Calm, Forward, Straight

Calm, Forward, Straight

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Unencumbered by the thought process...


Maybe he has OCD?

Maybe he's psychic?

Since 9 this morning, and as of this writing, Val mostly has not strayed from the far left corner of the paddock.

I knew something was up, when he didn't follow me straight into the run-in to eat his breakfast. Two hours went by and the breakfast pan and hay were still untouched. Water too. Very uncharacteristic. Val has never willingly missed a meal since I have known him. In these temperatures, barely above freezing, this situation worried me.

He eagerly ate the cookie I brought him, and had produced manure, so I took him a flake of hay, and let him be for a while, confident he'd get bored, and return to the run in for his breakfast and water.

No dice.

On to plan B. Mid-afternoon, I brought him a bucket of water, and coaxed him to it with apple slices, which he gobbled eagerly. I dropped a few slices into the bucket. He quickly fished them out. Dropped in a few more, and he drank as well.

I walked Q the Jack Russell terrorist out into the wild yonder, hoping to flush a napping deer family, which was my guess for the source of the obsession. I reported back to Val that the coast was clear. It did not seem to matter, and he stayed put.

Next I dragged the ring. This accomplished two things - smoothing and softening the sand, which gets rock hard in the sub-freezing days, and giving Val some exercise, as I spun around near his obsession spot. He's moving just fine btw.

I'm planning one more flashlit visit before bed, to see if he has come to his senses. I'll take a hot kettle to thaw the water bucket - it's supposed to be in the low 20's overnight, and that small bucket will surely freeze solid otherwise. I want to believe that he will be sensible; go to the shelter, eat hay to stay warm, and drink water when he's thirsty.

I want to believe, but I'm not 100% on it... Anyone else had a horse act like this? What a flipping knothead...

No one wanted to move this morning...

WHAT'S THAT???????

Do you see what I see?


  1. If he gets cold enough, he will go in and eat. Shy always surprises me and refuses to do sensible things like go in the barn during sub zero weather.
    As to why he won't leave that corner, if you find out, I am curious to know!

  2. Something has surely got his attention and you'll probably never figure it out. My guess is he will head for shelter and food when he wants to.

    I've had Dusty and Mellon refuse to come in when it was single digits. So like a jerk freezing and worrying finally coaxed them in around nine. They can drive you crazy if you let them.

  3. Whatever has his attention will surely move on at some point, or he will decide he is going to be ok despite its presence!

  4. Apparently something out there is Very Important, and Val will keep an eye on it until the Code Red is all clear. Hopefully for your sanity that will be sooner rather than later...

    Horses are weird!

  5. I was wondering if there is something in/around the shelter that he is keeping his furthest distance from. ??

    Hope all is well by the time you see this comment!

  6. My horse did this at our last barn, so badly that he would not eat, and paced/wove, even with a friend in his paddock/stall with him. Reserpine/Telazol, depo provera, and Daily Calm did nothing.
    He was calm out in the pasture with his buddy (pasture was @ the other end of the property), and when we moved his stall/paddock to the other end of the barn, closer to the pasture, he calmed down. I have NO idea what it was that he was scared of, because it happened a few times and none of the other horses were upset.
    I never saw, heard, or smelled anything unusual. We hypothesized that the neighbors were breeding either velocirapotors or chupacabras, lol.

  7. How strange. The apple coaxing was a good trick.

  8. Hoping its nothing to really worry about.


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