So, Presto got demoted from a part-time barn horse to a full-time outside horse. He had been an outside horse when we moved out here initially, living out in the pasture with his 2yo friend. But when the other horses left for Florida for the winter and it was just me here with the remaining 4, it was easier and gave me more peace of mind to just have all of them come into the barn at night. I could easily see them on cameras, I knew they were under shelter if the weather was bad, it’s warmer in there, they were more settled in the group, they each had their own space to eat and snooze, etc. The Florida horses are coming back this weekend so he was about to get moved back out to his full time pasture life again anyway, but he got booted a week early. Why, you ask? OH I’LL TELL YOU WHY.
He figured out how to open his stall door, and the results are just as bad as you might imagine. I came out to feed on Sunday morning and it looked like an actual tornado had gone through the barn. Henry and Presto were both loose. Presto’s stall door was open, Henry’s stall door was open, and the hay room door was open. Boards had been ripped off the front of every single stall. He ate every scrap of afalfa that was in there, which luckily wasn’t very much. He tossed the opened coastal bale all over the place. He ate and pulled down part of one of the shade bushes. He broke a broom and a manure fork and the board that’s used to separate the aisle by the stallion’s stall when he’s here. He knocked EVERYTHING down. Every halter, every blanket, anything and everything that was knock-down-able. He even managed to undo a couple snaps in the process.
From the amount of poop in their stalls and runs I could see that Presto had to have been out for a while, but Henry can’t have been out for very long at all. Also, Henry is a jerk and would never let other horses out or destroy things that weren’t food motivated – totally not his style. He got out one night before and just ate grass in the courtyard. No, this one had Presto written all over it from top to bottom. Why he chose to let Henry out, I’m not sure, because when I happened upon the scene Henry had chased him into a corner and was about to kick the daylights out of him. Releasing Henry was a dumb move. It looked like he had tried to release Quinnie too… her stall has an extra clip on it because she has a history of opening her own door, and he succeeded on removing the clip but didn’t actually finish opening the latch. The only stall with no evidence of attempted breach was his 2yo friend’s. Which, thank god. I can’t imagine the damage if both of THOSE idiots had been out. JB has a history of barn destruction himself.
So that’s the end of that shit. I had already given him a second chance when he pulled down a couple boards in his own stall a few weeks ago. That appeared to have been a one time incident, but no. He certainly hadn’t forgotten, he was just waiting to repeat it on a much larger scale.
You should have seen the complete and utter heartbreak and confusion on his face Sunday night when he didn’t get to come in. Henry and Quinnie came into the barn as usual, and I brought Presto and JB’s feed out to their shed so they could eat. They thought that was odd, but ok. After they ate they both went to the gate like “ok let’s go in now”. And I just laughed at them from the porch as they stared forlornly toward the barn. JB wandered away after a few minutes, but Presto stood there for quite a while.
On Monday I went out to lunge him real quick to try a different bit on him (this bit saga is becoming long already) and he was absolutely exhausted. Clearly he didn’t get his usual 3 hour dead-to-the-world nap that he usually takes after night check, because it took all of my effort just to get him to trot for a few laps each way. If I stopped clucking, he stopped moving. Poor kid. The life of a delinquent is tough. Maybe you should have been more appreciative of your private nap time before you destroyed the barn.
So I’ll be spending the weekend fixing the rest of the Prestnado damage. What a turd. Y’all pray for their shed, I’m worried that it’ll be the next victim. JB already pulled down some of the ceiling insulation a while back…