Thursday, December 29, 2011

Jumpy, Grumpy, and Lumpy

Mother was GRUMPY today. She tried to take pictures of me, but it was too dark for her camera, although it wasn't really dark yet. She grumbled a bit, but I followed her to the gate, as I presumed I would get fed my dinner.

I made my way through the barnyard to the feeding mat where Callie and Bert sometimes get their hay fed to them. There were still lots of bits of hay, including some delicately pre-masticated parcels. Yummy! Mother went out to get my halter and lead rope, and Scooter (aka Bert) came out near the mat to stare at me while I ate the hay he obviously hadn't wanted before.

Mother I think came back out, but I didn't notice, I guess... these were some really good little hay bits. Callie and Bert get a different grassier hay than the alfafa-y hay Belle and I get so I was concentrating on that and suddenly SOMETHING TOUCHED ME on my hip. I jumped about 12 inches up and about 3 feet away. I really should have kicked out, but I knew Bert and Mother were nearby (and any predator would obviously go for one of them first), so I am glad I looked back as I leapt.

It was Mother! Mother? Really? You scared me half to death. Don't sneak up on me like that. Geesh! You almost always talk to me first... what were you thinking?

Mother sat in the chair while I chewed cuds. As soon as she plopped down, Fat Donkey sailed up alongside. He does that anytime a human sits down in the barnyard. "Pet me, pet me, pet me."


Anyway, no sooner had donkey swooped in than Rosie Grier (the cat, not the football guy)  came up from the other side, and implored to Mother that he be allowed access to her person. Mother said she didn't want him on her. Rosie climbed up. Mother said, "I'm not petting you." Rosie sneezed. He tried to rub himself on Mother's face. She moved her head out of his reach. Seeking solace, Rosie turned...

The donkey's head was hovering over Mother's knees. Rosie started rubbing against the donkey's face. Donkey closed his eyes, and tried rubbing back. Mother grimaced as Rosie's claws dug into her legs as he tried to brace himself against the donkey's affections.

Mother sighed that she must be pretty grumpy if these two still didn't really cheer up. I swear I saw her smile, though.

As I had finished most of the edible hay leavings, Mother put my halter on me. Unfortunately, she had dificulty getting it over my ears and tangled forelock, and I expressed my annoyance by moving my head and jumping around.

She called me a bad name and made a disparaging remark about my IQ and told me I better stand still and behave. gulp. I stood stock still. I allowed her to wrestle my recalcitrant ear into position. Mother was obviously in no mood for fun, so I had best humor her.

While she picked my feet on the dark and windy barn porch, a very creepy place at night, I felt a sudden touch of fuzzy terror on my front legs. AHHHHH!!!! I lept backwards, or tried to, but it was difficult as Mother was holding a hind leg and didn't want me to sit on her. She called me more bad names, and Rosie skittered away. Oh, it was just a cat! I wasn't sure what the heck was there... sigh.

At this point, Mother curried and brushed me and decided I needed a massage. I have been tense lately, I suppose. She worked on my left side, and that was nice. She then started on my right side. Ooh, neck, shoulders, that's nice.

When she started on my back, however, I sidestepped away. That HURTS. Mother looked at me in confusion. She stood on her little step thingy and told me if I wanted a massage I should move back over there. I stayed where I was. She stayed where she was. A minute passed. Finally, she sighed, stepped down, moved the step thingy by my side, stepped back on, and began again.

Owwwww. Owwwwww. Owwwww-OOWWWWW!! I raised my hind foot. Um, my back is spasming now, Mother. Thanks. She kept working on it. Ooohh. If I stand like this, and press up against her hands... ahh, that's a bit better. OWWWWW.... Oww...oohhhh... ahh, that's better.

Mother worked on my back and hindquarters for quite a while. She wasn't sure if I was sore from protecting my not-so-good leg or from my wild running and bucking extravaganza earlier this weekend. All I know was I've been feeling pretty sore, but I feel a bit better now.

I ate on the lawn while Mother prepared my meal. I finally got my dinner (not sloppy enough) and some cookies and turned back out. My after dinner hay was shared with Belle as Mother left.

So it was kind of an odd evening. If Mother is going to be all grumpy and scary and hurt-y like that, she should just STAY HOME.

Oh, but have someone deliver me some cookies, please. Thanks.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

The Christmas Holy-day

I must admit, all the talk of Santa had made me excited. Mother cautioned me that I might not get much this year. Not because I didn't deserve it, but it just might not be what I would chose for myself.

Like the series of Adequan shots. I agree, that wasn't on my list of gift ideas. Today is the last one for the loading dose, so I guess it is a gift that she won't be stabbing me as frequently.

Mother said I may have ONE super tasty muffiny cookie, and lots of my Herballs and Withers & Withers Insulin Resistant cookies. The muffin cookies have sugar, and while my IR status is questionable, the simple fact is that sugar is hard on already unhappy joints.

Mother, it's CHRISTMAS!! Come on!! The day when we are reminded to be generous to our loved ones and those in need and, well... everybody. It's the Love Holy-day. It helps us stock up for the year and remind us all how we should be. Can be. Will be!

Now bring me my muffiny cookies! Bring me my muffiny cookies, please bring me my muffiny cookies, and bring some right here!!!


Donkey says this is his very special holiday. Something about ancient forms of transportation and a desert and blah blah blah. I'm just glad he's getting into the holiday spirit.

Merry Christmas to all!!! May your families be filled with blessings and your hearts with love this and every day of the year.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

In Joyful Hope

Mother said that Santa was coming to her house.

Will he come here??

I've been good!! I wonder what he'll bring me?

Mother reminded me that Jesus is what we're celebrating. But He's here all the time.

Santa only comes once a year!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Aiding and Abetting*

Mother came to visit me today, but she was not alone. She brought a human I'd never seen, but who introduced herself by giving me cookies. Mrs. Pastures, in fact... the cookies were Mrs. Pastures, not the actual woman.

I'd really like to meet her!

We went out on the barn porch, and the strange human and Mother brushed me and picked my hoovies and Mother clipped my halter path. They talked about me... Hello, I am right here and I hear every word you are saying. Excuse me??

Mother weight taped me, so I obligingly stood while she snugged the tape. She turned to remark, but then thought  I moved my ribs so she snugged it up some more, all the way to yesterday's weight. The strange human said, "Don't worry, though, he's FINE. He isn't thin."

"Fine" doesn't get me food, lady... I'm not sure I like you. Wait, there is still another cookie in your pocket. I'm sure you are very nice, just a bit misguided in not asking Mother to increase my intake.

Mother wandered off to go gerry-rig the already mickey-moused Multipurpose fence so she could free lunge me in there and stare at my leg. sigh. At least the strange human with one cookie left brushed me and fussed over me while Mother blundered about.

Lots of the fence in the multipurpose isn't really there, or is there but not attached. Sometimes the deer will break a panel, but usually it is Bert barging into things. He is the reason Alcatraz gets redone all the time. He is why we have the zapping fence. The Aunts don't worry too much about the Multipurpose fence, though, as it is closed or open at the gate and if horses are in it, it is OK to go out back into the grassy pasture, too.

Except when Mother lunges me.

Mother hasn't lunged me in a long time, at least a month. She says she has been afraid to look. You don't need Dramamine for this one, because the strange human with one cookie left apparently did the recording. Her device didn't make creepy noises or flash funny lights. I didn't really even notice she was putting my moving soul in the little box, so she can come back anytime (bring cookies).

