Monday, May 19, 2008

The Cat Beast Strikes Again

I really don’t have much use for the Cat Beast. My human fawns on him, brings him treats and pets him when she should be paying attention to me. He also steals my diary and reads it aloud to everyone whenever he gets the chance. On occasion he has left nasty things in my hay bin and my stall. Despite all of his flaws he does have some redeeming moments and he exercised them today.

Trooper’s human came out to the barn today. His arm was in one of those white rock things and he was limping. He left Trooper alone, but started digging through his big tack trunk that sits in front of Trooper’s stall. My human was tacking me up in the aisle so I had a clear view of what happened. The Cat Beast was sitting in the rafters over the aisle. When Trooper’s imported human gathered some stuff up and took it with him down the aisle I could see the Cat Beast narrowing his eyes. I knew he was up to something and hoped my human wouldn’t be finished too soon.

On the next trip in and out Trooper’s human left the lid of the tack trunk open. As soon as he limped down the aisle the Cat Beast sprang down from the rafters and then casually sauntered over to the trunk and climbed in. I knew when I heard the scratching noise that he had just left a very nasty surprise on top of a pair of paddock boots and leather seated breeches. The Cat Beast jumped out of the truck and the walked down the aisle, tail in the air. My human watched him go, and then turned and looked at the trunk. I heard her gasp, but she didn’t walk over to it, so I think she was only guessing as to what happened. Trooper’s human came in and limped back up the aisle. My human suddenly got busy checking my girth and “straightening” me up.

When Trooper’s human reached his trunk and saw what the Cat Beast had left him he howled like the Rat Terror dog does when it gets locked in the tack room. He was trying to hop around, saying roan inducing words and even striking the wall with his white rock thing. Trooper had been in the rear of his stall, his ears pinned, but when he heard his human carrying on he walked to the front and then peered down into the tack trunk. It must have been awful because he gave a huge snort and then backed into the corner, whickering like a crazy horse.

Trooper’s human came up to mine and said some rude things, asking if she had seen the cat and accused her of allowing the cat to spoil his stuff. She told him off. He may be imported, but he understood exactly what she meant. He turned an alarming shade of red and limped back over to his trunk like a whipped dog. I was so proud of her. She huffed a few times and then untied me and led me from the barn. As we walked past, Trooper’s human was carefully pulling his soiled items out of the trunk and I have to admit they reeked. I almost felt sorry for him, but not quite.

We walked out of the barn and toward the mounting block, still hearing Trooper’s whickers and his human’s ranting. As we turned the corner I notice the Cat Beast was climbing out of Trooper’s human’s small wheeled cave; he’d left the windows down. I didn’t even want to know what he did in there! More later.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Pride goeth...

As the immortal Shakespur said: A human, a human… my pasture for a decent human. It finally happened, Trooper blew up and pitched his imported human off. It has only been a matter of time. This afternoon Lucky and I took our humans on a nice jaunt around the pastures. It was pleasant to walk, trot and canter without the constraints of fences. When we finally turned toward home we ended up passing the lower dressage arena where Trooper was working with his human. I could tell things were not going well!

As we halted on the knoll above the arena Trooper was circling at the far end. I could see his human was really lugging on the reins and Trooper was dripping froth from his mouth, something he abhors as being so lower level. After they finished the far circle they cut through the middle and came around the near end, intending to make another circle. I could see that the human was jabbing Trooper in the ribs with his spurs and really cranking the reins. Midway through the circle Trooper just lost it. He bogged his head and threw his rear end in the air. A rodeo horse couldn’t have done a better job of bucking. His human lasted a buck and a half and then he was plowing dirt with his pointy face. Lucky and I were trying not to horse laugh when my human jumped off and handed my reins to Lucky’s human. She rushed down to see if Trooper’s human was okay. Lucky’s human took us back to the barn, stalled us and then went and caught Trooper. He was a sorry sight. His reins were broken, his mouth ripped, probably from stepping on the reins, and his sides were already welting up from spur marks.

