We’ve had two horses in the backyard for the past six years. Melody is the alpha horse. After she eats most of her meal, she walks into Cookie’s stall to inspect if that meal is any better. Sometimes, the horses would finish their meal together, and sometimes Cookie would walk over to Melody’s stall. Either way, it was peaceful and easy.
This past March, our neighbor asked if her older mare could join our ‘girls’. We have an open area from the barn to the arena, and the only question would be if they got along. The first week we learned Melody inspected the new horses meal (London), but London would not go into the open stall. London would rather be hungry, than upset the apple cart. Our solution was to shut Melody and Cookie’s stall door during their meals. This solution worked fine, but was a bit cumbersome for me, because London takes approximately 3 hours to eat. So, we feed and shut barn doors at 4:30 AM and they are finished by 7:30 AM. We’ve discussed separating them, but they are all so happy together as a herd, I’ve dragged my feet on this idea. Although, it is December and starting to get cold in the mornings.
SHE WANTED A WINDOW?
While Melody and Cookie were confined for a short period of time, it become evident Melody was impatient. Melody whinnies as soon as I walk out the door, as if to say, “Where have you been? Hurry!” Even when London finishes her meal, Melody will lick the bottom of her bowl. When she does not finish it, the stall door is locked and Melody seems frustrated. Lately, we’ve noticed somebody has been chewing on the back of the barn. I have no evidence, but I think it’s Melody – because it started with her stall. I doubt she’s bored, she isn’t locked in a stall all day. I considered a mineral deficiency and have appropriate additives in each horses diet, but the chewing continued. Then, somebody started on Melody’s stall door (it is now almost a fully open space). Next, somebody started working on a window for the back of London’s stall wall. Finally, Cookie’s stall was compromised. The wood doesn’t disappear either. Some is small particles on the ground, but usually, I’ll find a long board on the ground. I wish I could catch them pulling out these boards – YES, I would videotape & post it.
I think the horses find their new window aesthetically pleasing and also use it for visiting purposes. I really have no clue, but here is a photo of one redecorated stall. That’s London looking through Cookie’s new stall ‘window’.
Now the people begin the process of repairing or maybe reinforcing the ‘windows’.