Of Horse

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Routine, Habit or... ?
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Routine, Habit or... ?

I've been busy cleaning up Cookie's paddock the past few days & as I was doing so, I was making mental notes of what all Cookie does during the day. I had noticed a few months ago when she was at the front of the paddock & headed to the back, she wouldn't walk through the middle to get there. Instead she sort of zig zagged back & forth in a Z to get to her stall. I didn't think much of it then, but kept that in the back of my mind because I thought it was odd. 

In my observations the past few days, I've noted that Cookie sometimes likes to play before breakfast. Her signal to me when I put her hay in the manger is a head toss & she won't come in with me to eat. Instead, she stands outside her stall looking around waiting to see if I'm going to come & play or if I'm just going to get to work. If I go to work, she goes to eat & occasionally she'll stop about 1/2 through to either come out & add to my work, get a drink or just check out the scene then go back & eat. Most of the time after she eats, she'll roll. 

Mid morning it's usually nap time. Then lunch. More nap time afterwards. Dinner time it's nicker nicker nicker. Now if I walk directly back to the hay shelter, sometimes she'll follow me straight back there, sometimes she just stands there looking around. If she hangs back, she'll walk in sort of a backwards C to her stall to eat. Dinner time proves to be interesting most days. It's the time when the sun is setting & she's acutely aware of noises. She'll leave her food often to step outside her stall & have a look around. When she's satisfied, she'll come back in & eat some more. Sometimes I'll take this time to brush her a little.

I think she has managed to get a little rain rot on her back, so I'll need to get some anti-fungal wash & get it cleared up. It's only in a few spots which I'm thankful for, but still I'm sure it's itchy & painful for her. It's still way too cold here to give her a bath so I'll wait until we get some really warm days. I've cut her back on the DE to 2 Tablespoons per day. Next week I'll cut her back to 1 per day. I've also added some Pro-biotics to her feed once a day just to make sure the good microbs are put back in for optimum gut function. My hay supplier hasn't been able to deliver my hay so I've upped her Alfalfa to 2lbs twice a day with regular hay the same. We've been having freeze warnings so the extra Alfalfa will help keep her warmer. 

For the most part, she keeps to her own schedule. There were a few "off" days, though I think for the most part she's just gearing up for spring. Hormones are beginning to wake up from their winter slumber & that's sure to cause some odd/off behaviors. 

I can't really say if her travel to her stall is habit, or routine. It could be that she's checking out the whole area before entering her stall. It could be that's what she's most comfortable with. Maybe she'll let me in on her little secret sometime... until then I'll just keep observing her. 

Tonight, for her late night meal, I think I spooked her a little. She had been eating leaves or limbs & when I opened the door she took off in a trot, nickering the whole way over to me. It was kind of funny, because she's never done that before. I don't think she was THAT happy to see me so much as it was that I had food for her. lol It's quite alright though. It's good to see her excited & moving good with a good appetite. As usual, she left part of her alfalfa to go eat hay in her stall, moving in a Z to get there. I dumped the rest of the alfalfa on the concrete, watched her walk away & just laughed. Ok Cookie... see you in the morning crazy girl. 

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  1. naturegirl
    Wait a few years and you'll be able to read her like an open book. Voted!
    1. Rene Wright
      Rene Wright
      Thanks. lol I hope it doesn't take quite that long, but I am enjoying the adventure! :)

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