Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Evolution: Part 1

I am born, and I am wild. No human can touch me. They can't even come close.

Years pass and I grow in height and length and breadth and strength. I am wild and no human can touch me.

There are times we are driven through catch pens. My body is surrendered but not my will. The humans touch me, and I shudder. I grow wilder so the humans can't touch me.

They drive us in for branding, but I am wily and clever and do not get captured. I am unbranded, I am wild, and no human will touch me.

At times, in passing as they feed hay, one gets a hand on me before I skitter away. I should be more watchful, it is dangerous to be lax. I must stay wild, why do the humans touch me?

One day I see a human that is different. What exactly is different, I can not decide. But all the horses walk up to her, and she pets them. Why does she want to? Why do they let her?

I walk nearer, and slide up alongside in my time. She pets and she scratches me, pleasant yet... why?  Do I stay wild, or do I let the humans touch me?

She strokes and she scratches and shows all is fine. She is kind and it's not like I can't stay wild.

Time passes, and I only miss her touch when I see her again. Wild is lonely at times.

Monday, August 29, 2011

A literary sort of day

Mother wanted me to put up one of her favorite poems on here. She gave me some cookies, so I said OK.

It is a circle of life sort of poem, if there are any sensitive sorts out there.

Names of Horses


All winter your brute shoulders strained against collars, padding 
and steerhide over the ash hames, to haul 
sledges of cordwood for drying through spring and summer, 
for the Glenwood stove next winter, and for the simmering range.

In April you pulled cartloads of manure to spread on the fields, 
dark manure of Holsteins, and knobs of your own clustered with oats.
All summer you mowed the grass in meadow and hayfield, the mowing machine 
clacketing beside you, while the sun walked high in the morning;

and after noon's heat, you pulled a clawed rake through the same acres, 
gathering stacks, and dragged the wagon from stack to stack, 
and the built hayrack back, uphill to the chaffy barn, 
three loads of hay a day from standing grass in the morning. 

Sundays you trotted the two miles to church with the light load 
a leather quartertop buggy, and grazed in the sound of hymns. 
Generation on generation, your neck rubbed the window sill 
of the stall, smoothing the wood as the sea smooths glass.

When you were old and lame, when your shoulders hurt bending to graze,
one October the man, who fed you and kept you, and harnessed you every morning,
led you through corn stubble to sandy ground above Eagle Pond,
and dug a hole beside you where you stood shuddering in your skin,

and lay the shotgun's muzzle in the boneless hollow behind your ear,
and fired the slug into your brain, and felled you into your grave, 
shoveling sand to cover you, setting goldenrod upright above you,
where by next summer a dent in the ground made your monument.

For a hundred and fifty years, in the pasture of dead horses,
roots of pine trees pushed through the pale curves of your ribs,
yellow blossoms flourished above you in autumn, and in winter
frost heaved your bones in the ground - old toilers, soil makers:

O Roger, Mackerel, Riley, Ned, Nellie, Chester, Lady Ghost.

Bif back in:  I have my own opinion of this poem. I was raised on a large ranch with hundreds of other horses. I have seen horses shot, and I have seen the vet make them sleep. I have seen them sicken and then die, with no one to care for them. I think these horses worked hard and the humans worked hard, and both cared for the other, and it is all we could ask.

I don't have to work at all, but I am special. 
Or Mother's special. I hear they have a special automobile for that. Maybe she'll get one. Then she can fill it with cookies!!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


Oh, hello, Mother...

 You have something for me...? OK...

Is that a...

...a camera?

It's RED. I don't like red.

Mother, this is NOT a flattering angle!! What are you doing?!

Mother's favorite angle...

Wait, wait. That is not a pleasant angle... I am not that fat. What are you doing?

Umm, OK, you can go away with the camera now...


Dinner is Served!

Steps to feeding me, as undertaken by Mother:

Step 1: Set the mood... usually I get a good brushing, then turnout to munch on some green yumminess while Mother prepares my dinner. Pickings is slim in the small.

Step 2: Place feed bowl with adequate water in it on floor in feed room.

Step 3: Add apple cider vinegar.

Step 4: Put "grain" in to soak. At the moment, my grain in Empower Balance, which is a creepy color, especially soaked, but whatever.

Step 5: Open Smartpak strip of suppies. Stir, shake, or do the hokey-pokey to incorporate.

Step 6: Add a small scoop of my special red salt. Slightly scanty most days, slightly more if it has been hot out.

Step 7: Add my IR powder.

Step 8: Crumble up some of my Withers & Withers IR cookies onto the mush.

Step 9: Squirt a little more vinegar in there for insurance. Stir, shake, or do the hokey-pokey to incorporate.

Step 10: Re-procure me. I am usually watching and waiting as I graze so I may amble up casually at just the right time.

Step 11: Go into feed stall, stepping carefully past Jeanie, who stares at me with hostile yet hopeful eyes.

Step 12: Often the grain is waiting for me. If not, I must wait as Mother opens the door, then I have to step back if asked, and put my ears forward before she'll put the feeder down. Sometimes I cheat by turning my head a bit and only put the closest ear forward.... GIVE ME MY FOOD!!

Step 13: Eat my perfect dinner while Jeanie stares. She'll get to lick the bowl when I'm done. And she gets fed three times a day, and I only get one graining, so stop sticking up for her!

Steps to feeding me, as undertaken by one of the aunts:

Step 1: Open Smartpak strip into feeder. Scooch into pile.

Step 2: Plop some of Jeanie's soaked feed onto my suppies.

Step 3: Sprinkle my IR powder on.

Step 4: Maybe remember the apple cider vinegar, maybe not.

