Saturday, November 28, 2009

Busy nose = Busybody

Right now the weather has been getting cooler, but has not been altogether too wet, so no one has had access to their stalls except RT and Jackson, and then, only at night.
Sun's up. Let's go, old man!Thanksgiving Day changed that, with several inches of rain during the day and overnight. I took pity on the girls and let them all have access to their stalls for the afternoon and overnight.
Hey, mom! How come Kate gets her own room, and me and Sis have to share?
I mentioned the other day that Jackson threw a fit when I tried to lock him in to the stall so he could eat his grain without RT's help (after RT finished his senior feed and supplements).
All right. I'm ready for seconds!But the little guy usually has straw in his mane and tail in the morning, so I know he lays down in there at night. RT has never much cared for the confinement, but has enough sense to come in during inclement weather. Jackson has gotten better about coming in for his grain, though he still prefers not to be locked in; so, if I have time to sit with him until he's done eating, I will.
Watchya lookin at, lady?
By the way, if it looks like Jackson is standing with his back feet on a mountain of straw.......he's not...
He's actually two inches taller at his rump than at his withers! Really! I put a stick on him! He's 12 hands, 3 inches at the withers, 13, 1 at the rump! Check him against the top horizontal plank of his stall.This boy's got some growing to do!

This afternoon, after several hours working on the last row of poplars, I came in the house for a late lunch, and then lay down for just a bit. I was startled awake by the sound of hoofbeats and neighing out in the barn. I looked out and RT and Jackson were running about and playing a bit, so I decided that nothing was amiss.
An hour later, Al was the one that heard a commotion out in the dark. It was dinner time anyway, so I put on my coveralls and went out to check it out, and feed.

What I found was a black and white baby horse in the barn aisle!
[No picture! Just imagine this face......peeking through this door, in the dark, of course.]He zipped back into his stall through the front stall gate that I had left open, pending mucking, and on out to the paddock through the open paddock door, which I know I had closed after he ate his morning grain. I locked him out, while I went to assess the damage.
The couple of bales of hay that I move to the west end each weekend, to make it easier to feed the two stalls at that end, were a bit mussed up, with a small pile of baby-sized manure nearby. Some buckets full of towels and show accessories and other odds and ends from the trailer that need to be stored for the winter had been upended and spread gracefully about. But he hadn't made it as far as the grain bins around the corner, nor had he scooted past the tractor to the empty pen at the east end, where I compost the manure. Evidently he hadn't been in the aisle very long. His curiosity could have gotten him in serious trouble.

How did this escapade occur?
Had I slipped up and not closed the sliding horseshoe latch on the stall door that morning?While I straightened things up and started the tractor to bring it down to muck, I heard the suspicious sound of metal clanging against plywood. By the time I drove the tractor down the aisle, Jackson was back inside the stall (aisle gate now locked), with the horseshoe latch upside down on the outside door, now ajar! On his 6 month birthday, the little bugger has figured out how to fiddle the latch open!I'll now have to add the extra security of a snap hook to "lock" the latch securely, as I have had to do with Kate for years.
Who me?Has she been coaching little "brother" Jackson?

From yesterday:
one other example of Jackson, sticking his nose where it doesn't belong.
Hey! How come this milk bar isn't open?
Usually, RT doesn't tolerate this behavior. But he was distracted by horses going by, out on the road.


  1. I love how they get butt-high while they're growing!

    Is he a little smart one, or what - love the gate opening escapades, and glad no serious damage was done!

  2. Haha! Whomever invented those horseshoe slide latches obviously didn't have horses (or not very bright horses!) - I've yet to meet a mischievous horse who couldn't figure out how to open them pretty darn quickly!

    I love Jackson stories - thanks for the chuckle.

  3. OMG, look at that gangly baby! And he's a gate-opener!

  4. Beautifully put together story with photos, EvenSong. Very entertaining, and mostly great fun to read, although I had just a moment or two of concern. Thanks for your quick reassurance that Jackson didn't get into the grain or anything else that could have caused him harm. What a bright boy he is! So glad that all is well.