Saturday, August 8, 2009

Saturday morning solo

No volunteers today...Page is still on vacation and the Stiffey family is at an event.

It was strangely quiet outside and dark skies, chickens crowing and I was just getting into a routine, sipping a little coffee and cleaning paddocks...and THEN all hell broke loose. Down from the sky came Mr. Bald Eagle, straight across the top of my head and then a low swoop for a chicken. Chickens screaming and running for cover...then the filly goes wild...bucking, screaming and running laps in her paddock. Each buck is punctuated with a squeal and then off to the races again around the paddock. I was merely trying to straighten stall mats...but ended up ducking under the fence for safety. I waved my arms and yelled at Mr. Bald Eagle to get lost..."leave my chickens alone!" He perched himself on the top of the barn and looked around...I know he was looking for the chickens. All chickens had made for the barn or the brush and not a one was to be seen or heard at this point.

I then progressed to stall cleaning. Hammy insists on using his stall for a toilet. So I am scraping down the stall and what do I see? A rat. A baby rat. He came out from behind the wall. Now how can we have a rat? We have two barn cats. TWO BARN CATS. Two barn cats who routinely catch birds I might add. These cats have their own room which I lock them in at night because we have coyotes. I am figuring that perhaps I need something slightly more feral. I was told these cats WERE feral...I got them from the feral cat program...but they are feral like I am a rocket scientist. The male spends most of his time on my mom's lap inside her house...he has a snipped ear, just like a feral cat, but I am beginning to think I was tricked..or at least someone was. Butchie (the male cat) weighs 21 lbs with a head like a grapefruit. The female (Felice) will climb in anyone's car and loves to be held. I am thinking I need a big old, down on his luck, tom cat who wants to work for a living. I detest using poison and especially around the horses. If anyone is looking to place a working barn cat...let me know?

I had folks come and look at Winston today. Let's just say his longing routine was not stellar. He bucked and he rushed and he spooked. He bucked so hard that he threw the reins up and over his head. I had to stop and reset them. I explained that he was not generally this bad. They looked at me like I was lying. Dust was flying...he was sweaty...I lunged him both directions and then got on him. He was rational but a little quick. I trotted and leg yielded and he was obedient. He spooked at the neighbor dog...twice. Not sure why the neighbor dog had to appear out of the brush just at this time, but he did, then he ambled off...and then he came back again. He stopped and curiously looked at us and of course Winston gave him the huge snorty saucer eyed look...I suppose there could have been a chance the dog was going to attack us by jumping the four foot arena fence or he really could have been a wolf (according to Winston)...but he looked like an old, grizzled black Labrador to me. I then showed the people Winston's trailer loading skills and fortunately he did not make me look bad this time. I am not sure the people are coming back. I told them he was a little hot sometimes.

Well off to do some domestic chores while the house is quiet.

I will try to get some pictures of Hammy tonight. His weight looks better. He is eating Senior Equine like it is going out of style and he has gotten a little cranky about you serving it quickly...he even trots out to his tub, shakes his head and puts his ears back. Cute huh? Well, normally I might not think so, but this poor guy has been through the wringer and so I tolerate it...

Enjoy the weekend!

Good luck Briann on your event!!!!!

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