Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Horses like their horsie-treats.

If Cliff needs to enter the big pasture, he has to go through two gates: There's the one in the foreground, and another there to the right of that shed. On the other side of the far gate, the horses are standing, plotting some way to sneak past Cliff when he drives the tractor through. If they manage to get through the gate, they ravenously gobble the weeds growing there as though they were dining on the finest alfalfa. I guess they figure if we go to all that trouble keeping them out of that area, we must be depriving them of some good stuff.

We do have part of the lot electric-fenced off. So if Cliff plans to make several trips through the pasture and back, as he did yesterday hauling iron up here, we put the horses in that part and shut them in; this way Cliff doesn't have to fight them as he drives through the gates. There's good grass and plenty of water in that section. I used to have trouble getting them to come out, when we were done.

Then I tried this: Put a few horsie-treats in a Folgers can, go to the little gate leading into that portion of the lot, and rattle the treats in the can, calling , "Blu-uueee, Blu-uuee. The first time or two, they just stood and looked at me, and I had to walk up to them and let them smell the treats in the can so I could lure them out.

But they soon learned that each of them gets a treat from my hand if they come through the gate.

As always when food is offered, Blue came through first. Right behind him is Libby. Sassy, the snobby Arabian, follows closely behind.

Every time, without fail, Tude seems to get lost. He acts as though he can't see the gate immediately to his right.

He's gradually getting the idea, though, and yesterday he came on through without too much trouble. The picture is blurred because I was surrounded by hungry horses who wouldn't get out of my way, and I was hanging onto a coffee can with one hand, trying to fend them off.

Once they're all through and have all had a treat, I close the gate.

Horses, like husbands, respond well to food.


Midlife Mom said...

Yep, it works every time!

Celeste said...

Food isgood for both