Step 5: Aunt Marilyn holds my feed pan so Belle doesn't share. Aunt Carol may, or she'll plop the pan down and expect me to fend for myself.

I much prefer that Mother comes to feed me! Plus, I always get my goodbye kiss and cookies, or Herballs, as the case may be.

I guess she's not such a bad cookie and care human after all.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

To the grave

Certain secrets, Mother shouldn't know. I know she ponders these things, sometimes she even asks me straight out, but I will not tell:

1. How did I learn to suck in my belly when she weight tapes me? I blow up my belly for girthing (only a teensy bit, not like most horses). 1-b. How do I know that cookies keep flowing if the weight tape stays below 1,000 lbs? Actually, I've been staying well below 970 lbs, unless Mother keeps the tape on real long and I have to start breathing again.

2.Why am I rubbing my tail?

3. Where is the !$@!z&! old camera?

Even I don't know the answer to that one...

Good help

The incompetence of Mother is staggering. "I need a camera"... how hard is that??

First I got endless excuses as to how it wasn't her fault it got broken. Then how cameras were expensive. Then, she assures me she got us a new one, but it has no memory or brain or whatever.

Mother has misplaced my old camera... she assures me it has not been disposed of yet. The problem, however, is she needs some part of it (the brain?) to make the new camera work. Come on, lady, it's been weeks and weeks now!

What is wrong with you?

Perhaps I'll find something more charitable to say about her later, but I doubt it.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Chinese Water Torture

Picture, if you will, a beautiful summer day... a lovely soft breeze, gentle sun through the cloud breaks, low humidity and 76 degrees. The gentle sound of dripping water is a soporific counterpoint to the low hummmmm of the clippers as Mother trims up my lower legs...

The dripping water? That's drool. Lots of drool. Quarts, even. Puddling on the brickwork of the porch, well, what I didn't splatter onto the railing first. But it does add to the spa effect.

Mother grumbled today that I have gone from being embarrassed by my malady to strategic... just because I like to release it on the lead rope, reins, or Mother when possible.

Teehehheee. A horse has to have a little fun, after all. And what's a little drool among friends?

Mother brushed me, lunged me really briefly, tacked me (shudder) and then lunged me for about two circles again before affixing the bridle and hopping aboard. I was very fussy with the bit, mostly because it is impossible to keep a good seal to keep all that drool from coming out... when I did manage, Mother would seemingly insist on a turn that caused my mouth to open and more saliva to gush everywhere. Like my legs. Ewwww!

After our ride, she threatened bathing, since I slept on the warm pillow last night... actually, the whole mattress was warm pillow. Mother was not pleased at all. She decided, however, to let me remain unbathed as the day was chillier than it has been... the upper 80s will be here again soon enough.

So instead she clipped the bridle path, my legs, and fed me my suppies dinner a little earlier than usual. Of course the aunts had cleaned the run-in while Mother and I were busy... I prefer they do it in the morning, because it can take all day to get my mattress just right.

Guess I better get to work.


Friday, August 12, 2011

Pink eye and other miracles

Mother has accepted the fact that I can and will remove the silly blue fly bonnet at will. We have returned to the system where she places SWAT strategically to deter flies from troubling my face.

It's kind of a linebacker look:
Last year's photo... don't get excited that my mane has grown back. 

And of course, it's important to keep those flies away from my ears:

In a somewhat related vein, Mother has only pulled three or four burrs from me this entire summer. The aunts' burdock eradication plan really helped a lot, and with the rain we've had through the summer, I haven't had to forage in as many rough places to find grass to eat. By this time last year, Mother had been de-burring for weeks on end and finally chopped all my hair off.

Mother has also successfully killed two bomber flies on me this year, and I didn't even flinch! I've finally figured out that she really isn't trying to hurt me, although sometimes her whacking is a little overzealous, if you ask me.

Perhaps Mother will bring my camera up sometime this weekend. She claims she has to find the old one and something about a sanitary card or something? I have no idea what she is talking about.

How could she have lost my old camera so fast?


She thinks the thorough hosing after the "waterless" cleaning qualifies as a miracle, too, but guess what?
I'm still rubbing my tail.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Serious Business: PSA

I'm not a gossipy type horse, and I don't believe in chain letters, but I do believe in changing misconceptions. So while this is a bit off topic (I don't even have a pond to swim in):

Drowning doesn't look like drowningWhat does it look like?

I am just one horse. But I have lots of human friends, and those friends have lots more friends.

And I would like for those human friends to keep giving me cookies.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Squeaky Clean... part of me, anyway

Since I've not really stopped rubbing my tail, Mother decided yesterday to once again perform a waterless cleaning of my very private area.  That accomplished, she scrubbed up my tail, and some of my torso et cetera that had gotten waterless cleaning cleaner on it. Then while hosing that all off, the waterless cleaning became quite a bit more like a waterful cleaning.

She rinsed me thoroughly. Very thoroughly. I think there may still be water slogging around in there. However, I was a well behaved equine... I mean, after what happened the other week, I'm certainly not afraid of a little water!!

Tomorrow the chiropractor comes out for me and all the herd but the fat donkey, oh, and I believe my camera has arrived. Since Mother is unable to attend my chiro-ing, however, it seems there will be no actual footage of my spa experience. Hopefully the aunts will give me some cookies?

Probably not.


squeak    squeak     squeak*

*The sound of a squeaky clean Bif walking away.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Nothing Special

Mother tells me from time to time that I am not as unique as I think...

She has a point.

This is a picture from my old home in North Dakota. I am none of these horses. Mother finds this picture an absolute riot... I don't know why, though.

Apparently my camera is on the way... then you can go back to looking at ME!!
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