the ponies. I’m trying this arrangement for a multitude of reasons. Mayhem has never really been by herself. When I weaned her, I put her in with the ponies. Otherwise she’s always been with some mares. But we’ll be saying goodbye to Rabbit soon and Mayhem needs ot figure out how to handle things on her own instead of relying on her mother. So we’ll see.
I had convinced myself that I would put Rabbit down last week but then I got sick. So I had convinced myself it would be this week. But as I was walking her to the pasture, she acted chipper and not very sore. Her eyes were bright and her breathing was much improved. So now I don’t know what to do. She’s feeling decent but she’s been on soft ground and with moving more, she actually gets around ok. I’m just afraid I’m making a rash decision. The farrier is supposed to come out tomorrow so maybe I’ll ask her opinion as well. When the weight loss is visible, it’s easy to know when to say goodbye but when it’s pain management, it’s so much harder. I don’t want her to suffer and I’d rather she goes when she’s feeling good, can see, can breathe, and isn’t in a lot of pain.  I’m going to see how she’s doing tonight and go from there. I had actually thought that I would give her two weeks and the put her down before Memorial Weekend, simply to put a final date on it. But I just don’t know. I don’t know what to do.
I am anxious to get the herd out on pasture but definitely need to divide the pasture so we can rotate this year. We did it one other year and it really seemed to help. But I need to find the time. We normally let the horses out over memorial weekend but I don’t think that will be the case this time. Going to have to play it by ear. So many pieces to the puzzle.

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