Mother then took my moving soul and drowned out the bizarre noises she was making by putting some man's voice over it. I think her voice is fine, especially when she calls me "Handsome", or calls me to dinner, or tells me I am a Good Boy.

So as you can clearly see from this, there is nothing wrong with me. All the times I am not perfectly even, there was a tussock of grass that altered my stride, or ahhh... ahhh... uhhhh... and the ground slopes from the snoozing mower end to the gates everywhere end, so there's that and... I'm fine. Really. Nothing to see here. Just skip it, actually.

Afterwards, Mother put me on the lawn while she prepared dinner, then she and the strange human with one cookie left sat and talked while I ate, and even seemed to get in some weird fight that wasn't a fight but made no sense. Mother turned her rump on the stranger and I was sure a melee was going to ensue (you know how mares can be) and I was prepared to move if necessary, but it blew over as quickly as it started. Humans are very odd at times.

The strange human finally gave me her last cookie, and Mother put me outside with more hay and my good-bye cookies. So while I got a lot of cookies, it was a very strange day.

*Aiding and abetting is an additional provision in United States criminal law, for situations where it cannot be shown the party personally carried out the criminal offense, but where another person may have carried out the illegal act(s) as an agent of the charged, working together with or under the direction of the charged party, who is an accessory to the crime... the provision of "aiding and abetting" must be considered alongside the crime itself, although a defendant can be found guilty of aiding and abetting an offense even if the principal is found not guilty of the crime itself. In all cases of aiding and abetting, it must be shown a crime has been committed, but not necessarily who committed it.[1] It is necessary to show that the defendant has willfully associated himself with the crime being committed, that he does, through his own act or omission, as he would do if he wished for a criminal venture to succeed. (Stolen from wikipedia)

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Optical Illusion

Mother gave me another stab, then a good brushing, then weight taped me.

Whenever she does the weight tape, she advocates for me to suck in my ribs so I will appear thinner. She'll pull the little strip of cloth/tape tighter and tighter, and I try to squish my ribs, but eventually I have to breath.

If I did a really good job, she gives me a cookie...

Anyway, today Mother found that upon first putting the tape on, I was easily under 950lbs. When she told me to "suck it in", it made it to 905lbs.

Mother stepped back, stared at me. Poked my ribs. Aunt Marilyn asked if we needed to change my food. Mother decided that perhaps when the current orange food runs out, she'll switch me back to the old horse mush. She wants me below 1,000 weight tape pounds and above "too skinny". I am not too skinny, especially as I have a leg that doesn't need to work harder than necessary, but Mother wants to make sure I stay "not too skinny."

She said I didn't really look any thinner, but that's why she likes to tape me. She says looks can be deceiving, and tangible evidence is better, whatever that means. She claims there is a delicate balance between healthy thin and too thin.

How's this for balanced, Mother?
I can't help but think I look a little top heavy...

Here are pictures she took while I dined on the lawn. It was warm out, so my coat is laying pretty flat, even though it is winter full.

So, is the weight tape stretching? Did I loose all the muscles on my back? Have I perfected imploding my ribcage?

Why don't you just give me my cookies and stop measuring me, Mother?

I'm afraid if I tell her I'm too thin she'll just get all worried that I am loosing weight because my leg hurts and that the wolves will notice my condition and single me out and... never mind.

Of course, I don't want to miss out on a cookie increase or more mush grain if the opportunity arises!

What to do?

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Dirt: A Love Story

There was a time, back when I was young and lived in North Dakota, that I used dirt or mud to protect myself from the flies, from the cold, or just because a thorough rub on the ground felt good and getting coated in dirt was the byproduct.

After Mother moved me to Ohio, I found that getting muddy was still fun, although not strictly necessary for insect protection, as she sprays me with fly spray when necessary. But it feels good, and most importantly, getting dirty usually meant I would get a good brushing later.



Unfortunately, now a good roll in the mud means I am going to be sitting with my coat in little spikes until Mother gets around to brushing me. She has been a little lax in the grooming department. When I saw her Friday and pointed out my few little dried mud-y bits, she sighed and said she didn't have time.

Yesterday... well, at least she fed me. Although she even messed that up! She tried to fed me my dinner dry again, and I let her know that was only a kindness on my part and she better not slip out of making me my hot dinner gruel! I let her know by leaving some of my grain and funny supplement bits in the bottom of the pan for fat donkey to consume.

Today she stopped up in the late afternoon, and I was all set for a nice massage and grass time and dinner, the works. Well, best laid plans. No sooner had she put my halter on and led me out of the run-in, Mother got a phone call. She took off my halter and gave me some Herballs and then just left me there. Whhaaaat??? I was nice and dirty, too, Mother...

She came back after dark, and put me on the lawn while she made my dinner. She must have learned her lesson about dry dinner, because it was perfect~ hot and just the right amount of sloppiness... Yummm!! After dinner she put me in the crossties and realized I was even dirtier than when she had seen me in the afternoon.  Well, yes, Mother, I went out and anger-rolled.

Anyway, she gave me a really good currying, although some of the spiked mud-y parts now are a bit wavy and funny looking.

She gave me one of the absolutely decadent muffiny cookies when she left, so I guess it is OK about that weird catch and release thing that happened earlier today. She can do that every day, if it means she'll still come back later and brush me and give me dinner and the yummy-yummy cookies. I next to never get one of those...


And what about my massage?

Friday, December 16, 2011

A stabbing, a cold dinner, and an unexpected visitor

Mother continues her periodic stabbing of my neck. This is not my idea of a good time, but I do not protest. After all, it is better than a Q-Tip in the face. I believe in focusing on the positives. She gave me cookies, too.

Tonight, Mother brought reinforcements with her. Aunt Nancy and the man came with her. I hadn't seen Aunt Nancy in so long, not since the migration, so it was good to see her.

Mother did not cook my meal tonight. She feed me dry food with all my powders just lying there, although they did taste all apple cidery yummy. I ate it all up quickly, since Mother seemed to want me to hurry.

I know they are all off cavorting. I hope Aunt Nancy comes to visit me again, because she didn't have a chance to give me cookies and I know she really likes to do that, so maybe she'll come see me tomorrow.

That's a long time to have to wait for more cookies...


Saturday, December 10, 2011

Home by Dark, Part 2

Missed Part 1? Click here.

Learning how to jump made me feel special. Three mornings a week for First Ride, Her would come to ride me. Her first made sure I would move promptly off her leg, and promptly from a cluck.

The first week I learned to go over a single pole on the ground and then a series of poles, and in between standards and all other sorts of things. One day she made the pole on the ground into two poles that were low in the middle and high at the ends, which Her called a crossrail. My first few attempts at the crossed rails involved my bumping them with front and back legs. It was high enough I knew I should do more than step over it, but low enough I could step over if I needed to. Those rails were heavy and wood and they stung a little, so I learned by the third time through to not bump them. Her told me how good I was, and we stopped for the day.

One of the nice things about learning to jump was I didn't get ridden very long. A lot of times I wanted to keep jumping things and learning, and Her would just tell me how good I'd been and put me away. I admit, I came to like those three mornings a week. Before long, I was cantering to the fences, and then stringing a few together, and it was all fun; except the combination, which I didn't understand and needed more time to think so I took really little strides and put about 5 strides in. Her had Funny Nice Girl ride me the next time, and I was able to understand how combinations worked. Oh, two strides, that's easy. Oh, and I had learned that some jumps will be wider, and how to recognize that; that some jumps have rails that look funny-shaped or are at angles or whatever, but they are all really just a jump and that's easy.

