Monday, February 25, 2008

Wally the Destroyer

We had two nights of rain. While I just have Wally right now, I'm really trying to make an effort to treat him like my treasured One and Only. So, being the hovering Horse Mom that I am, I decided to put him up in one of the fully covered, enclosed corrals for the two stormy nights.

He usually lives out in a big paddock with a large shelter with mats underneath the roof. But it's open to the elements, otherwise.

The covered corrals have mats and shavings. Oh. And my husband temporarily installed a big, huge square of thick plywood across the front of Lexi's old corral. Why? Because she was The Golden Princess, and my husband felt she needed extra shelter from the wind and rain. Wally's corral had no such partition.

Naturally, what do I do? I put Wally in Lexi's old pen for bedtime, because I wanted to pamper him a little. The first night went well. He rolled in the shavings and seemed to appreciate the coziness. He was even nice enough not to stretch his head over the white vinyl fence boards and chew on the bare plywood partition. Even still, trust me: I was up at the proverbial crack o' dawn to shuttle him back into his turnout paddock before the spell wore off and he morphed back into his usual destructive self.

Last night, the storm was over but the ground in the turnout paddock was still quite damp, and one of Wally's front shoes was already loose. So I figured, "Why not tempt fate once more?"

I put him up in Lexi's old pen again.

My husband said to me, "Are you sure you want to put him in there, and not in his own covered corral, the one with the wire fencing on the inside?"

Nah. What could go wrong?

I found out at oh, around 2:30 a.m. My bad arm was really bothering me, so I couldn't sleep, anyway. I was half-asleep when my husband sat bolt upright in bed and said, "I think Wally's kicking!"

What? My Wally? The bad boy who's undergoing a change of heart?

Then I heard the crash. IT WAS LOUD!!!

I ran outside in the moonlight, clad in a unlikely outfit of flannel pajamas and muckboots. Wally was standing up, but the plywood partition was cracked in half. And one of the vinyl boards-- the center one-- was split into several pieces. I took Wally out and checked him over. He was coated in shavings. Tthey clung to his long flaxen tail. He seemed a bit dazed. In the dim light I could see that he had some minor scrapes visible on one of his hind white stockings. My conclusion? He'd become cast, got his hind leg over/under/between the rails and kicked violently to free himself. In this instance, it was a good thing that the vinyl was fragile enough to break. Many years ago my mom's best Trakehner mare got cast in her box stall and fractured her sesamoid attempting to right herself. She was never sound for riding after that.

Needless to say, this morning I made another trip to the fence company. They're conveniently located a few blocks from my house, which is a good thing because I think I've already replaced every one of the vinyl post caps. Wally thinks it's fun to pluck them off the top of the posts when he's bored and use them as hockey pucks. Thus far the gals who work the front desk haven't yet said, "So, what's that big Paint horse of yours done this time?" Because, don't ya' know, I always have a story to go with my order request.

When I began my Wally Saga, the blonde lady with the calculator said, "Well, at least you don't have pipe corrals. The other night my girlfriend's horse got cast and I had to go over and help her. We had to unbolt the clamps holding the panels together in order to get him loose."

So I guess I should be grateful for small favors.

Luckily I got out of there for only $4.20. There was a sale on used vinyl fence parts, and there was a board just the right length. How fortuitous! It popped back into the slots and Lexi's old corral was as good as new.

However, how much you want to bet that if there's another storm Wally will be spending the night IN HIS OWN COVERED CORRAL, the one that's fenced in like a prison, so that he can't get his legs wrapped around the fence boards?

An even better option? I'll put his waterproof rain sheet over the top of his blanket and just leave him in the paddock. After all, he is a tough guy, right?

Next up: I secretly begin my hunt for another horse so as not to upset my husband, who has this silly notion that I'll learn to appreciate having just one horse. Uh-huh. Right. Like does he not know what kind of horsewoman he's been married to for 25 years?


Anonymous said...

Oh goodness! You sure got lucky there! I'm glad it wasn't more serious. What's Wally's paddock like that he can't get cast in it?


Jessica said...

Oh Boy - I've had my fair share of destructive horses. Glad Wally was alright though! - That can be pretty scary. Sounds like he needs the calming influence of a mare...hehe :-)

Cindy Hale said...

Wally's pen-- specially designed for him-- has heavy-duty wire mesh panels all around the inside. That way he can't reach over the center fence line and annoy another horse... which I don't have right now but hope to have soon. Also, the wire keeps him from chewing on the vinyl rails. And from lying down at night and getting his feet through the rails.

Right now I'm Wally's "buddy" but who knows. I may end up with another little mare. Wally would probably like that!