Hurrah! At last, the greenheads have run their vicious bloodsucking course! Since they appear to have died off now, I've been able to leave Ben and Commander out during the day, yay! But alas, there are still plenty of other flying pests to annoy them, and yesterday when I walked into their paddock, Commander saw me and came charging in from the field, circling tight around me and trying frantically to rub his head on his human: "Get these mosquitos offa me!"
I took pity on the boys and put them in the barn while I cleaned the run-in and refilled the water tub, then put them back out for the night. Before turning them out, I gave each one a good grooming -- Commander loved it so much, he even stopped eating hay while I worked on him -- and flyspraying. That Morgan's a right smart fellow; he normally gets put out first, and he'll zip directly into Ben's side of the run-in to gobble as much as he can of Ben's hay before the big guy gets there and turfs him out.
They do love their run-in. Why shavings in a run-in, you ask? Because Commander took to treating it like a regular stall, peeing as well as pooping, and, well, it just was unbearably gross without putting down shavings to absorb the mess.
They have access to their far field, but spend most of their grazing time on the near field, even though it's eaten down to lawns and roughs by now; it's closer to the run-in, to shelter from flying biting annoyances.
Ben, poor sensitive fellow, hates the bugs, and if I try to drag him out of the run-in to the field (with a loop of baling twine around his neck) he'll often race back in as soon as he's released. Same same with Commander. But they do get out and graze, more now than during the past few weeks of greenhead grief, and it's a treat to see their shiny bay coats illuminated by the late low light: