Never Assume…

Today’s Tip: Never assume that your fence, or really any facilities, are in sound working order. Read on to find out how some unexpected damage occurred.

Today was I was getting on a horse no matter what! It helped that we got out of work on time and I didn’t have any other seriously pressing stuff that had to be done.

Of course Jack Frost thought it would be SUPER funny if today was in the 30’s, so it was a little chilly for my taste. Had I not been so darn stubborn, it probably wouldn’t have been so bad. Choosing to just wear jeans with no other layers, my legs were a little numb (yes, I’m a little bit of a wuss…). Oh well, that’s what horse people do!

Today was the day to shake the dust off Pretty and get her moving. I love that horse. I’m used to horses that are pretty good, but do little things like take a few steps forward when you get on, sidestep at the scary pine trees, get distracted about being alone, spook at the…well…I don’t know what. Pretty did have some issues when we got down almost to the river (the very back of the pasture), but mostly she just went where she was told, when she was told to go there. I didn’t think I’d ever have one of those!

We do have our own challenges. Pretty has a weak neck. It’s long and thin, but not very muscled. A long mane also makes her look kind of droopy if she doesn’t hold it well. So our first goal is to try and build some muscle in that neck. Classy needs the same work, but he doesn’t have as far to go. She also lacks, as many Tennessee Walking Horses do, a foundation for actually getting on the bit and truly collecting. It doesn’t help that she’d naturally rather be strung out, she’s just long and loose like that, but we’ll get there! She did pretty well for a first time out.

You know when I mentioned we were almost down to the river? Yeah…that’s because I noticed that the lowest wire of the electric fence was loose. I followed the fence down the long end to the back of the pasture and it was drooping the whole way, even down to the ground in some places. Why? Not really sure. I think the snow might have just weighted it down too much. I don’t know why it didn’t in the past.

As much as I trust my fence to hold my horses in where they belong, I’m constantly reminded that it’s not going to stay dependable on its own. I’m glad I was out there today to notice. Better get it fixed before the horses go back out on pasture in the summer!

This same concept also applies to other stuff in the barn and pasture. I’ve found nail heads sticking out that my horses never found, but a guest horse did. Found things sticking out in weird angles on doorways that were causing strange cuts on lower legs. A friend recently mentioned finding some “stray” sticks left in the pasture after a tree clean-up that were causing scratches when her horse rolled on top of them.

Just be sure to check your pasture. Want to multitask? Take a ride around the pasture, go for a walk and get some exercise of your own, or do whatever else makes sense where you are! Even if you don’t own your horse’s home – that doorway story, that was where I was boarding. Check your horse’s space there too!

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