Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Plan your pee

That was one of the mottos of marching band when I was in high school.  We traveled as a group of 200 and the buses stopped for no student.  You had best plan your pee.  And with 200 high schoolers descending on a truck stop, you better plan to wait a while when you did get to stop.  It took five buses to get us moved around.

General horse knowledge says that horses can't be potty trained.  We all have stories of horses deciding that it is time to relieve some pressure while in the show ring.  At a recent show, one of the school horses got an error because his halt at X included such a long pee that he was messing with the ride times.  Fortunately, he was allowed to continue.  Theo refused to halt at X in his test because ewwwww, another horse peed there, mom.  He halted a couple feet to the right of X with a disgusted expression.  The judge let us slide.  Most horses can learn to work while dropping off some manure, but you can't really teach them to keep going when they have to pee.  There's not much you can do but hope that your horse doesn't pick the final line up at the end of your flat class to let fly.  It seems pretty random and most people will tell you that when your horse goes isn't something the horse really plans out.

Theo's weird. 

Mi papi does not manure in the aisle.  Or under saddle.  I've been riding this horse for 1.5 years and I can count the number of times he's pooped under saddle on one hand.  If I use the other hand, I can count the number of times he's pooped in the aisle.  Every time he's left a pile in the aisle, it's been a show prep day and he's been going through a round of clipping/pulling/braiding/scrubbing that includes being on the cross ties a long time.  If given any chance, he'll wait for one of his stall breaks or for his field. 

When I go to get him from his field, about half the time he'll see me coming and mosey over to one of his chosen potty spots.  He'll drop some excess weight, then come up to see me.  When I let him out, he goes back to one of those spots and repeats the process.  Most of his field is manure free, it's just a couple of spots that he likes to use.

 Next upgrade for Theo's field

It's absolutely uncanny.  He looks at me, heads to his spot, does his business, then heads to the gate to start his work day.  I've never met a horse that makes a point of peeing before coming in to be ridden.  And it's not once or twice.  It happens a couple times a week.  I call his name on the way to his gate and he takes that as his cue to take care of any bodily functions before his work day starts.  I will wait with the gate closed until he's done (I don't want to rush him) and when he's done, I go in to get him.

Anyone else have a horse that plans their pee?  Because I've never met one quite this organized.


  1. Val goes each time we get in the cross-ties before and after a ride, and also almost never poops under saddle unless he forgot to do it in the cross-ties. He's never ever peed under saddle in the 5 years I've known him, and really I've rarely seen him pee at all, so I guess he's a shy guy about that? He's never been quite this smart about it though!

  2. Stinker has set times that he pees. It took me awhile to put things together. I had some horrible rides where he kept getting more and more anxious and I could never get him to settle. I finally realized that it was because he had to pee. For quite awhile he wouldn't pee while tacked up. Then he wouldn't pee while I was on him. Last week he peed while I was riding him. I guess we are finally to the point in our relationship where there aren't any boundaries left?
    He also only pees in one spot in his stall, but will poop anywhere any time. I'm pretty sure he poops at least three times every ride.

  3. I totally believe it! Carmen always pees when she's returned to her stall after a ride. doesn't matter if I wash her first or walk her out or put her in. As soon as she's in there she pees.

    She's also left her stall and gone into irish's and peed then returned to her stall. :D

  4. Val doesn't have any weird pee habits, other than he's fine with peeing while moving in the trailer, which I've heard isn't common.

    He does however, follow me as I wheel the manure cart around to pick his paddock. He warns me that he's getting ready to unload by parking himself right beside the cart so I can easily place it under his tail. He completely understands that manure goes in the cart. ;D

  5. I trailer over once a week for lessons and Savvy pees at the end of our lesson in the horse trailer EVERY time. And in an entire year of lessons she has never pooped in the arena.

  6. My horse plans his pee as well. He always goes the second you start untacking him...fair game if you're in the aisle instead of his stall. Perhaps Theo could teach him some better habits. ;)

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  8. Now that I think about it, I don't think that my girl has ever peed under saddle in the four years I've had her. Wierd. She will poo though, and is entirely convinced that one cannot poo and move at the same time. I haven't found anything that can make her change her mind. I've tried constant kicking, but then when ready she just launches into a trot, as if trying to catch up ground...