Monday, November 15, 2010

Trail Ride and Tucker Trouble

The Vet Is Coming Tomorrow

I lucked out and my vet will be here tomorrow afternoon.  The only downside is that it is supposed to rain for most of the day.  Doing a soundness exam in the rain is not exactly my idea of fun.

But what will be will be.

I took Chance out for a longish trail ride--back to the flooding and home again.  I was going to trot along the edge of the woods, but Chance's preferred gait is a nice little rocking canter, so I let him.  We didn't go far, but it was fun.  He gave a little spook at a pile of logs going back into the woods, but aside from that, he gets an "A+" as a trail horse.

Later in the week I will be riding him over to one of the farms on the other side of the woods.  Something has spooked the two horses living there so that they do not want to go out into their pasture. Since Chance is a pretty level headed fellow, we thought we could put him out in the pasture to see if he was afraid of anything out there.  If not, then we know it's likely something that's not there all the time.  Hunters? Coyote? Wild turkeys?  Something else?  Not sure we'll solve the mystery easily, but at least Chance might give us a clue.

When I got home, I needed to tidy up the barn, sweeping and such, for the vet visit.  Then I decided to go out to poo pick the arena.

I made a BIG mistake.  I left one of the inside stall gates open and had not put up the stall guard across the feed room door.

When I came back into the barn, Tucker had climbed into the feed room and was standing there, trying to decide what to savage.  He hadn't opened the feed bin and wasn't in the alfalfa cubes. Instead, he was just standing there.

We've been through this before. Tucker is 16.3 hands and big. The area of the feed room is narrow.  Once he climbs up the step inside, he simply can't seem to figure out how to back out as each time he steps back reaches the step down, he freaks.  I moved the tractor out of the way so he could just walk through out unto the lawn area, but that requires a step down and he is totally convinced he is going to hit his head on the top of the door frame.

The obstacle course for making an easy exit is simply beyond his grasp.  A gap in his education, I fear.  (I d remember facing something exactly like that with Russell R. when I moved him to a barn with a step to get in and out of the door.  I had to train him to step down and out.)

So there we were with a big fat horse wedged in the feed room, refusing to either back out into the barn aisle or walk out into the lawn.

I decided the forward option was the best one, so I got behind him with the dressage whip and tapped....

Somehow, and he never ceases to amaze me, he managed to turn himself around and then proceed to clamber out into the barn aisle.  Rather a wonder when you consider how big he is and how little room there was to turn around.

I have sworn over and over not to make that mistake of leaving the door unguarded, but once again, I failed.

DUH!!!!  Well, at least I will remember to be careful for another few months until my memory fails me again or I get distracted by some other activity.

Leave a way for Tucker to get into trouble, and he will find it.  Silly boy.


  1. Good that the vet is coming out so soon, hope it doesn't rain. Your ride sounds nice, wonder what monsters are spooking them. Guess you'll find out next ride. I'm not amazed at all that Tucker could turn himself around like a pretzel and get back into the barn aisle...It just goes to show what good flexibility training he's had!

  2. Hmm, pretty good maneuvering for a lame horse. Sometimes I wonder what goes through their heads. Then I realize I'm probably better off not knowing. Ignorance is bliss! *L*

    I hope the vet is able to figure things out!

  3. I'm imagining Tucker stuck like Winnie the Pooh after too much honey.
    Hope the Vet finds something easy to fix tomorrow.

  4. Glad the vet is coming out quickly, I hope everything is OK.
    Your story of Tucker in the feed room reminds of Fawkes in a tiny 2 horse trailer that he barley fit in with a middle divider. Somehow while driving home fro an outing he managed to unsnap his halter, completely turn around and hang his out the back of the trailer.

    They sure can be quite nimble when they want to be!

  5. I love the Winnie the Pooh comparison, Maybe it's time for some agility training - or maybe a self closing door or maybe a more narrow entrance that he can't possibly get through. They don't think ahead, do they.

  6. Anonymous10:25 PM

    Glad the vet is coming and that Tuck got out of his predicament!

  7. Tucker gets A+++ for personnality! As Shannon says he is pretty nimble for a lame horse. I doubt he is that lame, just physical discomfort from arthritis.

    Please take a picture next time. It will be fun to see that Fat Boy stucks in feed room ;-)

  8. self closing door hinge sounds like it would be a plan....what a silly boy! but at least he hadn't had time to decide which feed to stuff himself with..