I am so sick of mud that I could just scream! We’ve been having a thaw here since the last week of December so we are up to our knees in mud. One of the worst places is just inside the pasture near the gate. It literally sucks my boots off my feet when I try to go out there. Needless to say getting the horses into and out of the pasture has become a challenge.

The only one enjoying the mud is Spirit. Mud doesn’t faze him one bit. I attribute this to the living conditions at my parents’ house. To get to the good parts of the pasture he had to cross a stream and climb up a muddy steep bank. I’ve often wished I could take Miss “I’m a Princess! My toes can’t get dirty!” Prize out there for a few weeks of self-training.

The biggest sign of who is dominant in the herd each day is who stands by the pasture gate when it is time to come in. This is usually Rosie with Prize a close second. Spirit usually gets there first but then gets pushed away by the girls. But now there is fetlock deep mud. The girls won’t come close. Spirit is in heaven! He struts up to the gate and stands there so proudly. He paces just to show that no one is going to challenge his authority to stand by the gate. He is probably also making sure the ground gets churned up even more there so it stays muddy longer.

To get the horses in I have to resort to trickery and cunning. I let Spirit go in by himself then try to catch the girls. Lately I figured out that I can crawl through the fence elsewhere and get their halters on them. Then I crawl back out and open the gate. I call them and eventually they will take a deep breath and brave the mud. I catch them when they come past the gate. I don’t know what I’ll do if that stops working. A few years ago when Prize was seriously mud-phobic I just left her with the gate open and told her to figure it out on her own. She ran around screaming and crying while I fed Spirit before she decided that she wasn’t going to die if she crossed the mud.

I can’t wait for it all to freeze again.