Those of you with ponies, miniature horses, donkeys or draft horses
know that keeping "easy keepers" from getting fat is a constant battle.
This time of year presents its own problems, with rich green pastures
calling to our equines... irresistibly calling, calling, calling.
My equines are in pretty good shape these days...
just slightly overweight, but not bad, truly, not bad at all.
It takes constant work and a pretty stringent schedule to keep them this way.
Years ago we fenced in a portion of our front pasture to use as a sacrifice area.
(I know.... it sounds as if we are performing some sort of sacrificial rite, right?
We are not.... I assure you.)
Our sacrifice area is our dry lot...
a large area with room enough to run...
but no room to graze.
Throughout the day I give the horses small amounts of hay to nibble.
Small amounts, often, break up the boredom.
And for a couple hours a day,
they party in the front pasture.
They eat and run and munch and play and feast their little hearts out!
You would think that with such a short time grazing,
I would have a difficult time getting them to come back into the dry lot again.
But not so.
Usually, as soon as they hear my arrival at the barn, they come running.
Well, two of them come running.
Moonbeam and Donnie are always first back to the barn.
Knowing that their yummy grain
is being served brings them enthusiastically home again.
( I don't actually feed grain, but feed a vitamin mineral supplement.)
The donkey gals are also eager for their grain,
and so they come as soon as they hear me call.
well, that's another story.
Ollie takes a little cajoling,
well, Red refuses to budge.
That is, until I head out into the pasture and chase him back in...
clapping my hands behind his butt.
When their afternoon meal is consumed,
it's time for a nap.
And speaking of naps....
TomTom finds some of the most unusual places to relax.
Like in the midst of the pampas grass...
He's one barn kitty who really knows how to relax!
And with no modesty, I might add!