by R.T. Fitch
“Behind the scenes, here at Straight from the Horse’s Heart, are several volunteers who write while others scour the internet in search of equine related news and articles that will not only be entertaining but of value to our horsey readership. One such individual, Geraldine Bray, works seven days a week with no compensation in an effort to get the news about horses, burros, buffalo, whales, wolves, grizzles, dolphins and any other wild being that is downtrodden by humans out and in front of our readers so that they can have the information needed to make a difference when discussing such topics with family, friends and legislators. Likewise, Chief News Correspondent, Geri, endeavors to locate at least one story a week that might bemuse and uplift our audience as a Feel Good Sunday (FGS) installation so that we can wash our hearts and souls out for one day a week before we wade back into the fray on Monday. This week, I am kindly going to ask Geri to take the day off as I have found the fodder for FGS right within arm’s reach in our own backyard with our wild and wacky four legged charges who never cease to either entertain or amaze me.” ~ R.T.
Terry and I never copied ourselves by manufacturing two legged children that would be labeled as “ours”. Her reasoning harkens back to the grotesque video that public schools used to show to pre-pubescent girls during special sessions after hours in grade school, when they thought the boys had all gone home, fat chance of that. Plus, she was prepared to take a hit for the team when it came to population control as humans do NOT have the propensity to treat their world, or it’s other inhabitants, kindly. (She also says that she has been raising one over-sized kid, me, for over twenty years and that was about as much fun as she could stand)
Me, I was and still am convinced that if you mixed my genes with another human’s you would end up with some sort of individual that would grow hair on the palms of their hands and drink out of the toilet so in an effort to save humanity from a backwards trip down evolutionary lane I was gelded very early in my adult life. And no, I do not speak in a high-pitched voice.
So with that all being said, we have always been guardians to four-legged children who we have welcomed into our lives and been devastated when they pass on. It is tough being a parent who outlives their children but we have always had a very staunch rule when it comes to being a guardian to dogs, cats, horses and yes, even fish. When you enter our lives, we will never, ever give you up, your home is permanent and you shall always be loved; even if you are a butt-head, we will still love you and your uniqueness.
With all of that tone setting preamble behind us let me tell you about a little adventure that I had when attempting to accomplish some fencing repairs out in our pastures the other day.
Perhaps those who don’t live with horses might not understand, just like I don’t get cute baby stories, but those who do interact with ponies and donkeys on a daily basis will recognize and appreciate the curious and adventurous spirits that graze upon grass out behind their barn and home. We are blessed.
I had been absent from the farm for several months, earlier this year, working hard to supply an income that would allow for the purchase of hay for the horses and batteries for cat toys; it is what I do, I am a guy, it tis my job. But in my absence the electric rope that is strung across the top of our cross-fencing in an effort to stop one juvenile drafty from breaking fence boards while playing “Dueling Heads” with his TB brother mal-functioned and it did not take the giant, 1 ton, golden baby very long to figure out that he could begin to disassemble the inert electric rope and associated gate guards. So that is what I returned home to and set upon repairing the other day, WITH a lot of help from my friends.
My trusty, full-time companion, Roxy the Wonder Border Collie, goes everywhere with me, so much so that she has laid claim to the big, red Dodge Dually and does not allow me to take it on my extended domestic trips, instead, I have been instructed to take Mom’s much smaller Grand Cherokee; a 4X4 with panties. Sorry, I digress.
The other day Roxy and I entered the pastures with my bag of tools, roll of rope and wire in an effort to get as much of the fence-line back up and running before the temps would begin to kiss the 100 degree mark so I attempted to work quickly while she supervised me from a shady spot and I worked along the fence-line.
And we had help. As shown in the video that accompanies this tale of frivolity and mirth, one of our pasture ornament off the track TBs, Bart, came over to check out his girlfriend, Roxy. Bart is in love with Roxy and she just does not have any time for the giant suitor who is 20 times her size, in fact, she is rude and will sit with her back to him but Bart is not the Einstein of Equines and continues to try to win her favor, which works out well for me as it keeps him busy. He loves to stick his nose in my ear, while I am working, and say “Can you hear me now” which is immediately followed by stealing my straw hat and running away with it.
Not today, when he became bored of being stood up by Roxy he stuck his nose in my ear and said “I have a special present for you,” and before his words even stopped rattling around in my head I saw his tail stand up and heard the sound of well hydrated horse turds plopping upon the ground, but upon further examination, they never made it to the ground as they ALL landed right inside my canvas tool back where they exploded all over my drill, pliers, screwdrivers and hardware. “REALLY!?!”
If not for the look of total and abject amusement on his face and Roxy running over to partake of this fresh manna from heaven I would have been a tad bit pissed but instead I trudged back up to the house and garage and cleaned up the mess before going back down to the pasture to continue my work.
Once back down, I clamped off a section of rope and began the tedious task of wiring an underground section to pass under a gate so that I could leave the gate open yet the power would continue to pulse further downstream where it was needed. With mission accomplished I looked for my staple gun so that I could safely secure the traversing wire to the fence posts on either side of the gate but alias I could not find it in the bag where Moose, the juvenile drafty, had been nuzzling just moments before. It took a few moments for it to register as I gazed at his ample backside calmly walk away and cross into an adjoining pasture but the concept struck home when I called his name, he turned around to look at me and there was a glint of shiny metal between his lips, I had been robbed. Of course, this turned into a fun and exciting romp around the pastures with dog in tow for about 20 minutes in 90 degree heat but I finally picked the staple gun out of the mini-mud pond that the horses roll in when it gets too hot. The staple gun was no longer recognizable.
Tools back in the bag, rolls of rope and wire under my arms and towards the house I dragged myself.
Industrial sized Wrangler Iced Tea was made and I walked into the pool fully clothed to sit on the steps and let the coolness roll over me and down inside me. I was finished.
Not much later, Terry appeared at the side of the pool, covered with sweat herself from her continued gardening obsession and stood over Roxy and I sitting neck deep on the steps in the middle of a giant slick of mud and grease.
With hands on her hips she said, “You two sure did not work very long.”
To which I replied, with Roxy panting in agreement, “Time is irrelevant when working with your children, often, it seems like an eternity when working in the pastures…and for that I am grateful.” as I raised the 36oz tumbler, filled with Diet Arizona Tea infused with a good Texas vodka, to her in the form of a salute. “Might I interest you in a drink?”
Curtain closes, exit stage left.
And so goes another day and chapter in the life of the residents at “Laughing Horse Farm”.
Next episode: “Moose eats tractor seat and steals all shift knobs when fuel line breaks during mowing and I go to the barn for tools. Time away from equipment: 2 minutes.”
Stay tuned…the adventures continue.
Keep the Faith!
Categories: The Force of the Horse, Uncategorized
I really enjoyed your story, RT! Your’re a great writer and I felt like I was right there in your yard with you and giggling up a storm.
They are just like kids. They watch EVERYTHING you do and wait for those golden moments when you’re not paying attention.
I once read a story about someone planting iris bulbs around the track that circled the pasture. Her old horse was following her and keeping her company..she thought. Not until she was finished did she notice that her old horse has pulled up every bulb that she had planted.
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Boy, does this bring back memories – of my ex-husband “fixing fence” with the help of our Shetland! Sure does make things more difficult when the hammer (& other tools) keep taking a walk away.
Thanks RT – this did make me feel good as in FGS!!
I see this is Chapter 1. Is this the beginning of a book?