Berry: You aren’t helping my case

Dave thinks my beautiful, sweet, kind, considerate thoroughbred Berry is as dumb as a box of rocks. I frequently defend her, because I love my Berry. She reminds me of my first horse, a kind quarter horse named Clay, and it’s not just because their names are objects in the natural world. She’s been a great horse since the first time I crushed her tiny 2 year old baby bones, scarring my conscious forever.

Luckily it seems she forgave me, and despite being crushed, grew into a beautiful horse.

From several months ago, in order to appreciate her beauty.
Picture from several months ago, in order to better appreciate her beauty.

However, in spite of her kindness and good humor (or maybe because of it?) she’s totally relaxed with doing things like, running full speed into fences, rearing up and landing on a fence and being stuck, smashing her head into things resulting in a fracture on her face, pooping in her water bucket, and trotting right into crossrails, without lifting her feet.

With the temperature suddenly dropping, the water pipes at my barn froze. I tried hoping they would unfreeze, but this did not work. I had to use the same solution I used last year, which was move the water trough up by the house and fill it with buckets.

The horses all stood there watch Dave and I painstakingly poured each bucket in the trough. They even drank some water. I took this as them knowing and understanding that the water was right there. I even threw some flakes up hay around it, in order to encourage them to stay in the area and drink water.

I should have known that Berry would not figure out this was where the water was. Yesterday morning, I fed them as usual, and then hurried up to the house to get ready for work. Right before I left, I looked out and Berry was lying in the snow. This is not her usual sleep time, and I made a note of it. But I had to rush off to work.

On the way to work, I get the message that I should telework instead. This suits me just fine! I turn around and head home. When I arrive home, Berry is now lying in a different spot. I knew she was colicing. And I had the sense that it was because she was dehydrating.

I didn’t want another vet visit, so I sprang into action, filling up a bucket with warm water and a little salt. I brought it out to her, and she promptly rejected it, making the “oh this is gross” face. I walked her to the water trough, where she lipped it, and then drank heartily. Pony Man followed up and did the same, drinking like they (literally) had not drank all night.

Then I took Berry for a walk around the neighborhood, trying to get her to nervous poop. Being such a calm horse, this was a little tricky as she wasn’t really afraid of anything. But it was a fun little adventure, and she did eventually become excited enough to poop. If that hadn’t worked, next, I would have loaded  her into the trailer! That always makes them poop, am I right, horse people!?

She was released back into the pasture and ran around with the Pony for a bit in excitement. Vintage had drank the salt water I thoughtlessly left sitting on the ground, so I suppose she’ll be having a poopy day, but at least she found the water trough and drank.

I know that horses aren’t the most brilliant animals in the world, but is it too much to remember where their source of water is? It was only about 12 hours since I watched them drink water, do they really have the attention span of a flea, and can’t remember where they drank a few hours ago? Technically it could have been all of them, not just Berry, but Berry is the one who’s going on about her tummy hurting (by laying down), and she could have fixed it by drinking some water.


I still love my Berry though.
I still love my Berry though.

Hopefully this time she’ll remember where the water is, and drink regularly throughout the day. Although I’ll still lead her there after every feeding to make sure she drinks.

At least when I lead my horse to water, she does drink!

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  1. If that hadn’t worked, next, I would have loaded her into the trailer! That always makes them poop, am I right, horse people!?

    If they know the trailer is clean or if they know you have no choice but to step in it, they’ll poop every single time. Glad your horse worked it out on her own. 🙂

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