A few weeks ago, I decided to night graze Bodhi.
It worked out really well, so I’ve been night grazing him ever since.
Have you heard of night grazing?
Well, it is good for a few reasons… mainly, the grass is less sugary at night. I like that.
The other reason I like night grazing is because Hubby doesn’t come home and have to play chicken with whatever loose and grazing horse happens to be ambling down the driveway.
You get my drift…
Here is a piece I found on night grazing:
Night grazing can be very useful. The best time to graze while gaining maximum benefit of forage without adding extra fat on your horse is between 3 am until 10 am. At this time pasture plants have used up most of the accumulated sugar built up during the day. Since there’s not many of us that want to set our alarm clocks to 2:45 am, what works for some horse owners is to turn horses out as late as possible in the evening (say, 10 pm), and bringing them in the next morning before heading off to work. Another useful alternative to night grazing is turning horses out on pasture in the early morning (like 6 am) and bringing them in by about 10am when plant production of sugar becomes high once again
I picked Bodhi to graze at night because he has the smallest paddock (it isn’t small) and because as a half draft, his idea of movement is to lay down and then get up. So, letting him out forces him to wander – which also exercises his mind, my favorite kind of equine exercise.
Anyway, I call Bodhi, “LawnBoy” because he does a better job of trimming the lawns than any human we have ever hired.
Our meticulous gelding will edge and trim all the way down the driveway, into the circular rock gardens, up on the hillsides to the arena and around back by the vegetable garden – he visits all areas in a smooth and constant rotation.
In doing so – being a good Taurean – Bodhi manages his work very carefully and this keeps his mind occupied and his spirit contented.
His lawn skills have made us, and him, very happy.
Until last night…
Let me digress a bit…
I suffer from Lyme Disease (sucks) and am presently trying a light therapy. This consists of much technology that I don’t fully understand, and a device velcroed to my calf when I sleep.
OK, so back to the story.
Last night, around 2am, I heard a gawdawful wail outside.
I sat bolt upright in bed and listened intently.
OMG! Bodhi is hurt!!!!!
I heard him thundering past the windows at a pace most drafts only dream about.
OMG!! A MOUNTAIN LION MUST BE ON HIS BACK!
I sprang out of bed, not fully awake, and threw myself downstairs amidst a choking quagmire of newly awakened puppies and an opportunistic cats mewing for an early breakfast.
“GET OUT OF MY WAY!” I screamed as I clawed my way to the front door
Now I was sure he was bleeding to death – he’d cut himself horribly on something awful.
As I struggled with Scarface images, I tried to put my boots on but I couldn’t figure out what was the problem…
AAARGH! WHY WON’T THESE GO ONNNNNN??
…and then I remembered.
I had lights velcroed to my leg.
Have you ever tried to remove velro in the pitch dark when you cannot find the ends?
OMGOMGOMG! WHERE ARE THE FLIPPING ENDS? as I grabbed furiously at my leg.
It was probably hysterical to watch but it wasn’t funny at the time.
Well, maybe a little.
I had puppies circling me while I hopped on one leg, cursing and thrashing at my calf, clawing and ripping at my very expensive light therapy device.
Out of frustration, I just shoved my foot into my boot, grabbed my coat and put my headlamp on upsidedown.
Thank Gawd it was a full moon or I would have been totally lost because for the life of me I couldn’t figure out WHY in the world my headlamp wouldn’t turn on!
He paused when he heard my voice…
“BODHI, WHERE ARE YOU? ARE YOU OK????!!!”
“Uh oh,” I heard him say.
The moon shone down and I saw them.
Bodhi had been taken down by the pony heckler.
The Slickster had thrown some sort of littleman barb at the big man – and that infuriated him.
Bodhi was running back and forth in front of the pony pasture while Slick raced on the inside, snaking his demon neck and baring his tiny, serpent tongued mouth at the crazed big’un.
Once I realized that Bodhi was fine – other than his ego being injured – I hobbled over to the barn to retrieve his giant halter.
‘BODHI, STOP IT! I-G-N-O-R-E THE PONY!’
B (innocently frozen in place): Stop what?
Me: You cannot fool me. Look how hard you are breathing.
B: What? I’m fine. Nothing to see here… (sweat dripping from the base of his ears)
Me: Here, put your head in your halter. Your fun night is over.
B: HE STARTED IT.
Me. I’m sure of that… but tonight, your job ends early.
B (sheepishly): Alright.
It was then that I noticed the very cold breeze.
I had no pants on.
It was 30 degrees and I had no pants, only my muck boots on with no socks and an upsidedown headlamp.
That was one thing the article on Night Grazing forgot to mention… you need a Fireman’s knowhow when something goes wrong… perhaps have an adult sized onesie at the ready.
15 MINUTES LATER I WAS BACK IN BED
I crawled back in bed, my skin the temperature of a sea creature.
I mused at Lawnboy and hoped he had learned his lesson and wouldn’t fall victim to the ponytude again.
Hubby was still asleep. He hadn’t heard a thing…
HORSE AND MAN is a blog in growth… if you like this, please pass it around!
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