Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Snow Jail!

The horses have been in their stalls for over 10 days now which is the longest they have ever been confined. Thankfully they are doing well! The ice and the snow in their paddocks has not melted. I tried walking Jessie up the barn drive onto the main driveway where it is clear. She got too excited and did not want to leave Blue so it was only a 7 minute walk. Surprisingly, Blue did not protest as he usually does and was busy gobbling his timothy hay. Afterwards, I walked Blue around the aisleway in a figure 8 several times. Jessie approved with a series of low whinnies watching him while munching her hay.

More snow was headed our way so I drove to Southern States to stock up on some more shell corn for the deer, bird seed (Chickadee Select is awesome and looks good enough for humans to eat with cashews and peanuts!), Triple Crown Senior feed (beet pulp which is best for older horses) and some pine shavings. I also filled up the truck with cheaper KY diesel. The snow began to lay and I got home just in time.

The deer heard the loud engine as I drove home down the lane and began to emerge from their wooded hideaways to feast on their evening corn. The four boys and Big Girl were closest to the barn. I scattered the corn in many different areas so the bucks won't be so greedy and push her away. (This helps avoid the painful 'back slams' when too many compete for food). She continues to limp but remains protective of her condition and rises up on her two hind legs to fight off a corn hog. Should a buck challenge her, she just darts away and pushes another doe or yearling out of the way. She used to be on the bottom of the totem pole but I think she has moved up a little bit! I didn't seen my beautiful Brownie and her 'brood'. Young Brown Tail and his mother Beauty were there as were some of the newer ones that remain quite shy. Their tales are much longer than the others, so I call them 'Long Tales'.

Night feeding proved cold and the snow had accumulated to about 4-5 inches of fine powdery sugar. It was quiet. Daddy Cat begged for food with his incessant meowing while I topped the horse's water buckets with steaming hot water. Most folks I know do not do that but I find that nobody wants to drink ice cold water in ice cold weather, human nor animal! With a watchful eye on their droppings, all looked well and moist. No hard balls or small 'pony poop' which would indicate the beginning of gas colic which is dangerous and could lead to death. Thank God for keeping my babies healthy in these difficult days! As usual, Daddy Cat did not want me to leave and before finishing his food, he ran over to remind me to pet his sleek round back. Never getting enough, he stood on his hind legs and batted my leg with both paws before dropping to all fours. What a long way he has come since he was a completely wild cat a year ago! I noticed some deer tracks close to the barn so I poured a small heap of corn under the horse trailer where it wouldn't be buried. It will be interesting tomorrow morning to see who enjoyed a midnight snack!

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