Funny Nice Girl really, really liked jumping me. She told Her that I was so much fun and she thought I really liked my job. Well, yeah, jumping is a lot more fun than carrying beginners around! Her had taught me to figure out how to jump, and to balance myself, and to go at the pace and direction told; if there was a jump in the way, we just went over it and continued on with what we were doing.

I started getting used for the jump practices in the morning, one day a week. It was more work than what Her had had me do, but the riders were Constants and kind and we had lots of fun. That summer I went to He Who is in Charge's home barn and I went to lots of shows, some with little people and some with a Constant.

I spent a lot of time over the next years at He Who is in Charge's barn instead of always at School, and eventually I stopped going to School at all. Her stopped being a Constant, but I would still see her from time to time and I was always glad to see her. She gave me treats and tail circle massages, which are the best.

There are so many reasons it's good to be here. I get turned out all day with my friends (or all night in the summer) and we always have grass and we only do two or three lessons a week instead of a day like I did back at School.

 So I'm a little muddy. You have a problem with that??

Her has been around a lot more in the last few months, and sometimes she gets me out to just brush me off and give me a massage, or lead me out to eat the good grass in front of the barn. Her was going to ride me in one of the little shows this summer, but I was sore that day when I got into the sand ring (I warmed up fine in the firmer footing of the other ring) so she rode Jack instead.

 Not my usual game-face.

Jack ~ Show off. But I still got cookies, and I didn't have to work.

I'm only sore every once in a while... I still give lessons and jump some, although I admit I feel a little bit stiffer than I used to. My one front leg was cut badly a few years ago, and it is stiffer than any other part of me. I am still the very best horse for jumping without stirrups though, so I am way better than all those tall, silly thoroughbreds.

The other night Her was talking with Little Girl Big, who used to ride me when she was little, although she is not little anymore. Little Girl Big was saying how much she liked me, and that her very first show was on me and she won a championship her first division out. Well, yeah, that's what I do. Little humans seem to like the blue ribbons best, and they really  like the long ribbons. It's good for them to get those long ribbons, because they'll give you even more treats!  And horse shows are so easy: Rider hops aboard, I make sure they know enough to make me go, and then they just tell me how fast we're going and where to go. I love it when there are jumps in the path they pick.


Wednesday, December 7, 2011


Mother came up this afternoon while I was loafing in the shed with my Belle. We were grumbling a bit to ourselves at our conditions. The shed needed cleaning, and our mid-day feed was late, as the mysterious uncle was having a birthday and delayed Aunt Marilyn's arrival for feeding.

Truthfully, it wasn't all that late, as our meals are spread out almost perfectly to 8 hours apart, but it was a dreary day and I was feeling grumpy and uncharitable.

Mother appeared through the shade cloth (and why isn't the canvas wind-block up yet?!) and walked to me and said "Hi." She peered perplexedly and with a little concern at the twin marks on the left side of my muzzle ( I refused to tell her if they were from the fangs of a rabid raccoon or if I somehow managed to scrape myself most oddly). I sniffed the needle and syringe in her hand and sighed. She swabbed a tiny spot on my neck with an alcohol wipe, wiped her thumb, pressed... pressed... poked me, did something that feels funny while she looked at the syringe, then pushed its contents into my neck.

Well, OK, but could you feed us or call room service or something? I mean, I stood here perfectly and you didn't even use a halter or a rope on my neck or anything.

Because she understands me so well, Mother put some hay out for Belle and I while she cleaned the run-in. Belle and I both made sure to use it right after she spread the bedding to reassure her we knew what it was for - and to let her know she had job security. That's important in today's human world, I hear.

She brought me in for dinner (Aunt Marilyn was feeding my orange mare and Bert by then) and then I went back out to the Small where Mother had already placed our hay in tiny little pre-fluffed piles all over the ground.

Mother likes to do this when the weather allows for it. So on dry days, not-hurricane-windy days, and even snow-covered but not actively-snowing days, Belle and I must wander around our acre if we want to eat. Sometimes we'll eat a few piles and retreat to the run-in to chat with Callie and Bert through the window. It is kind of nice to be able to go back out and still find hay when you get the urge a little later.

And then later still, I might roam around to see if there was a stalk or two that I may have overlooked earlier.

When I am in a stall for any real length of time Mother usually uses the hay net with the really tiny holes, which is kind of nice because I never seem to run out of hay that way. The aunts don't do that, so while Mother says she would like to have those nets up for me and Belle while we are out in our Small, I guess the tiny "enrichment-exercise" piles will have to do.

Mother was talking about the droughts and shortages that are taking place for other horses out there. I started to feel bad about my uncharitable thoughts of "Where's hay? Where's the cleaning service?". I have become so accustomed to domestic life and easy food and clean stalls that I forgot that life isn't always so pleasant. I mean, I still get hay at least three times a day, and there is still green nubs of grass to nip off, even in such a little area as the Small. And Belle and I don't have to stand in the run-in after we've sullied it. It wasn't raining or even breezy out...

Mother kissed my nose, avoiding my mystery marks, and gave me Herballs before she left. Even though she has taken to this weird obsession of stabbing me every few days, I guess I should be happy for the way things are.

Although she could have given me a Mrs. Pastures cookie today. I know there are still plenty of them left, and I was a good boy and I got shot today. That totally should have netted me a Mrs. Pastures or two.


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Quoth the Cookie

Once upon an aft'r'noon dreary, while I pondered, snoozing, bleary,
Over the many cookies and treats forgotten by Mother's aging mind
While I nodded (almost napping), all at once there came a rapping
As of some dog's tail gently fwapping at my run-in's side
"'Tis just some canine," I muttered, "fwapping at my run-in's side-
No great cause to run or hide."

Ah, distinctly I remember, it was quite windy that December,
And each separate wisp of hay would blow; so hard for me to find.
Eagerly I wished the morrow - for rain free days (with sun to follow),
For days with Mother giving cookies and treating me so kind
Warm blissful hours filled with cookies (and treats) of every kind
Mrs. Pastures will do just fine.

Then the wind was surely bustling , and the shade cloth then was rustling,
Chilled me- filled me with a coldness I just couldn't quite define
So to quiet my rumbling tummy (and my shattered nerves need numbing)
I called for Mother to come (and bring the cookies!) in good time,
I just desire cookies now, at any - well, really, ALL times!
Mrs. Pastures will do just fine.

Then the noise I was hearing, (that fwapping sound most wearing)
Stopped abruptly as my neigh's dying echo in the air with it combined.
Quite suddenly, I was full awake. "Perchance Mother has brought for me cheesecake!"
And I braved the wind and staggered out, to find myself most blind
The blistering wind and rain -in my delicate eyes its path did find
Winter pasture is not kind.

The fwapping sound has ended. Oh, there's Mother with cookies: Splendid.
Yet couldn't she have brought them out to me while I was still dry inside?
She kissed my schnozzle sweetly, I picked the treats up neatly
And crunched with eager chomping at the goodness hid inside
Just munching happy cookies as the rain did pelt my hide
"Mother dear, you read my mind."

Monday, December 5, 2011

Home by Dark, Part 1

Mother says I should let him tell his story. Sigh ~ Boyfriend


I remember being really little, and I had a big mare that I loved and she fed me. But then we were separated. I don't remember much after that until I was two and went to The Auction.

