It was too wet to ride today, so I groomed Pepper and hand grazed her for a while.
When I got there, she was in the round pen and not with Comet. I'm peeved that they've been separated after being put together in the first place because Pepper really hates being by herself and the round pen is somewhat secluded. Plus, the round pen is not adequate turn-out for her... it's small, super muddy, and there's no grass at all.
There are eight pastures/paddocks on the property. Four have grass and the others are just dry-lots. They also use the arena for turnout (which also bothers me but I'll get to that in a second).
On the farm, there are only ten horses. One is in a dry lot with a 'stall'/shelter thing in it. Six are in the main barn, and three are in the trainer's barn. So, ten horses for eight paddocks? And my horse has to be in the round pen? I just don't understand why she rarely puts more than one horse in a paddock at a time. These are herd animals... back at the old barn, we had one huge pasture and every single horse on the property was turned out at the same time, in the same place. The pasture was large enough that if two horses didn't like each other, they just didn't get near each other. We never really had issues with fighting. Occasionally someone would come in with a minor bite, but that was the extent of any head-related injuries.
Our trainer moved barns once at the old barn and took most of the horses with her. The barn we moved to already had horses. We just let them out to be horses, and they had a few squabbles, but after a week or so everyone learned to get along without injury. There were 11 horses, so I'm not talking about a gigantic herd. Although there was a point before we moved that there were probably 20 horses together, but my old trainer had to sell a lot of them.
I honestly prefer that to having only a few horses turned out in separate pastures. Now, I haven't done research but I feel like it's kinda common sense? In the wild, horses stay in a herd. They're herd animals. Obviously, there are some exceptions, but in general, I don't like separating horses into one or two per paddock. Also obviously, I'm not an expert so maybe there's been research done to show otherwise but still...
So all that was to say that I think all of the horses should, at the very least, be in pairs in their paddock. Today when I went, there were only two pairs of horses together. So four of the ten horses had a buddy and the other six were by themselves.
Now, they can still see at least one other horse and depending on which paddock they're in, some can interact over the fence... which is electric so they can't really get too close.
Also, since there were two pairs and one horse was in the arena, that left three pastures that Pepper could've gone in. I realized, though, that all of those pastures were the grass ones. I don't understand why Pepper can't just be on grass? They have such a strict grass schedule and I don't understand it. At every other barn that I've been to, the horses were either turned out in a grass pasture or in their stalls. There was none of this "horse in pasture 1 on this day, horse in pasture 2 on this day, etc" stuff that I don't understand. It's not like they're rotating pastures to keep the grass nice either.
So, Pepper was isolated in the round pen that was so muddy that I got like 'suctioned' to the mud trying to walk in it, (there were
dry spots, but Pepper stood in the mud that was at the gate). She was separated from Comet after being put back with him. I'm going to ask why they were separated. They were together at the old barn for over six years, so I don't understand.
I had such a hard time getting her back in the round pen too after I was ready to leave. She planted her feet and did not want to walk forward. She hates being by herself. I'm sure BO knows more about horses than I do, but I know more about this specific horse than she does. And Pepper needs someone with her, whether it's another horse or another person. Before she learned to trust me, at the old barn you couldn't see the horses from the arena, therefore, trying to ride her alone was always really hard because she was sooo anxious. When I used to take her to schooling shows and to school the day before some 'C' rated shows, you couldn't leave her tied to the trailer by herself. I haven't been out to a show in a while to know if she's still like that.
Also, she is turned out in the arena a lot. So, sometimes I have to take her out of the arena where she's relaxing, groom and tack her, and then make her go back into the arena for work. I feel like this isn't good for her. Maybe she's smart enough to realize that if I go with her in the arena, it's work (whether riding or lunging) and if I let her loose and leave it's relax time. Who knows.
I need to buy myself a farm and run it myself
that's the only way I'll find a barn I'm happy at!
I'm not going to leave this barn unless things get really bad or BO doesn't try to help at all with the complaints I have. I'm not going to ask her a lot, but just things like 'please don't isolate my horse'.
Sorry for rambling again