Wednesday, May 20, 2009

In the pasture (finally)

The horses have been put out into their summer pasture, where they will basically graze undisturbed (for the most part, except for the occasional ride, weather permitting) until October.  It's a large, square area with a run-in shelter, so they can get out of the weather.
They have an automatic waterer, so horse care at this time of year becomes pretty easy around here.

The only dark cloud is...the flies!

We are finally having a hot day (cue the halleluja chorus), and so the May 'biting bugs' have appeared.  This results in fussy, fidgety, stamping, snorting horses.

I must go to the feed store and buy some bug spray (which only grants temporary relief, and also requires sneaky application since two of the three horses are scared of spray-and white cloths- it's a whole procedure, believe me).

Despite the bugs, I do look forward to the horses getting all glossy and fat (well, not too fat-although Joe and Ollie are looking thin.  Our farrier told us that many of the horses he's seen have lost weight because of the tough winter weather). They already seem so much more relaxed after a difficult winter.  It's a lovely sight to see them hanging out in the pasture just...being horses, enjoying the sun and the wind and the all-you-can-eat buffet, and dreaming about sleeping (as I'm told they all do) and perfecting the art of doing nothing!


Dusty Devoe said...

I always dread fly season. Dusty HATEs the spraying sound too. I will go around the corner and spray it on a brush and put it on that way.He still acts up. Rags seem to be an issue too. Stinkers! Three weeks ago I used Equi Spot. You apply it in several spots. Of course, he didn't like it either, but wasn't as explosive. It is working really good. You reapply as needed. In his case he was able to go three weeks. As we have had some nice weather. This summer I might have to do it every two weeks. It is pretty inexpensive. Approx $15 for 3 applications. I also just bought from Avon, Skin So Soft. Everyone is telling me it is great. I can use it along with the Equi Spot if needed. Good luck!

hayseed said...

Thank you! I will have to try Equi Spot!

natasha the exile on Mom Street said...

That doesn't sound to dissimilar to a description of my cats! They find a good sunbeam and dream about sleeping.

Although they don't get to go outside since it would involve playing in traffic...

Maria said...

I know it's got to be a relief for them to be able to use their energy for something besides staying warm, I don't know how ya'll do it, any amount further north than NC is just tooo cold for me & I'd never make it to the barn brrr(I'm a wuss)
I thought we had all the bug problems though, deer flies and yellow flies just seem to drink bug spray and do you have those flies that look like ordinary house flies, but have a bite that hurts like h..l. You can't kill those things with explosives :(
My horses seem to not mind the spray when I cut it with vinegar and citronella, I feel I'm poisoning them a little less, but with out a little chemical am doing nothing. I think the straight chemical burned or something because they seem a lot more excepting now, or maybe they just appreciate some bug reprieve.

Maria said...

PS also I spray a little, groom a little, they seem to tolerate it better in just a few squirts as we go. My guys have never been too bad about being sprayed though, but the happier and calmer they are, the easier my life.

Mary Olson said...

Worse than the flies are the gnats. Those little buggers burrow right in and cause nasty, bloody, scabby, weltyness. And nothing seems to work on keeping them away. I'm hoping to turn my two out this weekend. I've been waiting for the grass to get longer, Vet says grass contains too much sugar early in its growing season. I'll take his word for it.

LadyFi said...

Seems like the perfect way to spend the summer - minus the bugs!

Far Side of Fifty said...

Have you tried this??
U.S. Forest Service Bug Spray Recipe

1 cup water

1 cup Avon Skin So Soft Bath Oil

2 cups vinegar

1 tbs. Eucalyptus oil (found in health food stores)

Optional: few tablespoons of citronella oil.

Shake spray bottle well before spraying on horse, human or dog!

I have also heard recently that bounce fabric softner sheets attached to your horses mane and tail work well..all the golfers swear by the sheets in their back pockets.
We had a hatch of gnats, blood sucking buggers anyway..they leave welts:(

Pony Girl said...

Your horses look like they are really enjoying being horses! My horse is easy to fly spray, luckily. It seems to help a lot. I buy the stuff that is $20 a bottle. He gets really irritated by bugs, he's got sensitive skin. On trail rides, he'll shake his head on the buggy trails, flopping the reins all over. It can get annoying but I feel his pain!

C-ingspots said...

Beautiful horses! I'll bet they enjoy the summer pasture almost as much as you do. Ya know...about those pesky flies. We are trying out something new this year. They're called fly parasites. We get a shipment each month during fly season. They arrive via mail and are in a paper bag equipped with shavings. When you notice them beginning to hatch, you distribute the littly tiny critters in several poop pile locations. They eat the fly larvae and interfere (and destroy) the life cycle of the fly. We've only had 1 shipment so far, but they appear to be working! Amazing really! I have been told by many people that they work, but we are slow to catching on. For about $15 a month, that's cheaper and more environmentally friendly than buying expensive fly sprays.