I am not really complaining about the cold. After months of mud, having everything clean and white is wonderful. I went out to do morning chores in full Carhartt regalia and was acutely aware that my gloves were not up to par with the rest of my winter armor. Regardless of the cold, one of my favorite morning routines is checking on the horses in the pasture on cold mornings. The Belgians are back to being blonde and this weather keeps them quite active. Hank does his best to make it clear that the Budweiser Clydesdales have nothing on him.
We were able to return to overnight turnout again. My preference is to have horses out when it is this cold. The wind dies down, the outdoor water is heated, they have unlimited hay and can move around to warm up. It is also really fun to see the various “nests” created in the snow – the equine version of snow angels. Rio, Ries, and Cosmo all get along very well and no one gets pushed out. This morning I decided to put Whitman out with them. Whitman has been on restricted turnout since trying to destroy his knee. He was being turned out with just Riesling, but if Whitman has a super power it is being really annoying. Ries is a saint, but Whitman kept coming in with kick marks all over his front legs. Whitman has perfected his ability to stand behind any pasture mate and irritate them into kicking. This only seems to phase Whitman’s owner and not Whitman. Guess which one of us pays the bills? However, Whitman just paces the fence if he is by himself and that is damaging as well. So today, with apologies, I turned NitWhit out with the boys and hung around to babysit. My current hope is that with three horses, Whitman will not focus his super power on any one poor victim. Ries and Rio both looked at my like I had to be kidding and Cosmo seems to view this with his usual nervous stoicism. If you know Cosmo, ‘nervous stoicism’ is not an oxymoron in his case.
I will get into our pasture and herd dynamics, but that will take up its own post.