Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Separation Anxiety

Steve and I were in the mountains on September 26th when I got a phone call from my friend since childhood, Candis Snow-Nicely. She had been trying to get by my place to see Danny since he was born on May 1st and she told me that she was sitting in my drive at that moment. When she found out that I was over an hour away from home, she asked if it was Ok for her to drive across and see the baby on her own. I said, of course and she kept talking to me as she drove. Suddenly, in a panicked voice, she said, "Sande, something's wrong! The baby's not here. There are only four horses in the field!" I didn't get upset because I knew that Danny would not wander far from his mama and also because I knew that if there were four horses in the field then he was there since Brandy was in another pasture by herself recovering from an injury. I told her this and then she exclaimed, "Holy cow! That's not a baby; he's a fully grown horse!"

At that time, Danny was five days short of being five months old. The photo above was taken eleven days later on October 6th. You can see how large he is compared to his "big" brother, Django. I think his legs look considerably longer than Django's already. Now, he is eleven days away from his 6 month mark. It is time for weaning and I'm worried that we are going to have some problems from our extra stout baby.

On Monday, I was hauling water to the, we don't have a well where they are kept yet and I don't want them drinking the city water with all of its chemicals. So, I haul the water from our home's well in a large tank, thirty-five gallons at a time. Yesterday, we finally replaced that hose that the horses had damaged several weeks ago. With the new hose, I can park my truck at the top of the hill and not have to pull into the pasture in order to fill the troughs but on Monday, I was still going through the gates and half way down the hill to reach the shorter hose we were having to use. When I arrived with the first tank of water, the boys were all on top of the hill in the upper pasture and Mouse was in the small run-in that we call the House of Mouse at the bottom of the hill napping. I closed off the gate to the upper pasture and the gate to the round pen which envelopes the small run-in and pulled my truck into the middle pasture. After I'd started the water flowing into the troughs, I took my grooming tools into the round pen and spent some quality girl time with Mousie. I left to get another tank of water and I was delayed because I was looking for the detangler so that I could braid Mouse's mane. I automatically looked to the upper pasture as I was driving back up the hillside and I was the one panicking this time because I only saw two horses! I knew that if Danny wasn't with Mouse, he was always with the big boys and never on his own. I was terrified that something had happened to him in the short time I'd been gone. And then I spotted him. He was standing outside of the round pen and nursing Mouse through the metal panels! I still have no idea how he got through two fences without harming himself but the ease with which he escaped when he wanted his mama, really scared me. What are we going to do when Mouse goes to stay at Val's so that we can wean him? I of course called Huston immediately. I knew he'd know what to do and he told me that the first thing we need to do is put Danny in a stall when Mouse leaves so that he can't see her go or see which direction we turn when we leave. He told me that, if Danny watches her leave, he will most certainly try to follow her and he will get through the fence. He said that even making certain that the electricity on the fence is operating at full force will not deter Danny if he is determined to get out and find his mom and he will simply jump or attempt to jump any number of fences if he has to. He also told me that Danny needs to be confined for at least two days.

We plan to take Mouse to Val's in the next week or so and she will be staying there at least a month. So, I guess you all know how I will be spending all of my time during November....either in Sweetwater with Mouse or in the stall and round pen with Danny until he calms down and accepts that mama and his ready supply of milk are gone.


  1. Well, they always say you want your kids to grow up as independent thinkers with problem solving skills. LOL Looks like you will have your hands full for a few weeks. Good luck.