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Posts Tagged ‘spotted donkey’

donks

Teddy and Louis enjoying the morning sun.

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Here’s how the horses’ field looked at the beginning of June. Look at all that lush, green grass! Yummm. What a great summer they’ve had. Plenty of pasture and days and days to enjoy it all, the sunny days, the rainy days, dark cool nights, it was all good. Except for the bugs.

But now it is nearly October. The grass has been nibbled away and the four companions need a handout of hay every day to supplement their pasture. The plants that are left are mostly milkweed and goldenrod, going to seed. Well-worn trails show their favorite routes through the field. At least the bugs are mostly gone.

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Unlike many older horses, who sleep standing up, Mousie likes to lie down every night. With the nights growing colder, the ground is just too damp and uncomfortable for her. When I saw her limping painfully on a couple of mornings I knew it was time to settle her back in her stall at night. The dampness is just too much for her aging joints. In her stall, she has thick rubber mats over a sandy surface and a fluffy bed of pine shavings to settle down on.

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So now our evening routine has changed. When the horses come in for their evening grain, Mousie and the two donkeys are shut into their stalls for the night to enjoy their hay. I leave Czarina’s stall door open for her. She cherishes her freedom, but won’t go far from the barn without the others. In the morning, they all have their morning grain and then return to their pasture.

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Having Mousie and the donkeys in for the night means stall cleaning chores in the morning. I often have an audience for this. Certainly the two little boys, Louis and Teddy, are insatiably curious and love to watch me work. Sometimes the girls, Mousie and Czarina join them, not out of curiosity, but in hopes of a treat.

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And some days, their wish comes true!

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Light horsekeeping is one of the many attractions of summer. Once the weather is nice and there is sufficient pasture, my horses are very happy to be living outside. In winter, they stay in their stalls, out of the weather, at night, but once hot summer days arrive, nighttime is the best time for grazing, out of the daytime flies and heat.

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They still come back to their stalls twice a day to enjoy a small serving of grain. This lets me check them over and make sure they are alright and apply bug spray or attend to scrapes as necessary.

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In the morning, I walk out to the field and call them to come in. Teddy often leads the way.

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Everyone returns to their own stall. Mostly. Here’s Mousie, getting down to business.

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The donkeys share a stall, where they each have their own bucket. Once Teddy has finished his own grain, he heads over to see if he can finish off Louis’s.

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Easy-going Louis doesn’t mind sharing. He’s a bit on the tubby side anyway.

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Soon everyone is heading back outside. Czarina usually leads the way.

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Mousie stops and looks back at me, sticking out her tongue! “You can’t catch me, I’m a wild horse!”

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Soon they’re all back in the pasture, happily grazing.

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Sunday Snapshot: Donkey Days

Louis

Teddy

Donkey Talk

Friends

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