The Auction was really scary. There were horses there that were very sad and unhappy and it was awful. And the loudness and all the people? Awful. When I left the ring, I was put back in a pen, then led away by He Who is in Charge to a trailer, and that is when my story really began.

I went to a strange barn and then off to Camp. I learned to carry people around. They were mostly really little people.

Then I went to a big place, "School", with dozens of other horses and we stood in our stalls all week except when we were ridden, and we went out to the fields on the weekend. Sometimes there were long periods when we went to farther away fields and were left alone except to make sure we had water, and hay if it was winter. Those were fun times... Then every summer again I went to Camp and carried the little people.

I was named after a student, and I am not 100% sure that it was an exemplary title. Being young and everything, I was... uh, a little bit spoiled when I was first at School; I would nip at people. It was just an occasional (OK, constant) nip to entertain myself, or show my irritation, or... well, who really needs a reason?

A few times a year there were strange weekends where we didn't get to go out to the fields except for the last night of the weekend, but instead stood around with saddles on and went in the ring many times with strange riders. During these weekends, I would bite the person holding me a lot, because I would rather be out in the field, you know? Most of the horses' holders would hold them all day, but I would get passed from person to person. I bit them all.

I only vaguely remember the first time I met "Her". There were many students and they mostly just blurred together. This was early on for me at the school, though, and I remember an evening at the start of School as she walked around being introduced to all the horses and told a bit about each one by another student. She seemed to like me, and commented on my attractive dorsal stripe and zebra marks.

I first really noticed Her because she bit me on my nose. I mean right on my soft, delicate nostril. Sure, I had just nipped her, but OUCH! Every time I tried to nip Her, she would chomp down on one of my nostrils. I quickly realized that biting was overrated.

Her started working in the mornings at the School, and she seemed to take a special interest in me. How nice. Many times I would hear, "Jones- incoming!" This was my cue to turn my head to the side so she could hurl her apple missile into the feeder at the front of my tie stall. Her thought a horse that was nippy shouldn't be hand fed treats. Sometimes she walked in and placed it in my feeder, but we both rather enjoyed the missile game.

My life at School was pretty boring the first 2 years. Lots of people that didn't know what to do or how to ride would ride me and the other horses. It was a constant rotation, although sometimes I would get a larger boy and he would be assigned to me several times. As the weeks went on, the riders would figure things out. Then, one day, it would start all over again with new riders who didn't know what they were doing... sigh.

There were certain people we always saw, well for a few years, anyway, the "constants". These constants usually rode much better, and they often seemed to have favorite horses. I was no one's favorite for a long time, although Her seemed a bit fond of me.

One weekend out in the fields, I was in a bit of a miscommunication debacle with one of the mares. I had to jump over the water trough from a standstill to keep from getting the daylights kicked out of me. One of the constants was down at the fields at the time. Apparently, she told He Who is in Charge about what I did, because Her started working with me a few weeks later, teaching me to jump.

It was the best thing to ever happen to me.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Poke, Lather Rinse Repeat

Mother started the neck stabbing shot series on Tuesday. Clean neck, stab, give me cookie, pick my feet, turn me out, more cookies. I like this routine.
On Friday she stopped by very briefly (she is ghost-sitting AGAIN!). She really only came up to say a quick hello and give me a treat. Unfortunately, she didn't bother to turn on any lights. I received my cookie with my typical dignity. She scratched my neck and face... and then a finger poked me in the eye. Um, oww. She apologized, but really, such accidents could be avoided by just giving me cookies and leaving; petting areas South of my head; or turning on lights, since you humans have conquered electricity.


Yesterday, Mother seemed happy to see me. She led me to the barn porch, and gave me my shot. I didn't really even feel it, but she assures me I received it. Mother is a presser, not a thumper.

She proceeded to pick out my hoovies, put some purple stuff on parts of my frogs, curry me... all is going well. Then she looks at my freshly rubbed and scruffed tailhead. She hooked up the hose.

Uh oh.

Mother, it is December!
"It's 60 degrees, Bif. And I'm just doing your tail."

She didn't say that she planned to do a super thorough job since it might be the last chance for a good long while. She hosed it, she purple shampooed  it, she hosed it, she purple shampooed it, she hosed it, she purple shampooed it. She shoved some suds on my back legs, the not as black parts. HEY! Anything you shampoo gets rinsed, and I don't want more water!
"You're fine, Bif."

She hosed all those parts off. She got out the medicated shampoo and did my tail really well all up at the top, underside too. UUUNNNN... that water is cold! I got rinsed very well.

She put the purple shampoo on my tail one last time. I stand, dejected. Rinse. Rinse Rinse Rinse.

She put the purple conditioner on. Rinse, rinse.

OOhhh, a really good muffiny cookie. Thank you, Mother!!

Detangler. She does my mane and forelock, too. Cookie, please? I was good.

Woo, hoo! Cookie!

Then I got to do a lawn job while she prepared my dinner.

I hope the next time I'm due a stabbing she just pokes me and leaves. I do not need to go through any of that other stuff again any time soon. Well, excepting the cookie parts, obviously.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Harsh Realities

Instead of playing with me on this glorious weekend (well, glorious until the rain started, anyway), Mother was off ghost sitting. And Corgi sitting. And Manatee sitting, Melon sitting, and Jack Russel Terrorist sitting, but worst of all, she spent many minutes giving cookies and hay and water to other horses!

One of them she claims is very near and dear to her heart. She laments that she can't bring him home to retire him, as she is short of funds. He still is ride-able, and small jumps occasionally, but his people would be happy for Mother to have him, giving him an easier life and them more stall room.

I wish she would bring him here... I would chase him and batter him and show him and Mother that I am the most important horse!

I mean really, how can she take this seriously? Look at him! What a doofus! That tree isn't hiding him.

And he's afraid of cameras! All Mother does is take pictures with that little flashy thing. And clippers, and you know Mother spends lots of time managing my surplus hair with the clippers. He could never make her happy the way I do... I'm sure she doesn't want to ride or pet on him, just because she's known him for 18 years and taught him to jump many years ago and blah blah blah.

I am the important one, Mother. Don't you forget!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Mr. Snuggleupagus

I was lying snug and warm in the freshly cleaned run-in yesterday late afternoon, meditating on all the things I have to be grateful for, like a belly full of warm mush and hay, a dry place to get out of the weather should I choose, a Mother and Aunts who care for me and make sure the food is given to us in a timely fashion...

When much to my surprise Mother appeared. At first I blinked in some confusion. The Aunts had already fed me, so I didn't expect to see Mother. Was I dreaming? No, I am sternal... she looked slightly distressed, and smelled funny but familiar. I was laying on my left side, and she kept staring longingly at that hip. She even sort of ran her left hand along under there.She pet me and kissed my nose. Well, thanks Mother, that's nice... is that odd but familiar smell perhaps some treat for me?

She half draped herself over my neck and back, hugging me. "Uh, can't breath here, Mother. I'm already crushing my lungs with my own weight, I don't need your help." She pet me awhile longer, although still only with her left hand.

I sighed, Mother stepped out of the way, and I lurched to my feet.

Mother instantly seemed very happy, and started smearing my left stifle with a funny smelling cream hidden in her right hand. Ah, yes, I know that smell! Mother puts this stuff on my leg and makes it feels less ouchy. Why, thank you, Mother.

