After a few months of being farmers and getting the llama experience, we or shall I say, me…decided it was time to add to our family of animals. You know us women, we all want a horse! It is every little girls dream to have a horse, white and powerful who eats carrots out of your hand and tramples deadly snakes to save your life! My dream horse was named Snowfire from a TV show back in the mid 1960s. So of course I wanted a white and majestic horse! I got on the internet one night after causally mentioning to Chad about “horses, farm, lots of fun, how about it”. Before he could answer, I already had 4 sheets printed out of who had horses and where within 500 miles! I narrowed it down to 10 miles and found a cute little place in the country called, Knapp Mini Horses. We visited Lisa and her prize horses. She had every size, shape and color! I saw my white horse off in the distance and bee lined to her. She wasn’t a ‘real’ horse, her head came just past my waist and she had a little grey mixed in. Also, her name was Sparky, there was and is a reason for that! I nuzzled her nose and made up my mind that Sparky was going to be mine! Now we needed another horse because according to the internet, they do better in pairs. We found laci off by herself eating, which is what she does best and allot, all the time, non-stop. She is brown with a golden mane and best of all…she is with foal! Two horses for the price of one! Laci reminds me a wal mart greeter so I thought she would be great with little kids while they pet her as she stands there eating. We went into dickering mode with the seller and agreed on a price. Of course I was a few hundred dollars short. Lisa offered to let us put them on ‘lay-a-way’. So, for two months, I paid on my horsy-lay-away and got our barn ready for the new family members. I had a talk with the llamas assuring them that the new horses were not as important as they are and that mommy will always love them the most! They heard me without listening, blinking as they stared into space as my Charlie brown teacher voice went over and around them. Soon the day came when my little girl dream became a reality! Lisa Knapp dropped off my horses and gave us a small booklet on, yes that’s right, the ‘do’s and don’ts for mini horses’! Like before, I scanned it, under lined the important stuff and handed it to Chad who once again frowned at me as he slowly shook his weary head. We introduced the animals and both llamas ran out of the barn into the pasture as the horses bee lined it to the fresh hay. Yep, it was going to work out nice! We had 2 llamas and 2 mini horses with a foal on the way! The four were easy to take care of and gave us hours of entertainment and enjoyment! Well, I was anyway. Chad now had barn duties that he didn’t count on, like mucking the barn, feeding animals in 20 below blizzards and chasing horses back into their side of the field or off the road after they knocked down the fence. What could be better? Maybe a goat? Or three dozen chickens? Why not add a few bunnies? And of course one has to have a barn kitty or three to keep out riff raff
Also…when we were trying to corner Sammy & Lincoln (out in the open field) they kept running towards the fence where Stormy was pacing, which made him very upset! Stormy pushed against the fence spitting in our direction yelling out his war cry toward the boys. He then jumped up and tried to get over the fence which made Lincoln nervous since he is usually the target for Stormy’s aggression. So….3 humans, 2 llamas and 1 scared Alpaca running in circles yelling, spitting and a few choice sailor words from the guys! We finally got them cornered and did a free-for-all grab…Lincoln got caught, Sammie slipped through 6 arms and galloped to the farthest part of the pasture that he could possibly get with Kyle running after him. My camera….I needed my camera!! Youth….Kyle chased that Llama in a wide circle (as Stormy spit) back towards The Doc and I who were still hanging onto a squirmy Lincoln. Sammie ran for the gate and got caught by a salty old Vet who has learned all the sneak, grab and hold tricks from the past 40 years! Job done! Ten upset animals and three humans doing high fives along with yells of YIPPEE!!!
I didn’t mention how we corned the goats…..that story is for later!
My horses and Dunkay are not happy with me at the moment. They saw the ‘hoof doctor’ today. Poor Mike, he had to chase Sparky all around the field until he cornered her inside the barn. Even then she wiggled and squirmed until he got her tied up as close to the fence as possible to keep her from moving. Took him an hour to do 3 animals. Now the musketeers are glaring at me….hey, I didn’t give you sore feet…Mike did
Poor Biskapit (our new puppy)…he ran after me into the field where the horses and Dunkay were grazing. I was trying to grab him to get him out of there. Sparky galloped full speed to him, then back kicked him so hard he bounced into the fence and laid there yipping in that high pitched puppy voice. I was worried the neighbors would think I was beating him! I picked him up and carried him to the house where I looked him over good…no broken bones, no blood. He snuggled under my chin and wouldn’t leave for about ten minutes. Within a half hour he was back to chewing on poor Cody our 17 year old Retriever. Well, I guess he won’t be demanding to play with the horses anymore!! The farm can be dangerous at times, I never let my guard down when I’m with animals that out weigh me by 200+ pounds!!!
