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The Thirsty Zebra

Appreciating the harmony of  life...from the saddle


Positive.  Productive.  Progressive.

Bonus Loves the Water!

By Susan


Bonus in the Pond

My friend Shawn, from Eagle Hardware Farm and Ranch, posted this tidbit of information this morning and it was very timely since I was writing my blog about Bonus’ love of playing in the water.

“Did you know a bored horse may pass the time by blowing bubbles in his bucket or flipping his nose on the surface of the trough, splashing anyone who happens by. In summer, horses with access to natural bodies of water make the most of it, pawing, rolling and wallowing in shallow spots, enjoying the cool water and the respite from insects. More adventurous horses will actually swim through deeper bodies of water. All horses are natural swimmers when rider-less; they simply dog-paddle along, with noses held high, “blowing” rhythmically as they swim.”

When we lived in Northeast Texas, our neighbors had a great pond or stock tank as they call them in Texas, that their kids played and fished in. They were generous enough to allow me to let Bonus, my thoroughbred gelding swim and play in the pond too.

The first time I took him to the pond, I just sent him in, there was absolutely no hesitation on his part. It is HOT in Texas in the summertime, he just splashed right in. He immediately tried to roll. He didn’t realize the pond was deeper than he was,and when he laid down to roll his head went under the water. He got up shaking the water from his ears and then tried it again 2 or 3 times, he really wanted to roll in the water, he just didn’t want his head to go under.

He then continued to splash and play until he was sufficiently cooled off. He leisurely walked back home, grazing and dripping and very content.

Fast forward two years. We have moved to Idaho, no pond in the pasture, and a pretty warm evening. My husband and I were out setting pipe to irrigate the pastures. Bonus was wanting to play with something, anything!

First he picked up a rubber feed tub and flipped it up the air a few times. Then he moved to a big rubber feeder that was in his corral.

He tried to pick this big trough up and flip it like he did the small tub but it was hard for him to get a good grip with his teeth. So then, he decided he should put both feet in and try pawing at it.

I had forgotten how much he loved to play in the water so I filled it with water for him. He was so happy, if a horse had a smile, his would have been from ear to ear! He continued to paw and splash and stick his nose as far under the water as it would go.

When I used this trough for water in Texas, I had to put it up on another feeder to keep it out of his play zone. When it was on the ground he played and splashed until it was empty every time I filled it up. Since that was his water source, I couldn’t let him spill it all the time. But here in Idaho, he has automatic waterers that are situated in a way that he can’t make them toys for his entertainment.

So, from now on the old rubber water trough is his water park.

Happy Splashing Bonus!

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