Sunday, July 31, 2011

Summer Slither

This summer has been awfully warm. Most days when Mother comes up, she hoses me off. I've actually decided that on hot days, the hose is my good friend. Mother even holds it up by mouth so I can drink and rinse my mouth.

For whatever reason, humans think it is fascinating if you drink out of a hose, and this can be a great tool if you want them to stop hosing off your body.

Even though it is warm out, Mother still tries to make sure I get some exercise on the days she comes up. Sometimes she lunges me in the small, sometimes in the multipurpose, and sometimes we go on my postal route.

The other day along the postal route, on the way back home Mother stopped and stared intently down at the concrete. Other than the long black snake on the road, I couldn't see anything amiss. Mother looked at me, but since I couldn't figure out that she wanted anything from me, I just sighed and waited for her to make up her mind that we were walking again.

I've seen snakes my whole life. And it's less scary than meeting the bizarre snakes that humans use, that spit water and air and who knows what else.

Oh, and great news!! Mother says that she has a new camera for me on the way. Something about points earned, and a lot of those points were from me... Uh, I don't know anything about points, Mother, but you're welcome.

I wonder how many cookies she could order with those points... hmmmm.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Penny Tour- you get what you pay for

Since Mother is too cheap to get me my camera yet, I decided to show you all my home a little differently:

I think you can click it to make it bigger.

The Small is the one-ish acre pasture Belle and I live in all the time.
The Multipurpose is a paddock-y area that was once the "arena" but now is not really footed, and just grassy.
The Good Grass Pasture is about 3 or 4 acres, and it has lots of trees and grass and slopes away from the barn area.
The Garden Paddock would be up and to the left of the Multipurpose if Mother could plan her diagrams better.
All those blue things are gates. There are lots of ways to get around.

This tour would be better if I had a camera again. Sorry.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Infamous Coat Story: As told by Mother

Boyfriend has been too ashamed to let this story out, but it is too funny not to share, and such an example of Bif-ness.

I am cleaning the run-in, with Bif and Belle in attendance.  Growing warm from my labors, I remove my winter coat and set it, folded, over one of the arms of the wheelbarrow. Belle is well known for investigating/molesting anything we may leave out, but Boyfriend is not a fusser. He seldom mucks about with anything we might leave out, so I am surprised when he goes over to sniff and investigate.

I forgot that there had been Herballs in the pocket the evening before. While the Herballs were gone, perhaps their scent lingered.

Bif grasps the coat in his teeth and starts to back up. I give the infamous ANN-ANNT sound to indicate, NO! Bif, now alarmed that he is being followed by the coat and in trouble with Mother, attempts to flee the area, swinging away into Belle. Coat still attached.

Belle squeals, turns, and flees the run-in. Bif scoots to the far corner, frantic that the coat continues to follow him. He starts cutting back and forth, spinning, attempting to evade the assailant that constantly dances in front of him and occasionally slaps his legs and chest. This goes on for some time. At least two minutes. Perhaps longer. In about a 16 by 12 foot section of the run-in.

I'm ashamed now to admit I stood, cartoonish, hand extended and laughing Ha-HA. Torn by my desire to go and offer assistance, knowing I would more likely be trampled in the endeavor; by my shame at laughing at my poor, bewildered beast; and by outright humor at the fact that my horse is too stupid to just open his mouth and let the coat go.

I'm also a bit disturbed that all of this is taking place over the yet-to be cleaned portion, so not only is Bif tearing up the bedding and stirring in muck, my coat is not being rendered any cleaner in the process.

To make it worse (funnier), Belle periodically charges in, squealing and striking with her front legs at Bif's attacker, then turns and flees again. Bif tries to follow her out, but the coat stops him every time. That, and he is leery enough of passing through the canvas and or shade cloth on an ordinary day... now, he is convinced it is a solid wall.

Finally, as I sidle up to assist, the crazed mare charges in yet again, squeals, strikes, spins, and Bif follows her out while the windbreak canvas is still out of the way,  dropping my coat just outside of the run-in.

I catch my breath, blot my tears of laughter, and decide to catch him up, and check his mouth thoroughly to see if he had perhaps grabbed it near the elastic cords and one had hooked on his teeth... Marilyn came up while I was attempting to catch him. I could only sputter and make odd noises. I tried to reassure her that everything was fine, but I couldn't really breath. Bif was of course petrified this whole time.

There were no abrasions in his mouth.
There were no rips to the coat.
There was one hell of a funny story.

I only wish I had been able to catch the whole thing on video. We would definitely have won $100,000.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Lost Ruby

Mother has been a little quiet lately. One of her favorite mares from our old barn passed away this week. You may remember I was jealous that Mother would ride the Big Ruby, but that doesn't mean I wanted anything bad to happen to her.


She and another mare died unexpectedly midweek. Both were young... I believe Ruby was only six. The doctors are still trying to find out what caused this, I only know Mother has been very sad, has hugged me lots, and I've been getting lots more cookies.

It's the only good that has come of this. Poor Ruby. Goodbye, my friend.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Feel the Burn

OK, this last week was a nightmare. Mother came up to give me a bath on Tuesday. She sprayed me with stuff, fly sprayed me, and put some GnatGnoo all over my lower regions. I didn't mind, because it wasn't pink, and you need something to keep the flies away.

Sometime during the night, I realized things weren't feeling quite right. By the time Mother came and saw me the next afternoon, I was miserable and swollen and burning up. Mother was beside herself. Really. I was in enough discomfort I saw two of her.

Because Mother has no discretion, she told others my story. Like being burned alive isn't bad enough, you go and tell the world, Mother? Really?

It took awhile, but I am at last recovered. Well, hairless, but healthwise recovered.

And I got a lot of cookies out of it. But if that's what it takes to get cookies, I would go my whole life without another.

Let us never speak of this incident again.

Monday, July 11, 2011

The Rules of the Blair Witch

Well, Mother says she has limited resources at this time for my new camera. I say humans (and Fenway and Grey) like to a have a little visual to enhance their reading experience.

So I decided to put up some footage Mother took of that fateful night... you know, the night she broke the camera by carelessly hurling it toward the ground and then tried to blame me?

Mother only has one other video of attempting to lunge me, from long ago when I was staying at Uncle Jeff's recovering from surgery on my face. The problem with Mother doing the video at these times, though, is that she obviously isn't paying attention to ME, so I have to fix that.

The first, very very short clip is from her ill fated attempt last week. She was staring down at the little black box and not at me, so I stopped. Oh, and she really doesn't like when I turn in during a stop. I am supposed to stay in the line of travel. Well, she is supposed to be paying attention to me! And she's not looking at me, and she didn't say the word, so how was I supposed to know I should trot?
video
This is out in the small, and the ground slopes slightly, away from the barn area and where Belle is loitering. At times when we lunge out there, I hustle a little bit on the downgrade and you can tell my bad leg isn't perfect. In the next clip, you'll notice it most when I am going on the downhill and at the bottom of the slope. Actually, you probably won't notice anything but you might wish you had some Dramamine. It's very bumpy, because Mother can't do multiple things at once... well, not very well.

Mother decided to look at me and just kind of hold the black box facing me. (You may need more than Dramamine.) You'll notice I listen well to voice command, but still turned in a little bit when I halted. That got me more work. sigh.
video

Shortly after this Mother dropped the camera and said I tugged it out. No, you are uncoordinated, Mother.

Mother has all sorts of "Guidelines" for being lunged... here are the most important ones I keep track of:
  • Stay at the end of the rope, but don't pull. I mess that pulling part up sometimes, mostly when I canter to the right. Even on the super big circle.
  • Keep your body in the arc of the circle. 
  • Don't stare off into the distance. 
  • Move farther out, making a bigger circle, if she looks at the shoulder and says "OUT".
  • Halt when told and stay in line. I actually am usually pretty good about that, but with her holding the black box, obviously something was going on and I was keeping an eye on it!
  • Pick up the pace requested and stay there until told otherwise. 
  • "Down Trot" means shorten up the trot.
  • "Up Trot" means move out at the trot.
  • "Aaannnnd" means she is going to ask for something else. 
  • "AN-AENNNT!" means I am doing something displeasing, like dipping my head to grab some grass.  
  • Oh, and just because "Walk" is slower that trot, it doesn't mean stop. If she says walk, I better keep moving.
So many rules!

She owes me a lot more cookies.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Revolting!

Something must be done. I need a plan. Mother is taking me for granted, and I have decided this can not be tolerated any longer.

Why would I make such a statement?

