We've been getting rain here. LOTS of rain. So much rain it's nearly made up for the summer without rain. Alas, with rain comes mud.
Red, being out in the back pasture (he HATES being stalled), gets to live in the mud when it rains. The barn is on Texas blackland, which is well-known for turning into thick goo when it rains. Normally it gets to be about ankle-deep at the gate, but this fall, it's nearly knee-deep, and I am NOT making this up.
Last Thursday, B., who leases Reddums, went out for her weekly lesson, and went to get Red out of the pasture. She sent me this little gem to describe her experience:
"I had a nice adventure this evening with acquiring dear Reddums from the pasture. The mud at the front of the pasture was literally knee deep (waders would not have helped me keep clean today...). Although I usually use the tractor tracks to avoid this issue, the only ones were about 7-8 paces away from the main gate, and I would have had to recreate the "Swamp of Sadness" scene from the Neverending Story to cross it. Instead, I went through a 2nd pasture to reach where the horses were standing. Alas, I could not take Red through the fence with me. Thus! We got to pick our way through the mud back to the main gate where Red refused to go a couple of times ("Don't let the sadness get you, Artax...").
After about 20 minutes of negotiating ground (Red: "I'm not going that way" B: "How about here?" Red: "Nope." B: "I have cookies..." Red: "Oh ok. But this other way's better."), I finally got him out of the pasture with mud up over the knees of my breeches and halfway up my thigh...and upper arm....and...nose?? The lead rope was now brown as was part of his halter, where my muddy hand got to grab. We made it back to the barn with a whole 7 minutes left before my lesson started. Much washing, then riding (which went well, he's just out of shape), untacking, cleaning tack, then adventure #2: Leading out to the pasture...: stumble stumble stumble fall, open gate wide...."Ok Red let's go." Red: "Nope." B: Opens gate wider. "How about this way?" Red: "Hell no." B: Opens gate wider and steps in mud up to knees. "This is the way we came earlier....I still have cookies..." Red: "It's dark and there's an empty stall inside. I saw it." B: "You're supposed to be out here. Let's go now....whoa!" Loses boot and part of half chap. Grabs gate before falling. Red: "Now can we go inside?"
Anywho, I tried several means to get him into the pasture via coaxing and tried to safely force him (he kept slipping then backing up) to no avail. Since I couldn't walk in it, I had a hard time trying to convince him he needed to walk in it too."
The long and short of it is, Red got to stay in a stall for one last night before being tossed back out into the mud. At this point I am hoping that his shoes, especially the hind one with the pad protecting his old abscess, don't get sucked off and buried. And that he doesn't get hurt in all the goo. It is impressively muddy out there!