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She's Not a Baby Anymore!

Early spring saw some immediate changes in how Ellie carried herself and our dressage work started to truly improve.  There had been times last year where flat work felt like a fight and I wondered to myself if she was ever going to just relax and listen to me haha.

Thankfully, as the title suggests, Ellie has suddenly grown up in front of my eyes.  We have had some really stellar lessons lately, where I feel like I am suddenly able to make things click.  We also had an incredibly frustrating dressage lesson a few weeks ago where Ellie was in rip-roaring peeing heat (not normal for her) and we worked through 45 minutes of her refusing to bend right.  So, ya know, as much as she is improving, she is still an opinionated redheaded mare!  ;-)

But, I have to give her credit because she is really working her little butt off for me!  Sadly, I had not been able to schedule in a jump lesson before our first three-phase, which led to me riding her ridiculously backward at a slow trot the entire …

Pony Prison

Miss Reva has been a naughty pony.  She went through a bad phase for a few weeks of breaking through the fence every day or two.  She would often just join Sparky in her adjoining paddock/pasture, so it was OK.  She knew that the shock was minor and it only hurt for a second, if at all.  With the dry weather, my charger was not working up to par.  That is fine with my two older mares, who went for years without needing the fence turned on.  

But one day Reva decided to break FREE and take a stroll around my yard.  It all ended up being alright because I was home and discovered her quickly.  But with only a few days until school began and I returned to the classroom to teach, I realized I had to do something to keep her safe and do it quickly. 


I considered a round pen, but soon realized it was rather costly.  Plus I really did not want her in a round pen.  X-P And while a nice wooden or vinyl fence would be nice, it is not going to happen here.  Maybe someday when we build our dream farm on our piece of land in the neighboring town, but not at the farm here.


In talking with Al, the nice guy who knows everything and happens to own my local feed store (LOL), he suggested I try a taller fence and actual wire fencing.  (Well, truthfully he told me to shoot her, to which I laughingly told him was going to happen if she did not stay in her fence....JUST KIDDING! It was a joke...hope no one is offended!  LOL!).  I use the Baygard wrapped wire which I think was just not delivering enough charge.   Plus, my fences are sort of short, and with Reva almost 16.3 hands, she was too tempted to lean over it and whoops, then she was loose.  So he recommended actual wire....which made me nervous.  I wanted her to respect the fence but not get hurt if (when?) she went through it.  He assured me it was aluminum, not steel, and would break easily if need be.


So, with six foot posts and a 1/4 mile of aluminum fencing, I made the decision to buy a new charger too.  I told Al I wanted the best shocker he had.  The one I bought he told me would restart my heart.  Perfect.  LOL!

I spent the better part of three hours replacing all the fencing in her paddock.  The fence was soon up, with three strands instead of the previous two.  It was over my 5 foot tall head, which was excellent.  The tested out the charger and it SNAPPED like crazy.  YES!  I turned Reva out and plugged that bad boy in. 


It was classic.  Reva was very interested in the new fence, of course, being the nosy little mare that she is.  She walked right up and put her dainty little nose right on the wire!


SNAP!  Within a half second, she was sitting on her bum and then JUMPED and TWISTED around.  She stopped, snorted, and looked at the fence with very wide eyes.  OUCH!   She rubbed her nose on the ground and looked at me as if to say, "WHAT was THAT?"


I am happy to say it has been two weeks that Reva has stayed contentedly in her Pony Prison.  I hate the look of the wire, but it is stretched tight and is safe.  Most important, it keeps her IN her paddock, so I can go to work and not worry about her.  


Oh, Reva, my foolish baby.  :D

Comments

  1. Is it just me, or do you get a slight satisfaction from watching them shock themselves on the wire that first time? *evil grin*

    My mare used to crawl under my fence, just tolerating the little shock she got during the process because it was worth being able to roam around the yard at will.

    Then, I bought a new fencer... turned it on, put her out in the pasture, and sat back to watch.

    The look on their face is priceless. Respect my fence, mare!! :)

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  2. Hmmmm, I got spoiled by my first standie mare, who had never experienced hotwire before she moved to my place. Put her pretty little nose RIGHT ON THE WIRE, about 10 feet from the charger. And Never. Challenged. The. Fence. Again. I literally kept her in a maskingtape and baling twine fence one night (long story).

    My current mare, however, keeps track of the fence and the level of charge. If the fence isn't "hot enough" she walks through it. Sigh. We put up field fencing on the perimeter (in addition to the hot wire) and test the interior hot tape frequently...although I'm not sure why I bother testing. Fiddle will show me the MINUTE the charge fails.

    Bigger sigh....

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