May I have a cookie? I got up and everything... Mother sighed, walked out to the porch, and brought me out a Mrs. Pastures cookie.

So much to be grateful for...

Monday, November 21, 2011

No rest for the wicked, or me

Mother came up to see me tonight, rather late in the evening for her at this time of year. I had actually already given up on the thought of seeing her today.

She took me out on to the barn porch, which unfortunately still let the fine mist that was coming down to blow on my face.
 Unnnhhh... I'll just stand farther back here. 

Oh, wait, I can lick the rain...

OK, this kind of isn't fun at all. Why are you taking my picture when it's all dark and gross out? And I am wearing the washed out pinkish looking halter, and you have it adjusted all slovenly, Mother. 

Can't I just go eat dinner?

Unless... wait, are there cookies involved?

I just want one. Better yet,  two. Cookies aren't too much to ask, are they?

Then Mother decides that my prominent brow ridge is interesting. Oh, by the way, look at how well my mane recovered from last year's bush-hogging. Some might never guess...

She started talking about my bony protuberance and how people who say that that cartoon horse shouldn't have eyebrows need to look at my head.
 I have no idea what she is talking about.

Seriously, Mother, can we just GET ON with whatever you are planning to do?
Oh, no, there's more fiddling with the camera, and settings.

OK, that flash is just a little too bright. I am now blind in my right eye.

Come on, this is boring!

She did give me a few Herballs after she picked my hooves and curried me everywhere. Then Mother gave me a nice (but all too brief) massage. She made my dinner, which was particularly perfect... It almost smells like apple pie with cinnamon while it is soaking. Yummm!

 And I got one Mrs. Pastures cookie and about 5 or 6 Herballs as I went out for my hay, so life is pretty good... even if I did have to endure some bizarre mid-night photo fest.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Invasion of Privacy

Hanging with Belle in the run-in, autumn 2011

Friday evening Mother came up after dark to brush me and feed me. She thought I was moving rather s-l-o-w-l-y, and seemed rather grumpy.

Hurrmph. I am fine, this is no concern of yours, Mother, and please make sure the donkey knows to keep an eye out for wolves. Not that the wolves would see anything that would single me out or anything...

Oh, so back to Friday night. She lunged me briefly, and I admit I was an unenthusiastic participant, although of course obedient and well behaved. This made her comment. She also made comments about which leg I was resting. Oh, stop staring at me already!!

She put some of the funny yummy powder on my dinner along with my usual stuff, and I admit I was looking at the world with a better mindset when she came to visit yesterday. I trotted with much less urging when asked, although Mother only wanted a lap or two in both directions.

She kind of ruined my better mood by saying she was going to start giving me a bunch of shots, hopefully starting later this week. She claims they will make me feel better. But if they aren't going to send me to my Happy Place, I don't really see how they could.

She should just stay up here when I want her to, to hand me cookies and brush me and pet me. Those are nice distractions. 

She said something about ghost-sitting during the long holiday this coming week. She better still come up to see me...


Thursday, November 17, 2011

Schooling: A Literary Excursion


She pulls and chafes,
   champs at the bit,
      sweat dampens her sides
   restive in restraint,
fretful, angry, nervous
not lightly waiting for command -
   for she had come to the test
        ready, eager,
as the spur bit in her side -
 when after one great,
                          glorious bound
  the haul at her mouth
          brought her to knees
              then full to the ground.

She rises again, on wary feet
   now knowing what to expect
lost is her will for the challenge
     left now only bitterness

Mother is apparently feeling grumpy. It's just as well she didn't come for a visit tonight.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A Series of Ordinary Events

It has been a very busy few days for me. Mother provided our foodstuffs at all the feeding times this weekend, as the aunts and mystery uncle were nowhere to be seen. She gave me some paste on Sunday afternoon (a little blech-y but not awful) and then a perfect dinner.

It has been warm the last few days, and my winter coat has been a bit of a disadvantage. Sigh.

Yesterday the veterinarian came and gave me some shots in the neck, but none of them sent me to my Happy Place. I don't mind them too much, though, because he is a nice guy and sometimes he does send me to my Happy Place, so it is best to stay on his good side.

It was warm and rainy, and then a huge deluge of a storm hit in the evening.

Today the hoof man was here to work on my hoovies. It was rather a humorous affair, as the donkey came in to watch and kept hovering directly over my right foot while the hoof man tried to work. Mother caught fat donkey and tied him up, since he will bang incessantly if you put him in a stall, even with food.

So I'm standing there watching the fat donkey attempt to pace while tied and then I hear hoof beats approaching from the rear. Callie and Bert appeared in the doorway of the barn, wanting entry to their favorite stall to hang out in. Mother stood back there and continually hazed them away, as shutting the barn door would have diminished the light the hoof man needed.

Other than the dancing donkey and the dancing Mother, it was an uneventful trim. Mother put me in a stall and gave me a bit of hay while she prepared my dinner. Tonight's dinner was super good, and as warm as I can eat without making the inside of my mouth hurt. I really like when my dinner is all warm and yummy.

I realized there is something I really, really want:

A heated feed pan

I like my dinner warm and on the sloppier side than the others like their feed soaked~ the closer to gruel the better. The problem during these cooler months is that the food, while perfect temperature when first presented to me, rapidly cools into a less appetizing cold slop during the time it takes me to slurp it all down. If Mother could find a good way to keep it at that perfect temperature all during my dining experience, that would be great.

Mother says she is unable to find any commercially available heated feed pans of a type suitable for horses. I think she might not be looking hard enough. Or she needs to get a manufacturer to make one. Or she needs to design something for me here at home. Perhaps a well insulated feed pan, preheated especially for me?

I don't want to be any trouble, though...

Thursday, November 10, 2011


Mother is going a bit soft in the head. Daft in her dotage. Or just plain losing it, I'm not sure which it is.

Tonight, Mother was commenting on how cold it was... sure it's a bit windy, which can make it feel worse, but it's not bad. It's actually quite nice. Mother was saying how she almost wished she had blankets for me. She would love to bundle me up in a snuggly blanket...


Uh, Point 1: I am from North Dakota. I may not grow as much coat down here in Ohio because it's the South and all, but I certainly have enough to get me through your measley peasley excuse for a winter.
Point 2: As you are so fond of pointing out, Mother I don't do anything. So it's not like I'll sweat up and be hard to cool out and thus need less coat for work and substitute coat when I'm not working. I'm always not working.
Point 3: Even if I was working, as you've noticed, Mother, I dry really fast, even if wet to the skin in my winter woolies. So I wouldn't need less coat for work and thus would not need a substitute coat, either.    
Point 4: If you ever come near me with anything that looks like this, I will kill you. And no jury in the country would convict me.
At least the horse is blindfolded so he can't see his humiliation.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

A Younger Me

Mother found this on her deceased camera. It is from her second visit to my old ND home. She still hadn't really decided to commit to me and was taking videos and making comments to review later. I had already visited with Mother a bit that day, so was comfortable with her just walking up like this.

Note right before Mother moves my forelock, it is actually as long as my nostrils. Sigh. I miss it sometimes.