Lucky’s human was furious. She said several things that almost made my coat roan out they were so harsh. She removed Trooper’s bridle and haltered him and then apologized for not untacking him. She untacked Lucky and me and then went to get the barn manager, leading Trooper along with her.

We heard sirens and I looked out the stall window to see the white-wheeled cave with the flashing lights coming up the hill. That thing scares me to death! I’ve never seen one eat a horse, but all the humans I’ve seen that went in one ended up coming out with a white rock tube on one of their limbs. The scary thing went past the barn and then the loud wailing noise went quiet.
Lucky’s human returned with Trooper and the barn manager and they untacked Trooper and took care of his injuries. The poor fellow was just miserable. The barn manager and Lucky’s human said some more roan inducing words which made Lucky bury his head in the corner of the stall in embarrassment! He’s such a shy fellow.

My human finally arrived back at the barn. She had blood on her shirt, and at first I was worried that she had killed Trooper’s human, which he richly deserved, but she told the barn manager the nasty fellow had a broken arm, bloody nose and sprained fetlock ( ankel? Or whatever humans call it). The am-bull-ants, which I deduced was the scary white wheeled cave, was going to take him to some place where he would be ex- raid and vetted. I hope they stick him with something.

All three humans stood a long time looking at poor Trooper and talking about his welts. I thought my human was going to throw an even bigger fit than Trooper did, she was so mad. The cat beast came over, walking along the barn beams like the sneaky thing he is, and he listened in, hanging his head down like some fur-covered vulture. He hissed a few times, and I got the impression he didn’t like Trooper’s human either. Most of the time the cat beast doesn’t pass opinions on humans, he feels they are beneath him, but I know Trooper’s human has kicked him before, and the cat beast despises him. I have no doubt he’ll leave a few nasty surprises in Trooper’s human’s tack trunk the first chance he gets.

Feeding time arrived and we all dug into our grain. The barn manger made Trooper a mash, since his mouth was so sore. I know he was grateful; she’s a good human and very concerned about us. Things quieted down after the lights went out and all the humans left. None of us felt like talking. I know Lucky remembers the abuse from his past, and I feel that Trooper fears for his future. I hope he finds a good human soon! More later.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Trooper has returned!

Trooper arrived home last night and he was in a wretched mood. He was led in the barn right after feeding time and made such a fuss. Shorty, Pebbles, Lucky and I are the only ones down at that end of the barn right now, since several horses have left for the spring circuits. Trooper is returning home after the winter in Florida. His imported human was really throwing a fit. We all stopped munching our hay and stared as he shouted at the barn help and kicked things. It was a good thing the barn manager wasn’t there, she’d have put a mucker right in his butt.

Trooper’s human finally left and he started sulkily eating dinner. The rest of us waited for him to calm down, but he never warmed up to us. This morning we found out why.

We all had turn-out together. Lucky was worried since he had never met Trooper before. It was warm today, so before we were turned out Trooper had his sheet stripped off. We didn’t notice anything wrong until he walked past us in the paddock. I thought poor Shorty was going to fall over he was whickering so hard. Trooper had a large heart clipped in his right hindquarter. Lucky stared so hard he dropped the grass out of his mouth. I must say that Pebbles and I were equally shocked, but we hid it better. Once we got done staring at his heart decorated rear end we noticed that his mane was shortened and very uneven and his forelock was cut straight across. Pebbles gave a full body shiver and Lucky backed up a few steps in horror. A paragon of self-preservation is our Lucky.

Trooper got so annoyed by Shorty’s whicker he lashed a nasty kick at him and then cantered off. He missed, but Shorty took the hint and quit whickering. Lucky and Pebbles moved off to the far end of the paddock and Shorty went over to scratch his rear end on the oak tree. I decided to find out what was really bothering Trooper and wandered over to him, carefully.

