Saturday, November 12, 2011

Oh Yea...It's Easy...NOT

Geez...I have been looking for my camera cord for the last couple of days so I could download pics and as I started to type this post...It dawned on me...I can just load them off the memory chip.

Duuhhhh!!!

Okay to avoid picture overload...

This was supposed to be a quick and easy project...

Putting up a hot fence to separate my one big pasture into two, so that I could leave Beretta out most of the time this winter. My plan was to give her and Spooks about 4-1/2 acres to themselves and just move a portable shelter and a hay feeder into their pasture so they can just hang out...
Okay, so putting up the fence was not that complicated or time consuming...It's mostly just getting everything you need gathered up that is complicated and time consuming. I had the poly-cord...but none of the accouterments. Several trips to town, several changes of my mind later and it was finally ready to assemble. The 'V' you see in this picture, I put in so I could get through the existing barbed-wire fence to fill tanks more easily. I know where I want permanent gates put in on this fence line, but am hemming and hawwing over whether I want to put them in now or wait until next spring when this entire fenceline is going to be replaced with either white vinyl or a post and rail. Knowing I am going to be changing the fence to something more decorative and will probably always need a hot wire on it to protect it, changed other things too...

Originally, I had intended to just by a solar powered charger, but lucky for me the guy at the store explained that if we had a power source within 50 feet of the fence, the electric one was probably a better long-term choice...and it was waaaayyyy cheaper...
Had the electrician not already been scheduled to be at the house to work on other stuff, I probably would have gone with the solar powered one just to get the damn fence up already! But it all worked out.

Everybody keeps telling us we need to plant trees along that fenceline I was just talking about and ordinarily I would agree that since that is the direction the winds are most prevalent from, that would be the thing to do, but I do dearly love my view to the south...
Everything went very well for the first few hours. Moon is the only horse I have that has been exposed to a hot fence, so I stuck pretty close and kept an eye on everyone. You just never know if a horse is going to run away like a lunatic or if they are going to be so surprised that they jump over the fence. I watched Moon in particular because if anyone was going to try that fence...it was going to be him.

Now, Moon does not like Beretta. For no other reason than he is a bully and he knows she will run from him. So I wanted to be close in case Moon decided to test the fence. I had already turned Spooks and Beretta out and then brought Moon and Frosty from the gate around the corner so they could get a good look at the new fenceline. They watched me build it, but still, I wanted them to clearly see where that new fence was.

Lord knows....I have moved my horses around so much that I have learned...It's usually not turning horses out in strange environments (if done like it should be done-in daylight, etc, etc) that they get hurt...it's when you change their existing living arrangements that causes wrecks. So anyway, Moon and Frosty stand there and look at the situation and then proceed to start mowing grass. I stood there for a bit watching to make sure Moon was not going to charge Beretta who was fairly close by on the other side. Moon thought about it and took a few steps toward her, but I watched him size up that fence and I'm pretty sure he was searching his memory banks about that white string-like fence. He must have found the last memory he had of getting zapped because he backed off.

So I go get Jet and Bugs, who are spazzing out because everyone else is out and they are not. Everyone had been up for a few days while I pondered this fence situation and they were eager to get out of their pens. I did the same thing with them, but instead of going to eating...those two go to playing...running, bucking, jumping, squealing...oh they were having a ball.

I got worried in a hurry. I had seriously debated between using the usual hot tape (easy) poles vs. pounding in steel posts. In the end, my laziness kicked in and I decided I would see if the little sticks would work. On the other horses, the stakes come just to the bottom of their chests. Yes, they could easily jump them, but I didn't think anyone would unless they did it the first time they got zapped and that was their reaction. However, watching the big bay and the short sorrel play, I realized that the big bay would step over that fence pretty darn easy if he so chose.

Holding my breath for that first little bit, I watched for several hours as everyone except Frosty got too close to the fence and got tagged. The fence seemed to have just the right amount of bite to it because everyone's reaction was to jump, run a few steps and then whip around and face the fence. Bugs actually came right back up to it and stuck his nose on it. Wow! Did he get back in a hurry. LOL

Anyway, to make a long story, longer....several hours later, I started hauling hay out to the pasture for the big geldings. My intention was to leave them out, because they had all figured the fence out and done all of their running and playing. I was going to catch Beretta and put her up for the night. I was not going to take a chance of Moon doing exactly what that jack-ass did.

As the other horses headed the other way toward the hay piles, Moon starts heading toward the fenceline. Spooks and Beretta were heading up toward the fenceline from the other direction as well. Moon ran up to the fence and got tagged. He jumped back, looked at the fence, moved down 20-30 feet and touched it again. He jumped back again. The 3rd time, that dirty SOB hit the fence...He charged it and pressed into it until he felt the stakes give. His sole intention was to go after Beretta and he did not give a damn that he had to shock the crap out of himself to do so.

I was already on the run when I saw him touch the fence the first time. I KNEW that that snake had planned. I had left my big whip by the fence just in case, scooped it up as I ducked through the fences and I charged at Moon screaming and cracking the whip.

Beretta, being no dummy, was long gone. The second she saw him coming, she hauled butt to the far side of the pasture. Fence or no fence...little girl is a self-preservationist and I have a feeling it will be many years before she grows up enough to handle much of a herd environment. That seems to be the norm for babies that are injured early in life. They learn the best way to protect themselves is to just l.e.a.v.e.

I'm pretty sure Moon was slightly disoriented from the shocking he gave himself or I might not have made it in front of him before he got the chance to take off after her, but as it was, I got in front of him and beat the ever-loving crap out of whatever I could hit. He decided turning around and retreating was in his best interest.

