Ok..I love my Haflingers. I do. I have to keep telling myself that or I'm going to end up hog tying them and sending them up the river.
If I could count on one hand the things my mare has broken I'd be a happy camper. But I can't, I don't even think I could count on my fingers and toes. Before we moved to our own place I was keeping Annalie at a place that had three inky dinky strands of electric fence that didn't work half the time and the only type of enclosure was a very small falling apart run in. She never once got out or broke anything. She had to share seven acres of turn out with 9 to 12 other horses. The BO's only complaint was that if the water trough got empty Annalie would paw at it, stand in it and knock it over (one of those huge plastic ones).
We move here and fix the fence and the barn and she's only out with one to two horses on more acreage than where she came from what does she do? The first time I put her in her stall I went to take the horse that I had at the time riding. He neighed at her once we got over the hill and all of the sudden here she comes running for us. I get off my horse and walk back to the barn to see how she got out. She learned to push the stall door open. So we tie a cheap lead rope around it and clip it closed. What does she do? She learns to squeeze out the side of the door. Our stall doors are set on rollers by the way. So we install a bungee cord on the other side of the door. What does she do? She busts the door into five or six pieces. So my husband fixes it with metal plates on all of the corners on both sides of the door. So what does she do? She pushes underneath the door (like a doggie door) and hunkers down on her knees and crawls underneath it. (I watched her do this once). So we install two clips to on the bottom of the door. Getting her in and out of the stall has become a nightmare with the unclipping and unbungeeing.
So I started leaving the horses outside as long as the weather was okay. One day I come in the barn and it's torn apart. She broke the big metal sliding door, came in and had a field trip with halters, the wheelbarrow and everything. My husband fixed it three times before we finally installed FIVE clips and finally she can't get through it. One of the times she got through it she learned how to open the knob on the tack room where I was keeping the grain. So we ended up with a vet bill and had to install a dead bolt.
So now that we figured out how to keep her out of the barn she decides she's going to test the fence. One day our neighbor calls and says your horses are in my yard. She must have asked the mini politely to hold up the fence so that she could squeeze under it. The only horse that wasn't out was Davinci (more on him later). So we redid that section of the fence which we had planned to do this summer (it wasn't horrible but did need redone, we thought since she stayed in the electric fence she wouldn't test the field fence..wrong wrong wrong). Another time she ran through the fence beside the barn and was out by the road. My husband spent a day in a half fixing that.
So I decided that I would keep her in the smaller fenced off part "paddock" type thing for awhile (that'll teach her). It's only supposed to be a riding area so the only thing seperating it is thick yellow rope. She hadn't gone through it before so it was not biggie. The mini could go under it but Annalie didn't seem to care about following because there was grass in it at the time. Go outside to check on her and she had suceeded in convincing the mini to hold up the rope for her while she wiggled under it. Now she's taught the other horses to do it. So we've got to buy some fence to fence that in.
So this winter I thought it would be a good idea for the horses to be able to go in and out of the barn as they wanted. The grain had been moved to the garage so no matter what happened she wouldn't be able to get into it. We had installed a dead bolt, backward mind you because I'm not a key person and would have to make three or four trips before I remembered I needed one to get into there. First day she learns how to undo the dead bolt and open the door. We were keeping a few bails of hay in there so we didn't have to climb up into the loft everytime we needed hay. My husband reversed the deadbolt and I just left the key in it. She took the key out and lost it.
One day we couldn't find her anywhere. We searched high and low. We check the fence to see if she somehow managed to get through it (electric fence is on the list). Nothing seemed out of place and at that time (before they became enemies) Alice was Annalie's shadow and escapee friend. Alice was there waiting patiently for her food. I go into the barn trying to figure out how exactly they had escaped and hear a knicker. Annalie had somehow opened the mini's stall door, got into it and closed the door behind her. @@ So now she knows how to unlatch that door.
Another day my husband comes in and says. You've got to see this. I go out, mildly curious, to see what the deal is. My horse is in the garage, she completely dented the door until it finally opened (good thing I was out of grain and planned to get some that day) and had the hose wrapped around herself. She couldn't move because she was attached to the faucet. We had to replace the garage door. Needless to say at this point my husband isn't too pleased with her.
SO (here is where the rant comes into place) recently I decided I was tired of Annalie's shannigans but didn't want to leave the poor beasts out in the cold. My husband and I were going to ad another stall inside the barn anyway so why not go ahead and do it? He cut a large heavy duty metal gate in half and we sectioned off the barn in half. So that she wouldn't be able to get near the tack room, the garage, the small stall (now empty) or (goodness forbid) learn how to get out the big barn doors and out into the road. We got it half way done but then noticed that in order for it to look how I want it and in order for it to be easy for me we are going to have to install a 6 foot corral gate. No big deal we'll get one Friday, I have to go to Tractor supply anyway.
Until then we fixed the other half of the big metal gate temporarily (duh Amanda that won't work) until we can go out and get the corral gate. Annalie squeezed under it not an hour after I had it up and was standing on the side we sectioned her off from. So I go out with several concrete blocks (thanks for making my life easy, horse) and bungee them onto the bottom of the gate today. Tell my husband we are going to have to go get a gate earlier than what we had planned. I tell you he LOVES that horse.
The favorite part of my day is going out to spend time with my horses. Lately with the weather, the holidays and my new sleeping schedule it's been a little less than I like. So when I go out in the barn and Annalie and her faithful evil-doing-side-kick Willow (who doesn't even act innocent anymore) are on the wrong side of the gate, with Davinci standing innocently on the other side looking at me like "Don't look at me lady it was them that did it", and then she has the ordacity to nicker at me like she did no wrong! I was just a little mad. There were concrete blocks everywhere. In the process of getting through the gate one of them must have gotten their hoof caught and bent the gate. All of the things I used to attached the gate were broken. The clip to close the gate with was fine (the string that held it onto the wall was untied). I got a little angry and chased the horses out of the barn. I'm thinking to myself I'm done with her. She may be the smartest, best ride and prettiest horse I've ever owned but I'm completely done with her antics. I'm not done with her but it did cross my mind. Needless to say the horses aren't allowed in the barn tonight. Not until we install the corral gate.
I'd like to note that my horses are in now way shape or form starving. There is currently grass in the field and they are getting fed three times a day (no grain for the Haflingers). I've paid more on fixing stuff than I have for any of the horses.
Anyone in the market for a slightly trick trained, excellent riding, very smart, easy keeping Haflinger? (joking joking)