Had to haul in another almost $300 worth of squeegee to clean up the stalls – one mucky, wet winter. But everybody’s doing fine. Geneva says not to worry about thrush till it gets warmer – as it will soon enough now. So this year, I’m going to get better at cleaning out hooves. My hay has been super this year, bless my farmer, and it looks like we’re going to have some thirty or so bales left over after the pasture opens up. Bought 162 then 12 more, and it was almost absolutely perfect, which is saying a lot, if you know anything about hay.
The baby is HUGE. Taller than Zi or Jetta – maybe bigger than Dustin, which will not please him at all. The other day, when I was mucking out the open stalls while the great fur-balls were eating, I once again faced the two butt ends of Zion and Tiger (the baby) who share a stall when they eat. They make this V with their heads apart and their back ends together. When I need to get between them, I either have to take my life in my hands, or go around to the barn door and come at them from the front. Neither is acceptable. So I have started going in on Zi’s off side, between the barn wall and his body, then leaning on him with my arm over his back, and pressing on his far side to get him to move into me.
I know that’s chancy – being pinned between the wall and a thousand pound body is not a great experience. But at first, he didn’t get what I wanted him to do at all. So I’d squeeze in further, duck under his neck, come up on his other side, between him and the baby, press on his ribs and get him to move away from me.
A week or so ago, I tried the move-into-me trick again, and lo and behold, he moved right over as I asked. I scooted up to his head so as to be out of the way, and he had the most irritated look to his ears. But he did it. And the next day, he did it again. He doesn’t welcome the intrusion – he IS eating, after all. But he got it.
Yesterday, when I was cleaning once again, I looked at those two great behinds, and at the muddy ground, and didn’t want to do either thing. So I just said, “Zi. I need you to get over. Can you get over?” And he did it. No ears this time, just crossly shifted his weight and moved completely aside for me – no touch, no push on my part. Just language. It was the coolest thing ever.