Saturday, January 28, 2012

That's Burr, Not Brrr


The electric fence is still jolt-less, and the boys remain locked into the lot.  G moved a new bale in to them this morning, their third for the winter.  They went through this last one a bit faster, without pasture-access for nibbling.  Unfortunately, pre-bale delivery, Sunny decided to go adventuring again - when I got to the farm  Thunder was waiting at the bale - Sunny was on the other side of the west fence in the tree grove.

The fence on that side of the lot isn't electric - it's woven wire topped with two strands of barbwire.  NOT ideal for horses, I know - but it keeps the sheep in, which is what G considers important.  The deer started crossing at a section near the passage to the top pasture last winter, and the fence there keeps getting pushed down.  Combined with the deep drifts we had then, Sunny and Thunder walked out over it once and had to be retrieved.  I fixed the low spot and ran an electric wire across the neck of the alley,   and since then the wire has stayed strung across, because the deer have kept using their trail. Periodically I have to fix that section of fence again, but the horses have respected the wire.  Of course, the electric was on.... 

With the electricity down, Sunny ducked under and followed the deer path back across the fence into the tree lot.  He can't GO anywhere in there - there's actually no gate into it, so the only way for him is back across the low spot.  (G takes the fence down on the far end a couple times a year and lets the sheep or cows in to eat the undergrowth.)  So he couldn't get out - but he did manage to find and collect a LOT of burrs. 

Back over the fence, I led him up to the waterer to get a drink, and then tied him up, retrieved a comb and started picking burrs out. 

Three quarters-finished with the front end...
Luckily, they hadn't been in there long enough to mat into a true brombie knot, but it wasn't pretty.

He had them in his fetlocks, too
Half an hour later he looked much better.


My fingers, however, were cold and full of pickers - wish I'd had a pair of leather gloves along, but since I was wearing knit ones, I had to take them off to avoid going home covered in burrs myself.  As it was I kept having to pick them off my sleeves.

Not exactly ashamed of himself, is he?

I fixed the fence again until the next time the deer go through, at least, and it should hold for the night, especially with a new bale out.  Tomorrow, if I can get the ground stake driven in, the portable fencer goes up.  That'll fix him!


Melissa Lynn D said...

When I was a teenager, my Arab mare got herself so full of burrs that I had to roach her mane and cut her tail about 18 inches long. There was just no way to get them all out - her tail was literally a solid club of burrs. That summer began the all-out rampage against the burdock in the pasture! That is the nastiest weed known to horse people!

SunnySD said...

Awful things - usually the sheep take care of them all before they get that big, but leave it to Sunny to find a whole big mess of them!