flicka fell down the side of the hill yesterday...the way we graded that new hillside is just not safe. sooo...once the new mini pig area is complete i think we will move on to fencing that area completely off and just absorb it into the future free range chicken run.
she fell cuz she does not like it down below in the lower pasture, it freaks her out. i thought it was just the newness of a different area but now i think it is more than that.
i know a few things about her past like she lived alone in a wild and over run and bushy field for many years after her owner passed away. the family did come by and feed her but she was basically on her own. i saw on the day that i met her, that she had a very small in and out cubby attached to the barn and i noticed there was a lot of coyote poop right outside of the open door. flicka was pretty thin and frail then, she wasn't getting appropriate nutrition for a 31 year old horse. so now i think she used to feel weak and vulnerable there and is afraid of our bottom field because it is wilder and bushier and she may think the coyotes are lurking around to torment her some more. she wants to stay in the upper pasture..it is wide open and easy to see if anyone unfriendly is hanging around...she is much calmer there.
anyway that's my theory, right or wrong... who really knows? all i know she is not having to go down into the bottom pasture anymore cuz she doesn't like it down there at all and i don't want her to hurt herself if she is freaking out and afraid.
unfortunately..gideon does like it down there and so does everyone else..and that hill is not safely graded so i better find the money to fence it off. as long as no one is running around in a panic like flicka, it should be ok until we can get it done....i hope.
you know...one of the reasons the animals usually do pretty well here is because of the stability of their daily routines. it is not that every second is micro-managed for them because they have large blocks of each day that are theirs to do as they wish. but they can always count on certain things...walks and goofing at the barn time occur in a predictable manner each day...breakfast, lunch and dinner arrive within fairly stable meal times, cleaning and mucking out all happen around the same time every day. and so they know how their day is going to flow...it is well known and comfortable for them.
i think it gives them a sense of security to move comfortably thru each of their days..there are predictable periods of high excitement when a lot of activity around them is going on... they have their wind down and resting times built into their day because most of our animals are really old and need some quiet time to recoup their energy stores too.
saints is pretty well equally balanced...very busy and oft times chaotic mornings, quiet evenings and afternoons. very little negative, freaking out or frantic energy from the folks around here...everyone usually is pretty together and calm..that helps quite a bit too. and it does seem to suit the animals because mostly they all do very well.
i think setting a calm and positive tone that surrounds them and keeping things predictable and comfortably routine in meeting their needs is half the battle in successful shelter care.
of course some special day things like doggy picnics help a lot too...we should have another one of those again soon.
except...(big lazy butt sigh...) i have my new 2 job schedule and i am pretty much working non stop until the end of august.
that is a wee bit of a drag.
oh but the good news...i am fully back to two finger typing today...YAY...i could type a longer post!