Monday, September 8, 2008
We have a "bad" habit at the barn of letting our horses loose in the common area to graze freely while we put away tack and other activities. A former boarder, who shall remain nameless (Wendy!), started this practice. The perimeter of the property is fenced and the gate is kept closed -- the horses are more interested in the grass than exploring off the premises. So, after riding I hosed off Phantom and made the usual preparations for summer turnout prior to walking him out to the grass. I kept an eye on him because Phantom has been raiding PJ's hay. PJ is on stall rest while recuperating from an injury. After the horses are turned out in the morning, their evening ration of hay is placed in the stalls and evening grain premeasured and left in the feed room. Since PJ is occupying his stall, his hay is left outside his stall out of his reach. But not out of Phantom's.
My Goober Boy has been returning to the little barn by sneaking down the second aisle to help himself to PJ's hay, so I have to keep an eye on him and shag him away whenever he comes back into the barn. Sure enough, I found Phantom had reentered the barn to hoover the hay on the ground in front of Keith's stall, next to PJ's. That was okay as long as he left PJ's evening hay alone. It didn't take long and I caught Phantom in PJ's hay. I chased him outside the side door toward the arena barn...twice. I took a peek at him a short time later and he was strolling toward the round pen. That was okay. I took another load into the tack room and there was Phantom at PJ's hay again. The goober had walked toward the round pen, had gone around the far end of the little barn and come up the second aisle via the end door rather than come through the side door where I'd caught him twice before. What a brat!
The third time was the charm and Phantom remained outside to graze near the round pen until I escorted him to his turnout shared with his partner in crime, Zorro.
My small Goober Boy hangs out at one of the two picnic tables during nice days. He is secured with a cable, supplied with a small bucket of water, and has access to shade beneath the table. I unsnapped him for a brief play period with Breeze. He bounded up to the long-legged brindle beauty, teased her into chasing him, and bolted for the picnic tables. To our amusement, Indy did a figure 8 around the two tables to keep one stride ahead of Breeze. He then ducked underneath when she was about to "get" him. The whole episode looked staged, but my fluffy Goober Boy figured out the move all on his own.
How do I end up with such characters?!