Friday, September 21, 2007

Growing Pains!

I am worn out and fuzzy eyed from lack of sleep. For some reason the barn owner decided that MY barn was the ideal place to wean the baby horses. She moved me, Trooper, Pebbles, Shorty, Frosty and Dill down to the south end of the barn and put the babies in the first 6 stalls nearest the office. All of the mares have been moved down to barn four. At first we thought they were just shifting us around to pull up mats and strip stalls, but during the afternoon the broodmares were brought in two at a time, lead into stalls with their babies and then quickly led out, leaving the two foals in the stall. The racket was unbelievable. Who knew that such small creatures could make so much noise, and for such a long period of time? By the end of the day there were twelve foals all crying their heads off and banging around the stalls. The noise level was unreal!

Poor Shorty spent the day with his head tucked in the corner, flinching and swishing his tail. By the time my human arrived I was fairly on edge myself. She must have seen that I was a wreck because she merely haltered me and then took me for a stroll away from the barns. It was nice to get out in the open and away from the noise. When we returned to the barn it was feeding time and the babies had quieted down somewhat. My human stayed with me while I ate and brushed me down. She is so well trained and considerate, truly a credit to her upbringing.

Shorty finally came out of his corner long enough to eat, but he still had a rather glassy look in his eyes. Trooper was his usually grumpy, but silent self. He has not been speaking to Shorty or me since the winged human incident and refuses to admit what a pompous oaf he is.

After feeding time my human left for the evening and the barn lights were turned down. Things remained fairly quiet for a while and then the first foal started his hollering again. This set all of them off and soon it was like they were being stuck with sharp sticks, their yells were so loud. The cat beast crept along the rafters until he was over the first foals' stall. He sat and watched them for a few moments and then hissed rather nastily and left the barn. As much as I despise the beast I do envy his freedom. Why is it that horses, obviously the smartest beings on the planet, must be contained, while other lesser beasts run free? It must be because our sheer intelligence would overwhelm the lesser creatures and give us unfair advantage. I can’t ponder the implications tonight; my ears ring with foal whinnies. More Later:

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

As if Llamas weren't bad enough!

We returned from the show last weekend quite late in the afternoon. I was so tired I didn't speak to anyone, just ate my hay and went to sleep. My human was thoughtful enough to wipe the green glob stain from my face before we showed, so thoughts of it eating into my brain did not disturb my slumber.

Shorty, Trooper, Pebbles and I were turned out the next day in the north paddock. I must say that Trooper was rather a snot. He discounted all mention of my bravery, even when Shorty asserted that we could have all been killed had I not faced the monster down. He look down that long warmblood nose of his and said we were all sissies and the thing was no danger at all. Easy for him to say in a nice safe paddock with no monsters around for miles. Pebbles was so furious that he went off by himself to graze. He's always thought Trooper was a snob, especially after he got that imported human to ride him.

Shorty and I grazed side by side for awhile and talked about the show. He told me that he had several frightening moments when the little black boxes were pointed at him, but when he realized that he wasn't going to get sucked inside he finally relaxed. His human was pleased that Shorty placed well in the reining and trail classes. Just when we were about to doze Trooper came up and started getting all snooty with us again.

I listened to his nastiness long enough to get annoyed and was just about to turn and pop a kick into his chest when he suddenly went flying backwards, snorting up a storm. Shorty and I froze and then quickly looked around. I didn’t see anything, but Trooper was having absolute fits! He turned and bolted across the paddock and smacked into the fence, breaking the top rail. Shorty and I looked at each other, wondering what was bothering Trooper when suddenly a giant shadow passed over us.

We both looked up and almost fell over in fright! A giant multi colored bird was passing overhead, holding a human in its claws. Pebbles came galloping up and we watched the bird thing glide overhead. Trooper just went crazy. He galloped down the rail and then jumped out at the corner, bolting for the barn.

We all backed up a few steps and then another huge shadow passed over us and we saw another huge bird, holding a human, right above. Much to our amazement the humans started yelling to each other and the big birds circled around above us. While this was going on we could hear crashing and more yelling as Trooper ran about through the barns.

Pebbles spoke up and said that the birds weren't really big enough to hurt us, but we should still get out of the way, so we trotted over to the rail to stand and watch them circle. Shorty offered up the thought that maybe they were strange buzzards and had found the humans lying almost dead somewhere, but since we couldn’t smell any carrion odors we quickly dismissed this idea.
Soon the circles got smaller and slower and the bird things dropped closer to the ground. When they were just a few paddock lengths above us we could see that the winged things weren't birds, but some kind of floppy material. And the humans were held in with straps.

Right about the time the things touched down Trooper bolted past again. He made it almost even with the paddock gate when he saw the winged things landing. He shrieked in fear, spun out on the grass and took off again for the barn. The barn owner's Jack Rustle Rat Terror dog took off after him and yapped like a fiend. We watched this with no little amusement. As much as we hated the dog, we were glad to see Trooper getting his comeuppance.

We heard some clinking and turned around to see both winged things on the ground with their humans. I must admit that the big flappy wings were scary when at eye level, but since they stayed in the middle of the paddock we weren't frightened too much. One of the humans was soon out of his harness and walked over to the gate. The other one gather up the winged things and started working with them and soon had them folded up. By now we were interested and moved closer.

The first human disappeared and we heard him arguing with the barn owner, then the door of the office shutting. The second human carried the wings over to the fence and heaved them over. By now all the drama was gone and we had almost returned to grazing when Trooper's imported human drove up in that nasty foreign rattletrap he drives. He leaped out of the thing and bolted into the barn office. This was just too interesting to miss so we all cantered over to the fence to listen.