Once I really met Mother, ie she pet me that summer day on her first visit , I knew she was my person. I just had to wait while she figured it out. The second day of that autumn trip, she brought one of the hay women with her. I wouldn't let them near me. When Mother approached by herself, I was happy to visit with her; then the other human could come up. I was like that for a really long time, weeks actually, using Mother as my buffer, until I realized that humans were not going to eat me, and are (mostly) OK.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Mixed Blessings

You may have noticed that some of my recent posts have not been current events in my life. That is because, well, Mother is a worrywart. She has been having trouble determining if I am not doing as well, comfort-wise, as she wants. Then last week as we walked my postal route, she noted that I was walking a bit shorter on one of my hind legs. The non-surgered leg, to be precise.

I admit I have been reluctant about certain activities, like walking the hills of the postal route. I apparently seem "grumpier than usual" at times to Mother. That is a lack of Mrs. Pastures cookies, Mother. All those other cookies (while tasty and delectable and I appreciated them) for months and months has caused a "Mrs. Pastures cookies' deficiency". Grumpiness is a manifestation.

MPCD is not a condition to take lightly.

In trying to determine a cause, Mother has fine toothed all the aspects of my care. She had changed my joint and comfort supplements from SmartPak to something else from SmartPak that was supposed to replace the Repair and TLC, and even added some other other joint things. She is going to switch back to exactly what I was on earlier this year. She isn't sure if it is the change of supplements (as I've been switched for about two and a half months), but she would be very happy if this proves to be the reason.

Not content to concentrate on one reason at a time, she worries that it is perhaps an indication that my degenerative cartilage is in fact bilateral as many of those things can be, and the right side just wasn't as bad as the left (so not visible on xray) at the time of surgery. I did have arthritic changes in my left hock when xrays were taken in 2009. When I had my left stifle surgery, the hospital shot fresh films of both stifles, showing nothing on the right stifle at that time. They didn't take hock pictures, so it's possible I have arthritis on the right as well as the left, or crummy cartilage in the right stifle, or whatever else her diseased brain can come up with to worry about.

In her concern for me, a few weeks ago Mother had given up the grand experiment and had the farrier out to do my hoovies. He reassured her that she had done me no harm, and he had seen worse work by professionals. My balances weren't exactly how he had kept them, but the adjustments he made were not much and I felt fine afterwards. No improvement in my "grumpy" attitude, so that is one possible reason that she has dismissed.

The results of her neurosis as I see them:
I still putter about the pasture.
I still putter about (supervised) on the lawn.

Proposed changes:
Will continue having the farrier man do my hooves now.
Will go back to my previous supplements and see if it helps.
Mother will not ride me for my once or twice monthly 5 minute jaunts anymore.
No more postal route, due to the hills.
Possibly add Adequan in addition to the supplement routine.

Gosh, walk three or four inches shorter on one side and you'd think the world is ending! Cookies will fix it, they fix everything.

Which reminds me of the most important change: Mother has bought me a nice big bag of Mrs.Pastures again, just today! Since I've been staying svelte and I eat my IR powder and I have shown no signs of trouble since "the incident", she says I can have ONE Mrs. Pastures from time to time now.


Cookies!.. er, um, cookie... YUMMM!!!!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Sharing: It's not for Everything

Mother has some issues. She is a rather anonymous sort. She blames it on her time "in the service" and fear of identity theft, etc. etc. ad naseum, ex post facto...

Where was I?

Oh, so while she tries to maintain a certain amount of anonymity, she uses me as her shield. My name is the one on CoTH and Facebook, and comments on other blogs, but I am not usually the one saying things. This could get me in hot water, you know? I mean, it would be one thing for her to play Jeopardy! on Facebook under my name... but what if I am selected?

I don't know the answers to all those questions! I don't know how to work that buzzer thingy! Why can't Mother get her own life and stop borrowing my things??


How many cookies can $36,681 buy?

Monday, October 31, 2011

Alien Abductions? What are you doing up there?

So there are some things about this whole riding business that I just don't understand.

The biggest question, WHY?, is too profound for a simple horse like me to understand. I know Mother is not the only human that does this to horses, and I know some horses who even thought it was fun, so I'm not going to really delve into that question.

The thing I want to know is, what are you doing up there when it feels like the aliens are abducting you? We'll be walking along, and suddenly, Mother is just gone from my back. But her weight is still there... sort of. Super duper creepy. I can see her out of the corner of my eye, but the weight on my back feels different, and I just don't understand what is going on up there.

Then sometimes when that happens she is suddenly much farther forward, like she is leaning over my neck. I really don't like that when we go under trees, but she does it anyway. This weekend she did that and the tree branches whacked her twice and I started to Get Out of Dodge, but she sat up and said to stop and all was normal again. I wouldn't freak out Mother, if you would only stay where you are supposed to be. But how do I know tree aliens haven't grabbed you? And if they grabbed you, guess who's next? ME!

And I remember a long time ago, when I used to trot and stuff, sometimes she would rise up and down as I strode along. The first time that happened, I was very worried. Mother made me walk and rose up and down to my walk stride, which while creepy, whatever. Then she did the same thing again at trot, and it wasn't nearly as alarming. It was actually sort of fun. Leg swing, Mother swing, leg swing, Mother swing, leg swing, Mother swing, leg swing...

Where was I again?

We don't really trot anymore. Mother started riding me again last fall, and she usually hops on for 7 or 8 minutes a couple times a month. I guess it makes her happy, and I won't really complain. My leg doesn't really bother me any more after she's ridden me than it does on a normal day.

But could she please just sit down and stay there? Please?

Friday, October 28, 2011

Freedom for Comfort: Stalls

Recycled photo from last summer
Domestication requires many tradeoffs. Well, really just one, that all the others fall under: Freedom for Comfort.

In today's Freedom for Comfort installment, I'm going to tell you a little more about one of  humans' favorite Freedom-takers, the Stall.

Stalls are creepy for reasons other than the obvious lack of mobility. Most of them have solid parts up to nearly wither height, so when you are eating your hay you have to keep raising your head up to look about and make sure there are no predators at hand. Not all stalls are like that, though...

One of the hospitals I went to had a door (and a ceiling-to-floor window) that was barred, and you could still look for predators, even when you were laying down. That was nice.
Rood + Riddle Equine Hospital. Stock photo. Horse in stall is not me.

The barn with the groundhog had nice gaps between the boards between my stall and Jay's, which I thought was great. And when I came home from surgery, my stall at Aunt Marilyn's was a sectioned off part of the run-in, with two windows into the barn, so I could talk to and groom the Badger mares, and a half wall into the rest of the run in, so I could chat with Belle.
Photo from 2008. Gosh, that was a long time ago! Look how dark my face was. And note my beautiful Jeanie mare on the right... sigh.

The gate was a pipe gate with wire grid, so it was really see-throughable, and the stall was a double wide, so a lot better than normal stalls. Actually, when I lived at Uncle Jeff's, if I wasn't out with Snap my stall was a double wide there, too. That's the way I prefer if I have to be in a stall.

Another creepy thing about all too many stalls is that you can't touch anyone else. It's just you, and your own company, and four walls, and if there is no food left... I mean what do you want me to do? I could go mad in there like that! Like when I went to Equine Affair, there was nothing to look at. Solid walls on three sides, and a green wall past the front. I could smell and hear other horses, but I couldn't see anybody. Well, at times I could see the mule next to me's lower limbs and/or ears, as she attempted to scale the wall to get in with me. She didn't like the isolation, either. (Fortunately Mother spent a lot of time right outside the door with Aunt Karin, and when they were there I could put my head out and see others, and Mother took me out many times a day to graze or lunge or just walk around.)

