In the north east part of the US (or actually I think the entire US) there's been a heat wave for days. Topping out at 105 degrees today with a heat index of 118 (!!!), I decided Digby was probably sweating just standing in his stall, even with his fan on full blast. I work outside so I know I was sweating even if there was a fan around! After work, I drove over to pay the stall bound Digs a visit. Bad idea 1) I was hot and tired. Bad idea 2) I decided that it was so hot, he would probably behave outside his stall without a little "vitamin a", aka ACE to make him sleepy. Bad idea 3) There were people also hosing off their horses.
Honestly, had I been kicked in the head, I might of deserved it for thinking this was a good idea in the first place. So I jumped out of my car and got to Digbys stall to find that he had attacked his Likit ball last night. It was currently in three pieces. He looked rather pleased with his accomplishment. Obviously, he was annoyed that I hadn't put any more Likits in the past few days. Bad owner! Sorry Digby but they're like 4 bucks a pop and you go through one in under 24 hours... I can't afford to keep it fully stocked at all times. So I gather up the pieces, one of which is still attached to the wall (which is remaining there until I bring a screwdriver to take it out tomorrow. Hopefully it's still in the wall when I get there.) and take them out of the stall. I'm hoping this is fixable but it doesn't look good. He's out of hay so I toss him a few more flakes and put his halter on, chain securely over his nose. Ace or no ace, I always lead him with a chain now because he's, well, kind of mad about the whole stall rest deal and has no problem informing me of this.
We walk briskly down the barn aisle to the end, where a little girl is petting her horse. As she goes to say hi to Digby, he decides that she is pure evil and quite possibly satan. He leaps in the air, attempts to flee out of the barn, turns around and snorts at her. Mind you, she's like 9 and did nothing to scare him. Really Digby? Satan?? I don't think so... at this point, I begin to rethink my "oh it's so hot he'll be good I don't need drugs" decision but I'm soaked in sweat, I've been sweating all day and I just want to hose off my horse and go home to shower and sit in the air conditioning. Out we go. There's two other horses being hosed off but one leaves right as we get there. I don't recognize either horse but Digby is immediately IN LOVE. He gets super upset when the little gray pony leaves and throws a tantrum. On a scale of 1 to 10, it was an 8. That being said, I work at a breeding farm so I see and deal with everything from newborns to basically unhandled yearlings to racehorses to our 31 year old tease mare. I tend to see some wild explosions from time to time. The fact that this was an 8 is pretty darn impressive. I just start hosing, hoping he'll settle down to avoid killing the chestnut that's a few feet away. Digby decides that he is NOT going to stand even remotely still and proceeds to jig, leap in the air, rear, fly backwards and otherwise misbehave the entire time I'm hosing him off. I didn't even get to his hind end before I thought "this definitely isn't safe..." To make this story even more interesting, the chestnut leaves because he's starting to get upset that Digby is all over the place. At that point, I'm basically a kite at the end of a rope and decide to bail completely on the idea. I somehow throw the hose into the correct hanging spot and put on my best "I'm leading an unbroke yearling who's really bad" face. About half way back to the barn, Digby pulls his new favorite move, leap sideways, spin, rear, strike directly at your face. Uh, what? Not ok. Fairly sure I felt a breeze as his hoof missed my face. Not that a breeze didn't feel nice considering it was 105 degrees out, a breeze from a wild hony hoof is not exactly enjoyable. I hit him pretty hard and prayed he wouldn't kill me the rest of the way to his stall, ignoring his best impression of a wild mustang trying to protect his herd. Or something really, really bad. Upon returning to his stall, he promptly marched over to his hay and proceeded to eat like he hadn't been fed in years. Judging from his increasing weight, that statement probablyyy isn't true.
To sum up, in order to exit stall Digby will be getting his allocated dose of vitamin A. The only exception of the rule is to go to the cross ties that are 5 feet from his stall. It makes me wonder though... is it worth keeping him in the stall? Can't a girl and her wild hony beast hope for a bit of hand grazing time without any drugs involved? In the meantime, Digby needs to listen to the Rolling Stones song "You Can't Always Get What You Want"...