Has anyone ever had a horse that was so totally oblivious to pain they would do that to themselves just to get to another horse? I mean outside of a stallion that was trying to get to a mare in heat? Moon is just not right in the head. You guys think I'm joking when I call him the Spawn of Satan...and I am not. I swear that horse is 1/2 Evil. And no, he is not proud cut...he has no love for mares. He is just one mean SOB and if he can get the run on someone...he's gonna do it. I made a major mistake with Moon when he was a youngster...he was always a bully and a sneaky little shit, waiting until the perfect moment to bite or kick me. I should have put his nasty little butt in with some big horses that would have tuned him right up and taught him some manners but I was worried he would get hurt because he never seemed to back down...and now...this is what I am left with. Never again will I raise a foal that does not have a good nanny horse to teach them their place in life. Either they will learn or they will die I guess, cause dealing with a horse that grows up to be like Moon is hell on earth.

So, needless to say, I will be pounding metal posts in to string a 2nd line higher, which I wanted to avoid because this is a temporary fenceline. (heavy sigh) Next spring the whole thing will be torn out so the field can be replanted.

But even then turning Moon out while Beretta is out, even though she is in her own pasture, is not going to happen again. Moon just bought himself a very long winter. Beretta is going to get to enjoy living in a big space this winter and I am not going to worry about having to keep an eye on the Evil Dun Horse as he hunts for a way to get through the fence. I think that is the saddest thing about losing Turk. Turk kept Moon in line because Turk was the boss horse and he brooked no BS from Moon. Now there is no one to put Moon in his place and he is just making himself miserable trying to figure out ways to torture everyone else. I do feel sorry for the horse in that aspect...It must be hell to go through life feeling like you need to be miserable to everyone around you.

12 comments:

Chelsi said...

Wow, that is really weird! I havent heard of a horse doing that... pushing on barb wire or something that causes a continuous pressure or pain is one thing but a zap is something totally different! I knew a gelding who was used as a pony horse at a race track for years and years...he had really learned how to lean in to any kind of pressure, didnt matter what you did to him he'd just sit there and silently take it (it was really quite sad) but this thing with Moon is a different. Weird. That's all I can say:D

fernvalley01 said...

The dun ,are I sold this summer was a bit that way and I learned reading more about Moon that she has some of the same breeding Bug actually chased My bay filly so hard she wound up falling quite hard and tearing up her own shoulder, you would have thought that would have stopped her but nopw I had to go in a catch her before she killed Annie or herself . Finally put her in with the boys and let Johnnie tune her in. The other one was my hubbys big gelding, Sonny , he went trhough to Barb wire fences to attack my blind mare! when I got to him he thought it would be a good idea to challenge me ...NOT .He was one that if he wasn't working every single day , he got stirring up trouble , when he had a steady "job " he was a peach to have around

Mrs Mom said...

DAAAAAAYUM.

I bet Beretta misses Uncle Turk too.

Give her a smooch from me.

Anonymous said...

I think we have all known people like Moon can't get along with any one. Did you see the bare back barrel racing on Bush Babes blog? check it out.

Mikey said...

Boy, he's a jerk! That's not very nice, and to pick on a girl too.. some horses are just that way though. They've all got those funny quirks.

kestrel said...

Yup, I've definitely seen the type, usually performance bred, since that strong minded ornery mindset is wicked competitive. Boy are they a pain! They also don't bond to humans the same as milder horses do, they need a human who is willing to take them on and knows that winning the battle must be done at any cost. Weirdly enough people are drawn to the bond that they see you have with that type of horse, but would be horrified to how much whipping it took to make that horse's sorry hide likeable. Definitely not for the faint of heart! Some sled dogs are like that, also. It's like the bonding they do is through the job rather than meshing personally. If they love the job they'll love the person controlling the job.

You're one good horsewoman to recognize and deal with such a critter!

cdncowgirl said...

Where I used to board, they had a TWH gelding that was 'not right in the head'. If he decided to put the run on someone it was ON. Most horses didn't stand up to him so of course that didn't help.
He picked on Voodoo one day, when I wasn't there, and Voodoo stood his ground. After that Ty left him alone, like Voodoo didn't even exist. Sadly my poor boy got kicked and hurt, nothing permanent thank goodness.

Oh and this line: "It must be hell to go through life feeling like you need to be miserable to everyone around you."
I've said pretty near the exact same words to Pie about one of the cooks at work lol

Shirley said...

What a rotter! Hope he enjoys his own company, sounds like he'll be his own best friend this winter.

Crystal said...

Never had a horse like that...and hope that I never do. he sounds like a problem. I always try to put my babies in with an old grouchy mare, she wont chase them, but sure wont put up with any crap. Dont know what to do with that, but I agree with Shirley, sounds like a long winter alone for him.

Breathe said...

I told my daughter that very thing about one of those ... Witches... at school. She's got to be pretty miserable if her life is about being such a ..witch.
I bet Berretta will enjoy her big pasture. ;)

Funder said...

Moon is an asshole! Glad you got there with the whip - maybe it'll all get tangled up in his head and he'll associate hotwire with getting whaled on. :(

re: the fenceline - how about a hedgerow? Something that won't ruin that view but will cut the winter wind a bit - I think a fairly short hedge has a pretty big downwind impact.

Anonymous said...

'Ya know...I have this old broodmare that books absolutely no crap. I've never seen her take a dive at anyone...she just turns the evil eye and everybody scatters!!! When people come over the first thing I tell them is never let another one of my mares get between them and her or you will get run over if she wants to come visit you. Maybe you can find one of those cranky ol' girls to keep everybody in line. I'd offer my old girl (I'm just east over that big line of hills from you...that great BIG line of hills), but I'd miss her too much.