By this point, you are wondering why any intelligent horse would be willing to subject themselves to a stall. Stalls aren't all bad. I mean, when I first met shavings, I was in love. So warm and comfortable in cold weather, compared to laying out on the frosty ground. And no backsplash! And it is convenient to have food and water right at hand. There's no bad weather, although sometimes odd noises.

To sum it up:
  • Stalls are more likely to have food
  • Stalls always have water
  • Stalls are more likely to be shady in summer
  • No one chases you when you are in a stall
  • Stalls don't have rocks in them to trip on or hurt your feet
  • There is no ice in stalls, or if there is it's just on your water bucket and the humans will come by several times a day to remove it and make sure your water is nice and warm
  • Stalls in summer have a cooling breeze box, which Mother calls a "fan"
  • In winter, there are less cold breezes in a stall

On the other hand, without a stall:
  • You can see all around you at all times, or walk to a place you can see all around you at all times
  • You can warm up by running about if you are cold
  • You can huddle next to your herdmates for warmth, like penguins
From my old Nokota home. None of these horses is me. The one kind of reminds me of my mother, though. My horse mother, not Mother Mother.
  • You can reach out and touch someone anytime you want (but the way the barn is set up at Aunt Marilyn's you can reach through the windows and confer, so that is not such a  strong point in favor of freedom... hmmm)
  • You can scavenge for food over a broader area than a stall offers
  • Fresh air and lovely landscape. If you're in a stall with poor maid service, it is way, way less than ideal
  • You have freedom! You can do whatever you want, whenever you want, as long as what you want is there in the environment. Which all too often, it's not...

So, I suppose I have already shown you who is the Winner: Domestication

Of course, I have a triple wide bedded run-in on an acre with my Belle. Best of both worlds, although I wish I had more like 278 acres.

Oh, well.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Trailering Tips

It occurred to me that humans may not really understand what goes on in the moving stall (trailer) behind them. While they are merrily singing and laughing and eating and drinking, things are happening in the back. So for anyone potentially riding in the back, here are some tips and knowledge I have learned through the years.

1. If you ride crammed in with others, you don't have to work nearly as hard to keep your balance. If you are by yourself, you want to keep at least one side or your butt up against the wall to brace yourself. Bracing yourself with your head and neck is not recommended.
1a. Some trailers have you stand with a squishy bar against your chest area, as well as in the back, and you can brace against those if you need to. These trailers allow the humans to pass under the chest bar and go out through the "escape door". There is often some sort of hay bag that hangs off the front wall and stretches to the chest bar.
1b. Escape door is for human use only.

2. Don't fluff the hay with your feet. Humans may give you a wall hay bag instead of the walk-through-area-hanging-manger-y bag if you persist in trying to fluff the hay with your feet... sigh. So it's not perfectly poofed the way you like it, but you know you can't reach up that high to fluff it. Mother shakes it out when she puts it in the wall bag, actually the manger-y bag too, but it isn't the same... hhhrmph.

3. If you do fluff the hay with your feet, and end up sideways in the hay area of the walk-through with the hay bags at your feet and the head divider displaced from it's normal location to behind your butt against the escape door,  just know you can't really eat the hay anymore. And you'll get a crick in your neck from craning it into the passenger-side horse area since you are longer than the space is. And you may require stitches. In multiple locations.

4. Water that drips down on you through the back door is just rain. It isn't acid and there is no reason to overreact.

5. When you load, the human doing the loading will usually give you a treat once you are safely aboard. Oh, and it is best if you know at least one member of the loading team. Otherwise, you may in fact find yourself the victim of theft. From what I hear, that doesn't end well.

6. Display caution when loading into a step up stock trailer, especially if it has straw on the floor. If you commit and leap with too much enthusiasm, you may slide forward on the straw and crash into the front wall or cut gate. Fortunately, Mother has this really nice chiropractor that comes to visit me.

7. If turning around is an option for unloading, it is preferable to do that so you may see how far down you may have to jump. I forget while I am on the trailer if it was a ramp or a step up or the giant step up (which really should have a lift gate, you know?). If you turn around, this problem can be avoided. If you must back off, display caution, and make sure the footing is safe before proceeding. Do not rush out backwards.

8. If you have the option, ride backwards. You can watch Mother in her car behind you that way. Oh, and it is easier to balance. And you're already facing out when it is time to unload.

9. You may stop every few hours at the truck feeding smelly place. This is a great time to take care of bodily functions that are more difficult to perform while in transit. This is also a good time to fill up on hay. You can judge how long a trip it will be by whether the humans offer you water or not. Water means you may still be in there for hours (or days...) and you should drink it if offered. Trips that require only one truck feeding usually won't have water offered.

10. If you like people watching, truck feeding stops are the place for you. Small female humans in particular seem to be attracted to the trailer, and they can be fun to watch as they hop up and down and try to peer in.

11. Always stay prepared. You never know when you may experience a sideways shift (humans call these "lane changes"), although you may hear a faint buzz/ticking from the side that you will be shifting to right before the shift happens. These usually happen smoothly but may arise suddenly without warning. This is possibly accompanied by a sudden acceleration or deceleration that may be unpleasant. If the humans have open windows, you may hear further unpleasantness.
11a. Just because you are going slow doesn't mean you are safe. Sometimes that just means you are going to go over a small mountain that makes the whole trailer jump. Humans call these speed bumps. I dislike speed bumps.

12. Don't ride while under the influence (in your Happy Place). Just say no. Well, actually, I say yes, but that's because I've found if they load you up while you are still Happy, they usually will stop before very long and get out and go feed themselves. So you sit there and eventually wake up a little bit more, and then you are fully awake awake, and then you start to realize that you are really, really hungry but there is no food because you were in your Happy Place, and by the time the humans come back you just want to get going. Come on! Let's get home for my dinner!

Umm, I think that covers the main points. Any questions?

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Colic Haiku

Aunt Nancy is a wonderful human. She has been there for me at a lot of important times, like when I first arrived in Ohio. She drove me on the trips I made to see Uncle Jeff, and visited me everyday when I was in the hospital for my skull, and she's just really nice.

She is currently halfway across the country, taking care of all sorts of horses that have been injured, or got tummy aches while pulling the beer wagon (I overheard Mother talking to Aunt Nancy about how they had one of the Budweiser horses come in. Mother tells me Budweiser is a kind of beer. And the horse showed up in a really, really big truck. Why don't they just use that to haul the beer?) or whatever, or are just sick and need help.

During a particularly bad stretch of frequent colics and surgeries, Aunt Nancy was feeling a little stressed. I think it was a matter of sleep deprivation, since she too often works without ceasing during her "call weeks". Mother calls her all the time, I didn't know it was so stressful.

Anyway, Aunt Nancy started describing things in a most unusual fashion. She was detailing surgeries using song lyrics and definite rhymes. Mother, ever the great empathizer, came up with this:

flip, flop
Get up! Let's not
die today

I'm not really sure what to think of this.
I mean, it doesn't even rhyme.
I know Mother doesn't mean to sound cavalier.
She's just trying to stay within the constrictions of a very stylized, traditional poetry format and... and ... well whatever.
It is true. The horses I've seen colicking, the humans often seem to try to get them on their feet, especially if the horses is flailing or thrashing or flopping about.
And there's that hopeful bit, where they want the horse to live.

It still is just a little creepy.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

An interesting opportunity

Mother says that sometimes my activities are... might be considered... um, well, a little bit DULL.