Mother abandoned me all work week long. She skipped in, la ti da, for about 15 minutes early on Friday evening, and flung my dinner in at me in the small. She couldn't even spare the time to take me in the barn and allow me to dine in peace in the feeding stall?? (Although it was fun dinner entertainment watching her cow cut  back and forth the whole time to keep Belle out of the run in while I ate.)

Saturday, she didn't even come up at all. She was off caring for my old buddy Sonney, who is now living some ways away. Like that is an excuse?  You could have come out earlier in the day, Mother.

sniff

sniff

And then this evening, she comes waltzing in smelling of dust and strange horses (with a brief hint of Haflinger) and saddles and happiness. Worse, she was on her flippy phone the entire time she brought me in, fly sprayed me, picked my feet, brushed me, rasped a chip in my hoof, shellacked me with more fly spray, coated my head with Gnatural Gcream, made my dinner, and turned me back out. Even my goodbye kiss and Herballs were dispensed while her busy little mind and busier mouth were running on with that phone and not me!

Apparently, she went to a show and rode around jumping over things and whatnot. She stopped at another place and visited with the Haflinger that she has apparently been riding. I'm always the last to know.

And she gave a whole bunch of my Herballs away to other horses!  My Herballs!

Is that really what you want, Mother? Is it really just all about you and riding and jumping and stuff? About what horses can do for you?

What about me? I am still here, you know...

Monday, July 4, 2011

Some Holiday

Mother came to the barn yesterday afternoon, hosed me off (I was a little sweaty, I admit), fed me my suppies, and bolted for the hills. No cookies. Ah, well, whatever. At least I got my dinner.

She returned later in the evening with Aunt Margie. She smelled of other horses. Hrrmmmph. She tacked me up, and off we went to the multipurpose. She clambered aboard, and we walked into the good grass pasture. Mother makes fun of me because I don't like walking out through the gap, but I slid the first time we went through that earlier this year. It could happen again. A horse needs to keep his feet, so excuse me if I'm a little cautious.

We walked around to the back fence, and there were occasional loud booms that sound sort of like guns but not quite. They have been going off at times for days now ... what are the humans hunting? Whatever it is they are shooting at, there are either a lot of them to catch or those hunters are really bad shots. I flinched at a really loud one, but Mother seemed unconcerned so I figured they weren't shooting in our direction.

(I must say, later that evening, the hunters must have come upon a whole flotilla/herd/flock/murder/pod of whatever it was they were hunting, because there were shots for 40 minutes straight at one point, and lots of intermittent ones, too. Humans are strange.)

Oh, so anyway, on the way back across the field, Mother started saying "Hi, Dear!" Well, d'uh, I'm right here, and you've been on for a few minutes. Why are you saying "hi" now?  Then there was a commotion to the right, and I saw a deer bolt away. I jumped and flinched, but Mother reminded me she was with me and everything was ok. As we walked on, I still stared towards the deer. Mother rose up in her stirrups, probably to resettle herself as she often does, but at the time it freaked me out... was an alien pulling her up off my back and it was going to grab me next?!? I started to get the hell out of there, but Mother sat back down and told me to "WHOA", so I did. She pat me and we walked on, up towards the gap where Aunt Margie was sitting. But she started making an odd sound with the black thing she was holding.

Aunt Margie's black, clicky thing is scary, and I refused to go anywhere near her, even though she put it away. She obviously still has it somewhere. Mother had me walk out over the branch by the garden paddock corner, walked me in the multipurpose a little while, then leapt off (always kind of freaky) and pat me.

See, photographic evidence of the abuse. I don't think all this carting Mother about can be good for my joint... and if I say I don't want to go near Aunt Margie, she shouldn't insist like that...



Oh, well, I did get some cookies out of it, and 5 minutes on the lawn. And it's not like she's on me for that long... I guess I'll hold off calling the authorities a little longer...

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Strange Offerings

Mother was rifling though the home garden the other day, and decided to check on the carrots' progress. She thought it would be fun to bring me these. I think I would rather have had cookies.


She then thought video footage of the sacrificial offering would be fun. Unfortunately for you, Mother doesn't know how to edit the video, so the first 15 seconds are a little stumbly.

video

She's so inept, she actually dropped the camera a bit later. And has been trying to blame it on me. hhhmmrph.

OH NO!! How will she document my activities now???
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