The sun is shining and the temperatures are above freezing--for the time being at least. The snow is melting, but when you have two feet of snow, that's not saying much and it's a long process. Trouble is, there is another storm headed this way for the beginning of the week. It's still not clear whether it will hit here, how much snow there might be, or if it will be a rainy mix instead. Frankly, this winter has caused enough trouble already.
The snow appears to be melting, although my solar panels are still under several inches of snow cover. The sun is helping but it has a long journey before its rays penetrate to the lower levels of white we're stuck under.
Meanwhile, I am trying to organize all my information for filing my income tax. Each year, here in the USA citizens are required to file a Federal Income Tax form to determine how much tax they are required to pay on their income. This year, mine is a mess. I have all kinds of little complications to sort out. Hopefully, I will have it all organized so I can file sooner than later. It is just a chore getting everything together.
This, of course, has prompted me to to a bit of cleaning. But around here, cleaning one thing triggers the necessity to clean something else, which necessitates something else....and so on. What starts off as a little project of tidying up becomes a large adventure in full scale cleaning. As I am not the most organized person to start off with, the challenge can be daunting. Oh well, it had to be done sooner or later.
I fed the Boys and cleaned the stalls this morning when I fed, so the basic outdoor chores are done, at least. With the horses turned out at will they do not make a big mess in their stalls. I'm a bit surprised this time of year, since I'd think they'd want to stay inside more, but I guess being out is far more entertaining for them.
I often think of horses that are kept in most of the time with very little turnout. I've read that in some of the top competition barns, some of the horses are in for the bulk of the day with the only time out when they are in a supervised exercise/training situation. I simply cannot believe that is good for them.
I grant you, 24/7 turnout may not be ideal and there is a lot to be said for keeping horses in under shelter for part of the day. When my horses were boarded out, they were usually inside either during the day or during the night as the season warranted, and they seemed perfectly content. But even then, to me, turnout was an essential service the boarding facility needed to provide. In most cases, it was turnout in a herd situation of some sort, with the geldings usually separated from the mares.
Horses are social animals and seem to be much more content with the contact and companionship of other horses. But, I suppose of you've spent thousands of dollars on a well bred competition horse, you are highly unlikely to want that horse out with other horses that might bite, kick, or injure him, even if it was in play.
We are our horses' caretakers, that's true, but how far should we go? Somehow I have to feel sorry for the horses that are so taken care of they never get a chance to simply be horses.