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Trooper Tales: A Bite at the Wall and the Mats Underfoot


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#1 greygelding

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Posted 07 January 2019 - 08:39 PM

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A Bite at the Wall

In an attempt to keep the spoiled children happy I decided to put up some wood panels in front of their corrals as a windbreak. They are four by eight sheets of plywood placed four feet high. The horses can look over them but should be happy with a bit of a windbreak, or so I thought. There’s always an exception in every crowd. I failed to make the connection for a while but Trooper finally got his point across. He’s not a big fan of people hanging on the fence at mealtimes, laying his ears and looking as irritated and hostile as possible. Without food, he’s genuinely happy to see us and during mealtimes, we can enter his domain to brush and pet him with no problem. Lately, he’s become a grumpy guy and even got in a bite to my forearm. :o  It was a surprise but did little real damage. Discussing this as we fell asleep that night, we finally made the connection to the sixteen-foot-long “wall” in front of his shelter. Pam removed one panel and our happy gelding returned. :)  He’s on the small side with a lower neck set than the purebreds so it was an effort to raise his head high enough to get a good view. Now he can look through the fence once again and the neck can stick out between the fence poles for a better view. :D 

Mats Underfoot

The mats on the ground in the shelters have sunk a little and while still providing a firm surface, the water and mud have intruded leaving no dry place to stand. :(  I have obtained pallets to raise the mats for a nice dry floor. Shar was first and she carefully watched my progress. When I was finished she hopped up on her new floor and settled in looking pleased that, even at 14.1 hands, she could look down on the other horses for the first time in her life. :) Trooper was next and he had a great time eagerly helping with the installation. After putting the first two pallets in place I attempted to drag the mat on top but it was really heavy. :wacko:   Looking up I found Trooper standing on the other end. Moving him off I put the mat where I wanted it just in time as he stepped up and tested my work. Two more pallets in place, I almost had the next mat in position before it suddenly became heavy as well. :rolleyes:  Finally, it was in position and I started to place the next pallet while standing on the new floor. Suddenly I felt warm breath in my ear. Then I had a head resting on my shoulder as he tried to get a better look at my progress. :)   This continued until completion. He made the project take a bit longer but I enjoy interacting with the carrot crew and Trooper was having the time of his life. Every inch of his new domain was thoroughly inspected and he seems quite pleased with the results. Of course, I was inspected thoroughly as well and he was never more than two feet from me. As I headed toward the warmth of the house he stuck his head out into the rain, ears perked, watching my departure. One persons work can be another’s fun if it's done with a friend. ;)  

Mike


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#2 JRdesire

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Posted 07 January 2019 - 09:35 PM

Where are the pics Mike?  Trooper sure is a character!  

 

I'm curious about the pallets.  Do you worry that they will rot?  I know you are meticulous about your projects- just curious how you overcame the open spaces between the slats in the pallets.


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#3 BFF

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Posted 08 January 2019 - 06:46 PM

TROOPER!

 

God bless him. Funnest horse in the world.  I can just see him in my mind helping you with the installation!

 

Shocked to read he chomped on you though.   


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#4 greygelding

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Posted 09 January 2019 - 03:35 PM

Where are the pics Mike?  Trooper sure is a character!  
 
I'm curious about the pallets.  Do you worry that they will rot?  I know you are meticulous about your projects- just curious how you overcame the open spaces between the slats in the pallets.


This job is not meticulous at all. The floor is a bit uneven with the occasional soft spot where a weak board is located. The stall mats are high quality 3/4 inch thick and there is no danger of a hoof going through. I wanted something to temporarily give them a dry place to stand. We’re working in the rain to get them out of the mud. When all are high and dry I’m going back to level and secure all pallets together. I’ll also replace any boards that need it and add additional boards to reduce the space between although the boards in the pallets I’m using are pretty close now. This is a temporary solution and in the future I’ll remove and toss the pallets in favor of something permanent and worthy of the crew, although they seem pretty satisfied so far.

Yes, Trooper is quite the character.

Mike

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#5 greygelding

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Posted 09 January 2019 - 06:42 PM

TROOPER!
 
God bless him. Funnest horse in the world.  I can just see him in my mind helping you with the installation!
 
Shocked to read he chomped on you though.


Yea, I was a bit surprised myself and I think he was as well. I raised my voice at him and all the herd stopped eating and stared at me as well. I’m usually fairly soft spoken with the kids. Trooper looked as though he knew he’d done wrong. After we removed one of the front panels from his shelter, all was good again. The floor was put in a couple of weeks later so you can see we’re still buddies. No big deal, he was just expressing his opinion.
As for the floor, it was dark and raining so no pics.but Trooper had a ball! LOL

Mike
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