The office door slammed open and Trooper's human was yelling at the wing human and the barn owner. Our barn owner is quite the stout filly and she pushed him in his chest and said some things that had our ears burning. Shorty hid his head. Trooper's human screeched and shook his fist at the wing human and then stomped off to the barn. The barn manager said a few heated things to the wing human and he sounded very sorry and contrite when he replied. He also offered to pay for the fence Trooper broke. They spoke some more and then the wing human walked the road to where his companion waited. Shortly thereafter a van pulled in and they loaded their stuff and left.

Meanwhile Trooper had finally been cornered and caught. His human was shrieking in that strange language of his and giving the barn humans a hard time. When they led Trooper past he kept his head turned away from us and refused to look our way. Shorty was less polite than Pebbles and me and he whickered rather nastily. Trooper flinched but still never looked around.
I would hope that the next time I tell him about some death-ray-eyed, green-acid spitting monster he won't scoff and accuse me of being a sissy. At least I didn’t run from the plastic wing things. I do wonder what happened to the Rat Terror dog. He was absent the rest of the afternoon. Maybe if we pick up Trooper's feet we'll find him! It's too charming a thought. More Later.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Alien Camels from Mars

Today was a rather strange day. We went to a show at a small county fair. Shorty, despite the fact he is still in disgrace, was brought along too. I rode over with Pebbles in the big metal leg scrambler and we were stalled in a barn that smelled rather strongly of cows. Pebbles complained about this until I told him to stuff a hoof in it.

Just before noon we were taken out and saddled up in preparation for our afternoon classes. After our humans were mounted we walked over to the smaller warm-up arena. The arena was very crowded. English and Western styles were being practiced, as well as some horses allowing their humans to ride around bareback, sloppily dressed and behaving with the worst show ring etiquette. I resolved that my human would behave more circumspectly in public and to this end I worked toward getting her to yield and focus.

A short time later one of the big pleasure classes was called and the warm up arena cleared out quite a bit. I was just getting my human into proper balance by working some big figure 8's when suddenly things exploded around us. Horses bolted past, their riders screaming and jerking on the reins. My rider shrieked, but I held firm and halted near the center of the arena. I could see that Pebbles had hit the rails in the corner and Shorty was squished in the middle of a large bunch of horses on the opposite end from the entry gate. I could feel my human's hands trembling on the reins and I resolved that I would not let her spook, I gently maneuvered around until I could see the entrance gate and then I froze in total fear.

A long necked shaggy creature was walking toward me from the gate. It had a stalk like neck that ended in a wedge shaped head. The eyes were huge and gave the impression that they could see in a complete circle around it. The fur was dense and shaggy with big splotches of red and white. It was smaller than a cow, but larger than a sheep. My human shrieked again and I backed a few steps. I could hear the horses and humans behind me bunching tighter and the splintering of the rails as the horses pressed against them. I know without looking that I was alone in the center of the arena with the alien creature. I desperately searched my brain for what it could be when I heard several humans start shouting words. CAMELLAMAGOATCIRCUS!
What in the name of Man O'War's hoof was a Camellama? Were they meat eating? I was determined to protect my human and I struck out with my forefoot and snorted. The Camellama stopped and stared at me, blinking its huge black eyes. I could feel my human tighten her legs and gently tug the reins. I ignored her, knowing that I alone stood between my friends and the Camellama's death ray eyes.

The creature stretched its long neck toward me. I could see its strange slit nostrils and long tubular ears coming closer. I must admit that my heart was racing and my legs trembled. I felt as if my hoofs were rooted to the ground. I just knew that if I turned my back to flee the thing would leap upon me and devour my human. Closer and closer the thing's face stretched toward mine. I drew in my neck as much as I could. Suddenly its head quickly came forward and its nose touched my own! I neighed and felt my rear end almost fall out from under me. Then the creature drew back its head and lifted its evil lips. The next thing I knew I had a wad of green alien goop on my forehead. I whinnied in fear, knowing that the goop would eat through to my brain. My human was by now shaking and I could feel her hands drop the reins. Before I was aware of it she was on the ground beside me, making huge sobbing noises. I wanted to comfort her and tell her I would willingly die for her again, but before I could shake the green goop from my forehead I heard shouting from the end of the arena. Two men ran in holding lead ropes and shaking a bucket. The Camellama turned its head at the sound and then casually walked over to the bucket. One of the men snapped a lead rope around its neck and then led it from the arena.

My human fell against me, still shaking and I wrapped my head around her in sympathy. My forehead wasn't burning from the green goop and I was hoping that maybe it wouldn't eat its way into my brain before I got to tell her goodbye. After a few minutes I realized that my human wasn't sobbing in fear. She was doing that braying thing that humans do when they think something is funny. In fact I could now hear other humans doing the same thing, mine almost collapsed with it. She actually bent over and started gasping. Pebbles came over and his human dismounted and helped my human up. They were both braying and had water on their faces.

I was rather annoyed as we walked back to the barn. My human did have the decency to clean the green alien goop from my forehead. It didn"t burn, but did smell like rotted grass. I heard the humans talking that the creature had gotten loose from a "petting zoo", whatever that is, and that is way it was loose on the grounds: Irresponsible to say the least.

I found myself mentally exhausted and merely plodded through the rest of the day, letting my human be my guide. This seemed to please her as we came home with several of those blue cloth strips that she likes to hang on the trailer and stall door. I was patted and praised a lot and several other humans offered me carrots for my bravery. We returned home late in the afternoon and I was very grateful to get back to my stall. Trooper will simply have to wait until tomorrow to hear about our encounter. I feel myself nodding off even as I write. I hope I don't have nightpeoples over this ordeal. More later.