22 March 2011

It's All in the Manure...

I haven't been picking the pasture like I normally do...

No, I'm not lazy, although recent videos of horses in my field would indicate otherwise. I had to make some changes in my routine to accommodate Compa.

Perhaps you've seen this before... A new horse comes to the facility and when they are turned out, they run to the first manure pile and sniff. Maybe they make that funny face all horsemen know and love. Maybe not. Perhaps they turn butt and poop over the pile they just smelled or perhaps they run to the next pile and repeat the pattern.

Not so terribly interesting, you say? Well, maybe not, but Compa had never had the opportunity to do this very horsey thing before. And when he arrived, I had the pasture dragged and picked, so there wasn't much for him to nose around in. I should have known better, but I forgot. So when he arrived and was turned out the first time, he didn't have that wonderful identification process to use to his benefit.

Once I figured it out (a huge DUH!), I left manure in the pasture for several days. Oh the pure joy! Manure became his number one priority. He was fascinated by it and inspected every pile. He moved the little green apples with his nose, he made delighted faces, filled with rapture and tried his hardest to poop his scent over all of Carli's piles. He was marking. It was fantastic.

So here's a little "that's not very interesting" manure tip for you. Do you stall your horses? Do you have a messy one, who urinates and defecates throughout the stall and then drags it through the shavings, making cleaning a read chore? You know the ones, they cost you hundreds of dollars in shavings and stall freshener?

Use their natural instincts and cause them to mark. Take a fresh pile of manure from the opposite sex and place it in the stall on top of the shavings where you want your horse to urinate and defecate. You will need to repeat this for a few days, maybe up to a week. And no, it doesn't work on every horse, but it works on the vast majority.

How? Well, for the most part they are either offended by the intruder in their bedroom or they are delighted by it. Either way, they will mark their feelings by covering it with their own scent.

See if this works to clean up your messy mare or gelding.

1 comment:

  1. Huh. Wow, I never heard that before. When/if we ever get stalls, we will have to give that a try. The stuff I learn here ... ;)