Poor Troops, he looked so miserable. He was ripping up grass and chewing like the Rat Terror dog does when it get a hold of a piece of hoof clipping. I finally asked him what was wrong and he sighed and looked up. The story he told was so shocking!

It seems he and his human have had a real falling out. His imported human got more and more pushy and demanding. Trooper said that when the draw reins came out he had had enough. He started bucking and over flexing to avoid pressure. This made his imported human very angry and he actually put Trooper up for sale! Trooper was mortified at having such a rude human, but not really distressed at the thought of getting a new one.

From there things went seriously wrong. Trooper was sent to live at a training stable so a teenage girl could try him out. Trooper said she was basically a nice human, just spoiled and lacking focus. One day when her trainer wasn’t around to guide her she decided to “groom” Trooper for their next outing. She clipped a small heart in his hindquarters, messed it up and clipped a bigger one to cover up the first mistake, messed it up and so on, until the heart was a cannon bone wide. Then she decided to trim his mane and used those horrible sharp metal clicky things. Trooper can’t see how bad it looks, but he said he knew it was awful by the reactions of everyone that had seen it. Her trainer arrived too late to save Trooper and pronounced him unfit for the show ring for six months because of his new “look”. Trooper’s imported human arrived shortly afterwards and had a screaming fit. Things got worse from there. Trooper was stuffed into a wheeled cave and they traveled through the night. He said he had the worst nightpeoples that he would end up at a yard with “double deckers” just waiting to eat him. Poor fellow! I assured him that his hair would grow back, and surely he would find a new human soon, one that didn’t use draw reins. We then walked over and I introduced him to Lucky and we all grazed the rest of the afternoons until our humans arrived. None of them said anything about Trooper, but my human was kind enough to give him a pat and a treat. She’s such a sweet human; I’ve trained her well.Trooper’s imported human did not come out that afternoon; I think he was relieved. More later.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

A very trying day

Today was a trial for me. It made me question my role as a human keeper. Seriously, it takes so much of my time to deal with her needs. She arrived this afternoon and I could tell right away she was grumpy about something. I have said again and again that she is not to bring that attitude to the barn; it just upsets all of us.

She dragged me in from the pasture, where I had been grazing with Shorty and Lucky. I was rudely put into cross ties and then brushed a little too fast and hard for my taste. I did a few sharp tail switches, which she ignored. I was then quickly saddled and taken from the barn. With nary a moment of warm up my human mounted and we set off down the trail toward the hills. This concerned me, because we didn’t have another horse with us, nor were the other humans paying attention. At least she had the sense to wear her head covering, it’s a known fact human heads are soft.

We went down the trail for a good stretch and her hands were a bit tense. I kept rooting into the bit, hoping that she would get the hint, but she didn’t loosen up. I was just about to give a good pull when we entered a nice clearing. Before I could drop my head she slid off, grabbed me around the neck and started crying. I was so surprised I froze while she cried against my neck. She cried a long time and when she finally quit she started talking to me. I can understand a lot of human talk, but certain words she used confused me. I got the impression she was upset with her other life, the one that doesn’t involve me. She has another job, besides caring for me, but I have never considered it important. Evidently the alpha human at her other job, I think it is male, was a brute to my darling human. I wanted to rend him limb from limb. He criticized my human during a herd gathering and then took one of her brilliant ideas and claimed it as his own. The audacity of the creature! Surely death is too good for such a beast!

I could do little to comfort her, but hug her with my neck and rub my face against her side. I felt so helpless, like a young foal on icy ground. She finally calmed down and we walked along the trail. She talked some more about her other job, and I must say I had to stifle a few yawns at her descriptions; humans can be such silly creatures. When she finally calmed down she mounted back up and we went for a nice slow canter through the woods. I actually heard her doing that human neighing thing and felt her relax. I felt better too, knowing she found comfort in my presence. I don’t understand humans. They take such a huge amount of work, training and time, but in the end you wouldn’t want to be without one of your own to love. By the time we arrived back at the barn we were in accord again, and I knew she could handle anything her other job threw at her. More later.