Sunday, December 26, 2010


This afternoon I placed the tires out by the electric poles as planned. That part was straightforward, but let me just backtrack a little. What with the arm and everything, I got a little sloppy the past few months with the herd's grazing routine. The plan is that I get them out of the grazing cell first thing in the morning, and let them back in around sunset. Needless to say, there can be arguments some mornings, and sometimes they can also get a little spooked about something and not want to come through their gate and past certain areas. However, for a number of weeks we hit a nice routine and they were pretty much bringing themselves in. (They have to come in to drink.) Of course that just made me complacent, and so the rot set in.

This month, the grazing rotation brought them down near the house. That's great! Less walking and hassle to get them in, I thought. Especially in the winter weather. However, Bruce saw an opportunity and so started bringing them the short trip in to drink before we got up in the morning, and  taking them straight back out to the grass. Then with little further motivation to come in, they were difficult to round up. 

Bruce - 1
Kris - 0

A variation on that was that they would drink in shifts, and if they saw me coming to take the straggles out, the drinkers would run back in. 

Bruce - 2
Kris - 0

Then the gate became a very scary place, and it was like pulling teeth to get them in, even though they were so thirsty their tongues were hanging out.

As I only started the hay nets recently, and they were getting a lot of grass, they weren't really bothering to walk up and eat them most days, and I didn't always notice when the nets were finally emptied. The past week, though, I noticed that Bruce was bringing them in much better on the mornings when hay was available. While they were in drinking, we would zip out and close the gate, and they would wander up and get the hay.

Bruce - 2
Kris - 1

Later in the day, they would hang out at the loafing shed, or wander around the track looking for pickings of fallen leaves and stuff, basically waiting to see us head up to open the gate to the grass. Late in the afternoon, while they were focused  on the gate, I would put out hay for the next day. Perfect! Except, as I mentioned yesterday, Hunter wasn't getting to eat any. 

Late this afternoon I put out the tires, and the hay for tomorrow. An hour later when I went to open the gate I saw them already stuffing themselves on tomorrow's hay.  

Bruce - 3
Kris -1

I can guess that they will not be coming out of that grass willingly tomorrow morning. And I'll need to figure out a new routine. Probably put the hay out in the morning before I try to herd them out. I don't really mind. Being outsmarted by Bruce is one of the great pleasures of my life!


  1. Kris, this is super fuuuuunny!
    Glad you're doing better....
    Say hi to Mark and I'm wishing you guys - two and four-legged - a wonderful 2011!

    Petra Christensen
    Parelli 2Star Junior Instructor
    Parelli Central

  2. Thanks, Petra. I'm glad you enjoyed it.
    See you soon!