I wrote recently to Mel Gibson about an update to her comics resources web site, and I must have complained about the weather, because she replied "Currently leaving the house to feed the horses around 8 am, so we are now expert at digging out the car, then the stables! It takes 4-5 hours a day to sort the horses out and get home again." That’s impressive! And Mel has given me permission to share her explanation here:
Ach, our horses cannot fend for themselves at the moment, as the land is so frozen that there is minimal food to eat (grass popsicles do not offer much nutrition). We have to break the ice on all water supplies to ensure they get to drink. The hours are needed to ensure they are healthy and get to socialize, as they are lost without contact with the herd. I wish it were easier, but the weather has been exceptionally challenging.
In the spring and summer, when there is grass to eat, they can do without humans and just trot over to see how you are and have a ‘chat’. They typically then suggest to you that eating grass, or simply hanging out with them is an excellent way of spending the day. If you seem unwilling to participate, they wander off to see their pals again. At that time of year, if you can convince them that you should be allowed to get on them and ride then you both have a lovely time. Riding is always a negotiated experience. However, right now they need as much hay as I weigh, each day, and David and I need to supply it.
Not so much what we do for fun, more that once you have a horse in your life you are responsible for them. They are a kind of midway ‘tween dogs and cats, being clever enough to suss there is a problem, but not clever enough to manage to sort it out on their own.
Hooves a total swine regarding leading an independent life. Paws a great thing re the same.