Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Dear Tuffy

Catching up on my mail, I am such a slacker horse sometimes!

Dear Tuffy,
I am a young stallion (going on 5 next spring), my human has been with me since birth. My human has always "tried" to teach me good from naughty but I find it is fun being naughty.
My human trusts me very much so I take advantage of it. When we ride in the round ring I will do almost everything my human asks but have to mix it up some to go back to easy stuff.
It is most funny when my human takes me out of the round ring to ride. I see my girls and act naughty. Well my human gets upset with me and back into the round ring we go.
It truly is a fun mind game I like to play with my human. When at shows, I have to nicker to myself because allot of the humans come to my human in disbelief that I am a stallion and would you believe they all have to look under to make sure ha ha. My human tells me "why can't you act so good most of the time". Well I fear for my stallion hood. I think my human is thinking of taking it away from me. I want to fix it but it has become such a part of my life I am not sure how to correct it. I WANT MY STALLION HOOD!
My human has also sent me to a few different trainers. That is pretty funny too. I do so good then get to come home to the same old games.
Any advise would be great.

Wanting to remain intact.

Dear Wanting

My suggestion is that you straighten up immediately or the sticker man will appear and you are one jab in the neck away from losing your matching foal makers. You'll just have to trust me on this one, I've been there.
I'd recommend that your human get a nerf bat and establish very clearly what constitutes her space and what is your space. While I appreciate the superiority of the horse over the human, I have to acknowledge that their ability to work the clicky ear things and summon the sticker man far exceeds our abilities to get away. Yield now, or you'll be yielding up something else later.


Dear Tuffy,

I finally quit my harness racing job last summer and got myself a hobby-type job. I'd had this hobby for about three years and decided at twelve, it was time to make it more than a hobby. I am now a full-time riding horse. I teach riding lessons, and sometimes get to do fun things like horse shows and trail rides with small children! I currently share my human with four other horses. It's not that bad considering I have never had a human I could call mine. I used to be way too busy with work at the track to have my own human. They require so much attention! This human caught my eye eight years ago when she actually followed my demands for treats and neck scratches, but didn't become mine until a year ago. I'm telling you all this because I really haven't had my own human before, and I need some advice. My human likes to kiss all of the horses noses, which we usually just tolerate, it's her way of showing affection. For the past two weeks, when my human kisses my nose I try hard not to cringe. My human has had horrible breath! None of the other horses know what to do. How do I let her know without making her angry with me?


Dear Prime,
Congratulations on getting your very own human!
I suggest you eat some manure, as the rest of us on occasion do, and remind her why human lips need to stay away from horse lips. Kissing as a method of equine affection is limiting. So unless she wants to scratch your withers with her teeth she needs to keep her mouth away from you.
Or, a good dose of horse snot, right as she is puckering up, is guaranteed to keep her face away from your face, it's even better if she's wearing a white shirt.


Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Oh what a cirkus!

Yesterday we moved back to our regular barn once the aisle was set. It still smelled burnt and tarry, but it was nice to be home. I had thought we would leave Lula and Voltare behind, but now the Barn 4 horses have moved up to our barn while their aisle is being re-floored. I’m back in my regular stall between Trooper and Shorty, with Lucky on Shorty’s other side.
Pebbles is back across the aisle from Shorty, Lula is next to her and Voltare is on her other side, which puts him across from me. Lucky is in horse heaven being able to stare at Lula all day. He is still to shy to speak to her, the dolt. She flirts mercilessly with him, knowing he will be too shy to answer.

We had not been back in our barn for more than a few hours when we heard a terrible clanging and banging. Trooper and I tried to see out the back stall windows, but couldn’t really see out to the road. We could see the strange red flashes that meant the scary screaming wheeled caves were out on the road. I hoped it wasn’t an accident with one of our humans!

It turns out that it wasn’t one of humans. Instead it was a huge wheeled cave that coughed up its innards and refused to move. It snorted smoke and made a nasty oily smell that drifted into the barn. The red lights flashed for some time and by the time they stopped it was feeding time and we turned our attention to more important things! After eating I returned to the window a few times and could still see some lights and hear voices coming from the road, as well as other strange noises that I could not place. I eventually grew bored of watching and allowed myself to go to sleep. Must have that beauty rest!

This morning I was up early to greet my human. She is still limping from her injured leg, but getting around well enough. She said she would be allowed to ride in a few days. I hope so! If she misses much more training she will not do well in the fall shows. After eating my morning meal she haltered me and led me out for grooming. She is so considerate! Even though I am not training her today she still takes the time to brush me, as a good human should! When I was out in the aisle I caught several new scents, strong, even over the smell of the tar. I couldn’t identify most of them, except to say they smelled like live scents, not plants or metal.

My human led me outside and at first I thought we were going to my regular paddock. Imagine my surprised when I saw the huge injured wheeled cave parked alongside the paddock. And in the paddock the most horrific things!

The first thing I saw was several of the camellama things tied to the fence, eating hay that looked suspiciously like mine. One pinned its ears and spit at me. Nasty creature! Down the fence from these hairy beasts was another camellama thing that was taller and had a huge hump on its back. How odd! And these things really smelled. Not clean and grass sweet like horse, but almost pond scummy like cows. The barn manager walked up and started talking to my human, mentioning that the wheeled cave belonged to the cirkus and they needed a place to park until they could fix the injured wheeled cave.

FootBall came up and offered to touch noses so I did to be friendly. While my human chatted with the barn manager I asked him about the humped creatures. He said they were camels and lived in a place that had nothing but sand. I must have looked skeptical, because he insisted that it was true, he’d seen it on the black box. I shuddered! If FootBall was brave enough to watch the black box then I wasn’t going to question his honesty.
I asked him what the hump was for and he said: “ It’s where they store their humans.”
I looked at him in horror and he yapped to show he was joking. Little bugger!

