Friday July 14 2006
Visited my horse today at the Hunewill Ranch. Usually he gets tired of me smooching and scratching on him after 10 minutes, but today I was the one who pooped out. After 20 min I was about to melt – must be in the 90’s today, and with no breeze.
Stormy’s got a few dings on him this weekend (not to mention he’s a missing shoe – he loses a shoe in these wet cow pastures at least once a month) – bite mark on his butt, throat, elbow, and a bit of a swollen hind hock with a scrape (4-5 days old) where another horse’s hind hoof must have found him. He’s still sore to the touch there, though he doesn’t appear to be lame. I always tell him to be careful and stay out of trouble, but does he listen? While Stormy is about the middle man in the totem pole, he always thinks he’s tough, and will pick on the nearest horse he can find (especially when I’m around, because he gets jealous and doesn’t want any other horse getting my attention), but doesn’t learn a lesson because he’ll get too close to the wrong horse and the same thing will happen to him.
At times I worry about him breaking a leg out there, or getting into a barbed wire fence (this has happened twice before, and the second time he spent 8 days at the vet getting proud flesh carved off his leg, then another month getting doctored in Susan’s Equine Red Cross Back Yard). This is the West, and everything is fenced in barbed wire – not that a horse can’t destroy himself in a plain wire fence, wooden fence, Kentucky white fence, you name it.
That’s the chance I take, kicking Stormy, a not-so-streetwise-Thoroughbred-ex-racehorse out with a herd of 150 horses on pastures fenced with barbed wire, but, that’s how it is. I couldn’t afford to keep him in a stable (and there isn’t one anywhere near here) at a minimum of $350/month, and I prefer to see him roaming around, being a horse, instead of being stalled all day and if he’s lucky getting turned out in a pen once a day or once a week.
We also get wicked lightning storms here – a horse was killed out there in the pasture last year from a bolt. If my horse does die from lightning or a broken leg or running through a fence, well, at least I know just about anything as deadly could happen in a stable, and, I know he’s had a happy life being a real horse these last 7 years. But, hopefully, he’ll be sticking around many many more!