Just a touch, mind you. I don't see what could be more important than friends and food and love. And she rode me for seven or ten minutes yesterday. I do things.

She feels that she could perhaps be as entertaining as I am. And she has lots of stories to tell about Cappy.

So, please take a moment to respond to the poll I put up just under my picture at the top of the page.
Anyone can click it.
You don't have to be a member of my Hair Club for Men or anything.

ETA: The poll is closed, but Mother plans to announce the "other" blog when she has it up and running.

Love or Money?

Mother gives me lots of cookies.

Is this really a sign of her love, or is she trying to buy my compliance, my goodwill?

Is this appeasement?

Can I really be bought so easily?

Yes, yes I can.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

The Incredible Journey

Welcome to my mouth 

This was the focus of my weekend. Everything that happened was because of this.

Mother appeared very early on Saturday morning, and grumbled when she saw my sides, as they were not as white and clean as she had left them on Friday. My mane and tail were full of shavings. She made some not nice sort of comment, but then tilted her head and smiled. "I guess you got a good night's sleep, anyway." Why, yes I did, Mother. About time you looked at it from the proper perspective.

I endured her spraying me with something and rubbing me with a wet towel, (ugh), then off we went. We went out through the back pasture and into a place I don't know real well. We walked down an enormous hill, and then she made me trot alongside her in the grass while she trotted on the road. At one point I heard a car coming and Mother had me walk. She told the other humans later that the black mustang was going entirely too fast.

That was a car, Mother, not a mustang.

She would also have me walk and bring me onto the road to go around the few driveways and posts-with-boxes, but mostly I just trotted for the half mile or so. Then we climbed a not-as-big-but-still-big hill and we were at the funny parking lot.

The aunts were there, and we loitered until the truck and big trailer with the big step showed up. I climbed aboard, and we headed north for a long time.  Then we headed east a while. We stopped at the funny smelling place where they feed the truck, then we finally got to Uncle Jeff's.

The first thing I did when Mother led me off the trailer was look at the field where Snap and I used to stay. I didn't see her. I sighed, and Mother took me around to the round pen in back to wait until Uncle Jeff was ready for me. I called once for Snap, but heard no answer, so I took advantage of the amenities the round pen had to offer. Mother brought me a bucket of water, which was nice.

Finally, it was my turn in the torture chamber. I went in quite willingly, as I had also lived here for a lot of weeks, but I knew a moment's hesitation when I realized Mother intended I go in to the stocks. Sigh, fine. This is to be a torture session, I see.

Uncle Jeff gave me the Happy Place juice, and then he started doing what he does. It is loud and vibrate-y and weird. I kept looking at Mother: You said we were going to go visit Uncle Jeff. You didn't say it was a torture session.

I behave nicely, though. I mean, one look at the decor and you know it is just best to behave.

Afterward, I sat in a stall and stewed. Mother went away and I was all alone in the torture dungeon.

I may have dozed off.

Anyway, Mother came back, and after it was decided I was all the way back from my Happy Place, I went out into the roundpen again to try out my teeth.

There were some really funny looking guinea hens with giant heads. Mother said they are actually chickens.

When we were walking around before I loaded into the trailer, we walked over by the field again. I peered anxiously in to the run in shed. There was a large piece of farm equipment. And the water trough... I don't see it! Where is Snap? How are we supposed to stay here without water, and nowhere to stand in the run in?

Mother told me Snap had a new home, and that I was not staying. We walked some more and one of the chickens squawked and levitated and flapped 18 inches off the ground. I snorted under my breath with every stride, Mother giggled. Finally, we were ready to load up. I stood and debated my options for about a minute, but since Snap wasn't there, I sighed and heaved up the large step into the trailer for the long southern trip.

When we got to the funny parking lot, the aunts appeared and took my hay bags and Mother's bag and Mother and I again walked along the pretty but silent street. When we got up the enormous hill to the field gate, the aunts were there waiting to let me through.

How do they do that? They were just at the parking lot, and I know they didn't pass us.

I took a very long drink of water, and settled in with hay. I slept like a log, too.

Mother made no comment about any non-white areas she found on me today. Smart human.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

A long day and a dancing chicken

I am exhausted.

I went on a long walk and a long trip, then Uncle Jeff sent me to my Happy Place, then I saw a dancing chicken, which I thought might just be a hallucination from my middle trip, but Mother assured me was real, then another long ride and another long walk.

I will tell you all about it tomorrow. Right now, I need a nap.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Scrubbly Bubbly - We're Going Where?

Mother was talking to Aunt Marilyn about school things while she groomed me the other evening. Pulling burrs out of my tail... um, oowww, please pay a little more attention to what you're doing back there, Mother. I kind of tuned out of the conversation, since it obviously didn't pertain to me.

Then I thought I heard Aunt Marilyn ask if she knew this girl that was driving the trailer Saturday.

I tensed up, my ears swiveled back to where Mother was at. Trailer? TRAILER? Am I going somewhere??

I turned my head as much as I could in the crossties and looked back at Mother with an anxious expression. She noticed my consternation, and said, "Don't worry, Bif. We're just going up to see Uncle Jeff."  I immediately relaxed and put my ears back to forward.* I like Uncle Jeff. I've spent a lot of time up there with him and... ooh, is Snap still there, I wondered? Mother must have read my mind, because she said Snap wasn't there anymore, but I'd of course get to see Uncle Jeff and maybe Aunt Julie. They are both so nice.

So today, Mother decided since it was nice and warm out that I could use a little scrub and rinse to make me look "more presentable".


It is not easy being grey.

As long as she doesn't decide to spray me with too many chemicals afterward, I don't actually mind a bath. I have my winter fur well started and it is in the 80s out here. Whew!

* Exactly how it happened. I swear he understands English better than most high school seniors.- Mother

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Dull is as dull does

Mother came up today to visit me. Since I was still eating my midday meal in the run-in with Belle, Mother decided to pick the Small and do some more rough work while I finished up.

She was out working by the fence line when I left the run-in. I walked very, very slowly to her, but stopped about 20 feet away. She said nice things like "Hello handsome, how are you today? I'm almost finished." I stared. She walked over to pet me, flicked a discolored booger out of my right eye, peered at my left eye, looked at my nostrils. "You OK, buddy?" I stared, somewhat dully.

She went back to her fork and wheelbarrow. I walked over to her and waited patiently just feet from her, but out of the way of her work. She forked a few piles and pet me again, and asked if I was OK.

She moved on to another area. I followed. I waited patiently a few feet away but was not in her way. She said several times that she was nearly finished and that if I would just wait a few more minutes... Well, I am waiting, Mother.


She sighed, left the instruments where they were, and plucked my halter and lead off the post where she had first put them when she came out. I was already walking to meet her. She peered anxiously at me on the porch, and went inside for something.

She came back out, put something from a tube on the object in her hand, then proceeded to... uh, perform an internal temperature examination.

You would think with all the gadgets and sophisticated things humans have they would have discovered a more civilized method to detect abnormalities.


Mother said I was on the highest end of "normal", though I usually run on the lowest end of "normal". She continued to peer anxiously at me.

She gave me some bute with my dinner, which I ate well. She made sure I had plenty of hay for afterward. She pet me, removed another discolored booger from the same eye, and gave me more Herballs. She promises to come see me even though she has class tomorrow.

She said I must be feeling under the weather. It was actually a really pretty day out, so I'm not sure what she means.

And I am too tired to really try to think about it.
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