Once my human quit conversing with the barn manager we walked along the verge on the opposite side from the injured wheeled cave. I could still smell the camellamas, but I could also smell other scents, I couldn’t identify. Little did I know what was lurking farther down the road.

As we walked along the lane the smells got stronger and stronger. When we passed the division between the north and south paddocks I got the shock of my life. Behind the row of huge trees that line the paddocks were these huge grey things! I mean really huge! Even bigger than the draft horses that live down the road. They appeared almost hairless and had huge flapping ears. But that wasn’t the worst! Hanging from their faces was this huge grey snake! It was so frightening! And the snakes moved and slithered and even picked up hay and stuffed it into the mouths of the big grey things! The snakes were feeding the grey things! Why? Was it to fatten them up further before they then turned on them and ate them?

When confronted with these things I did what any sensible horse would do; I whinnied in terror and bolted for home. I jerked the lead from my human’s hand and with nary a thought towards her safety, and the fact the grey snakes could easily eat her too, I left. I’m ashamed to admit it, but felt justified at the time. I galloped down the lane between the paddocks and in my blind terror I turned up the alleyway that divides the paddocks. I had no idea what further horrors I would encounter!

I reached the end of the alleyway and then turned back up the next lane that leads to Barn One. Right as I reached the end of the lane I realized there was another large wheeled cave parked beside the entrance of the parking area. This cave had canvas sides rolled up and then bars! Behind the bars were the biggest cat beasts I had ever seen! They were the size of the grey pony! And even worse they were painted with wide dark stripes, which made them look even more menacing! I froze in fear and watched as one of the huge cat beasts gnawed on a piece of raw meat. Somehow, subconsciously, I counted my stable mates and determined Voltare was still in the barn when I left, so no such luck there! One of the beasts finally noticed me and roared at me, its mouth open wide enough to eat an entire saddle! I spun in a matter that would have made Shorty proud and tore back down the lane, forgetting that the safety of my stable was only a few hoofbeats beyond the beasts’ cave.

As I galloped back down the lane I looked ahead and to my dismay I saw one of the huge grey things being led by its snake, walking beside a human. The snake was wrapped around the human’s arm. I whinnied shrilly and decided that death by huge cat beast or death by huge grey snake were not something I wanted, so I did the only thing I could do, I turned and hopped over the paddock fence. I doubt even Pebbles could have made the jump. The fence is at least a 13 hand pony tall and I took it in just one stride from the center of the lane. Once in the paddock I galloped toward the other fence that fronted the barn entrance. I could hear humans yelling behind me, and from the lanes, but I never stopped. I jumped the next fence and galloped into the barn.

Sadly I had forgotten the new floor, and even sadder the barn boys were hosing it down. I slid on the floor, rolled over like a fat puppy and end up slammed against the far wall. I heard the bang when I hit, and then several other bangs, which led me to believe that other horses in the barns crashed into the backs of their stalls when the noise spooked them. I didn’t hit my head on anything, and actually suffered no scrapes, but I knew I was going to have a huge sore spot on my right haunch before I even got up.

My human limped up, calling to me and then telling me to calm down. Humans are so funny, they are in hysterics, but they tell the horse to be calm. I got up, a bit wobbly I admit, and felt muscles twinge that I didn’t even know I had. The barn manager came up and quickly checked me all over. I had no breaks or cuts, just tender spots where my side had met the ground. I was led slowly to my stall, my human petting me and talking to me softly.

I was aware of the other horses staring at me as I passed and felt embarrassed until Trooper whickered, “ Great jumping, Tuff.” I felt a swelling of pride, which was unfortunately matched by a swelling of hip. My human put me in my stall and then flipped open her clicky ear thing and started speaking into it. I have no idea what these things are; although you can sometimes hear voices coming from them that sound almost human, but metallic. I heard her mention the sticker man’s name and knew I was in for a butt jabbing! Ugh.

My human continued to stay with me, speaking to the other humans through the stall door. All was well and sympathetic until Lucky’s human arrived. When she heard about my narrow escape from the giant cat-beasts and the grey snake thing (called Effelumps by the humans) she started braying and that set my human to braying. I knew they were finding fun at my misadventures so I poked my head into a corner for a good sulk. This didn’t serve any purpose except to give the sticker man easy access to my rear when he arrived and he rudely jabbed me twice before vacating the stall. At that point I lost interest in anything but dozing and missed any other occurrences until I woke up this evening.

Trooper whickered to me this evening that he had a story to related about Voltare and the cirkus and I promised to hear it in the morning. Right now I am tired and sore and ready to sleep. More later.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Ask Tuffy

I have a problem and I desperately need your help! My human is cheating on me! I have caught her coming back from the other barn and she had long flaxen hairs on her coverings. I am devastated! Have I not trained and shown her to perfection? Have I not lavished affection and a large amount of slobber on her over the years. Sure I'm not young filly any more, but I'm still able to pop a fence and do lead changes! What can I do? I have so much invested in her!

Not the Other Horse in Texas

Dear Not,

Dump her. Literally, on her head. Then get yourself a nice twelve year old girl that will love you unconditionally and make you the center of her world. Once a human cheats it is hard to trust them again. I have loaned my own human to other horses when their human is sick, or too busy to ride, but she always makes it clear that she belongs to me and she will never leave me for another horse. If your human wasn't feeling guilty then she wouldn't be trying to hide the fact that she's seeing another horse. Don't delay, and don't let her get the upper hoof. Take control and pick your next human quickly.