LET­TERS

EQUUS - - Equus -

I thought your sug­ges­tion that “a mo­ti­vated dog can rid a pas­ture of an un­wanted dig­ger” was sim­plis­tic and un­re­al­is­tic (“Pre­vent­ing Pas­ture In­juries,” Hands On, EQUUS 490). We have rock mar­mots that show up from March through July an­nu­ally be­fore they “disappear” into the basalt cliffs above our place. The coy­otes and red-tailed hawks strug­gle to keep up with the pop­u­la­tion, which I have bat­tled for six years now. I even bought a $1,000 CO ma­chine; how­ever, the “con2 do­minium com­plex” ex­tends far longer than the 120 feet the ma­chine al­lows for. An ex­ter­mi­na­tor costs more than I can bud­get. Luck­ily, the ma­jor­ity of the dens are in non-horse ar­eas. The best so­lu­tion I have found is to plant cheap chil­dren’s pin­wheel toys into the ground at each hole. If pre­vail­ing breezes spin the pin­wheels, the mar­mots will usu­ally aban­don the hole. Best of all, the pin­wheel alerts the horses and hu­mans where the holes are in the tall grass. The only down­side is my mares some­times bite off the wheels, and I have to re­place them. Crys­tal A. Bing­ham Spokane, Wash­ing­ton

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