Dayo is warming up to life at Lone Pines. She is sporting a smashing new rain sheet, and has been enjoying fun in the sun in the paddock next to Chaos and the mares. Chaos, a firm believer that if it’s farm business, it’s HIS business, has spent some time getting to know her. For the rest, the novelty of Dayo has worn off, and she’s just the skinny mare who still smells a little funny in the paddock next door.
Dayo is thoroughly enjoying the ebb and flow of life on the farm. She has a clean stall at night, plenty of water, catered meals, a paddock with her own personal round bale, and plenty of grass and fresh water. She is conveniently located in the thick of the action, with a great view of the big front paddock, the round pen, the main barn, the house, the fields and drives with the machinery, the crazy chickens, Boots the cat, Jacob (formerly Sui Mai) the rabbit, and the sand ring (the only part of the farm she has not shown an interest in!).
She has gained more than 100 lbs and is a complete bun hound, galloping up at the fence to come in for dinner, and sticking her nose out to frisk the hands and pockets of anyone who enters the barn. Dayo is very well aware there is a large bag of treats conveniently located by the doorway! She seems to be averse to apples, will not eat anything once it has dirt on it, and, after two choking episodes, apparently does not chew her carrots very well.
Her personality is beginning to shine through. She is determined but not bossy, and very much a lady. A lady, it should be noted, with a significant passion for rolling over and over and over again in the mud. She has also spent some significant energy trying to impress us with her maternal instincts. She gazes longingly at Itchy’s baby, and trumpets maternally whenever Emma’s boy Vegas calls out from the round pen.
We did try to tell her that babies were not in her future, and that she was going to be a “riding” horse. It turns out that Dayo, like all ladies, has “looks”. She looked “beyond” us when she heard the news about babies. So much more sophisticated than Chaos, who is more of a “hoofs over the ears, lalalalalala, I can’t hear you” kind of horse.
She also has a very polite look of wonder. We’ve been working with her on the cross-ties, grooming her with a soft brush and a mitt. The cunning plan? to get her used to as many things as possible while she is in a weakened state 🙂 She has demonstrated a phenomenal patience with all the fussing, and seems to quite enjoy it, but when she’s had enough, or you hit a ‘spot’, she will turn her head slowly and give you that look of wonder (as in, I wonder why you are doing that, and perhaps you could stop?). If the look is not acknowledged, it is reinforced by the polite but undeniably pointed raising of a back hoof.
She has definite opinion about having those back hooves cleaned.
It seems that the repeated doses of lice powder have eliminated the “hitchhikers” on her skin, and the worming has helped with other unfriendlies, and the crunchiness under it. The combination of lice and malnutrition mean that her hair has been coming out in chunks, leaving some pretty spectacular bald spots, and we have discovered that where hair is, scurf is. Lots and lots of scurf. The other day, Evelyn took to the clippers to her, and removed as much hair as possible to help her stay cool in the hotter weather, and to clear up some gunk. A tough job, given the rough landscape of bumps and bones. Dayo looked and felt so much better, she did a little dance on her way back out to the paddock in preparation of a gallop. Of course, being a lady, she settled as soon as Evelyn told her no, and waited until she was turned loose. Then, as payback, she rolled thoroughly and well in the mud.
This weekend, if the weather actually warms up, Dayo will have another bath as the war against scurf begins in earnest. Her coat is so short, and there are so many bald spots, that she is covered in vitamin e cream, and will get some super rose oil conditioner to keep her skin moist and healthy while her hair grows back.