My farrier, Mike is brave guy! He comes out in the bitter cold to spend time with my horses and Dunkay who run as soon as they see his truck pull up. Mike means trimmed hooves, something all farm animals dread, especially the goats. They know Mike, his truck and his tools. Sierra and Dillon hide behind the barn until all is clear of any signs of ‘The Hoof Man‘..
While Mike was pulling and tugging on Sparky’s back leg he told me a funny story about Miss Piggy, a 300 pound pot belly pig that was raised inside an English woman’s home from the time she was 5 lb piglet to an oversized and spoiled Sow.
Mikes story (with my help)….
Years ago, Mike was called to a small farm just south of Addie Acres to trim the feet of a pot belly pig named Miss Piggy. Mrs. Brackston came from England and spoke in a heavy English accent. Her husband of 40+ years was a drunk so she adopted a tiny pink piglet for companionship, naming her Miss Piggy . Mrs. Brackston raised her little girl inside the house giving her the princess treatment and full run of their humble home nestled in the middle of dense woods . Miss Piggy was potty trained like a dog and would oink at the back door to be let out. Well the farmer who trimmed Miss Piggy’s hooves retired and gave her Mikes phone number. Later that week, Mike and his father ventured out to do what they believed would be an easy foot job! Not to be! Mrs Brackston answered the door in an outdated flowered night jacket, hair in curlers, a cigarette dangling from her bright red lipstick mouth. She greeted them in her heavy accent, forcing both men to turn their heads in her direction trying to understand her words. She escorted them into a dimly lit living room where they found Miss Piggy laying on a brand new tan with blue stripes couch watching TV. As Mike and his dad approached Miss Piggy, she jumped off the couch and ran to the back of the smoke filled house, squealing all the way. All three chased the scared animal into the master bedroom, doing circles around the un-kept bed until they cornered her in the closet. Miss Piggy does not like to have her feet touched and wasn’t about to let two strange men anywhere near her! She barreled through the middle of the human blockage, pushing her frantic mother down onto the wood floor. She ran into the kitchen knocking over a table or two along the way sending magazines and ashtrays flying through the air, pooping and screaming as she went. Mrs Brackston was very upset and tried to coax the now shivering pig that was still relieving herself on the floor to come snuggle into her outstretched arms. Miss Piggy wanted nothing to do with her or anyone else and waddled back to the couch, slipping out of Mikes attempted grasp as she quickly shoved past him. The pig now has her 300lb body on the very top of the couch, still relieving herself in fear! Both men lunged at her and was able to grab onto Miss Piggy as her mother yelled out encouraging words through tears trying to calm the pig. Mike held her down as his dad hurriedly trimmed each foot without making them bleed. The frightened pig yelled so loud that they wrapped a fuzzy wool blanket around her head to help muffle the unbearable squealing! After what seemed like an hour, her feet were finally manicured. The exhausted men collapsed on the couch, staying away from the fresh brown and yellow stains. Miss Piggy ran into the spare bedroom where her bed was kept and buried herself under her teddy bear blanket. Mrs Brackston was pleased at the outcome, praising them for a job well done as she causally mopped up after her baby. She promised that next time, she will give Miss Piggy a full bottle of beer to help her sleep through the next trimming. Mike said it didn’t work. When they came back 6 months later, the drunk pig jumped off the couch weaving it’s way into the master bedroom closet relieving herself along the way. His dad refused to go back with him after that and Mike was forced to struggle with Miss Piggy alone as Mrs Brackston cried out her anguished words of encouragement to a panicking pig for the next 3 or 4 years
I looked out the window and Laci the mini tank was standing outside the barn as Sparky stood half way in the barn door. Laci was standing, not moving a muscle, staring at the house. I didn’t think too much of it until I looked out almost 15 min later and they were both in the same spot. Now on a normal day I wouldn’t have cared…I would have shook my head and thought to myself, ‘what a couple of ding bats’. But the wind chill is MINUS 50 and with open fields all around us, the wind is blowing hard! I watched them for a few moments and noticed that Laci was moving one foot up, then another….duh….she’s cold! Go inside! But she stands there, switching feet slowly freezing to death! Well my farmer instinct kicks in and realize she might be A. frozen to the ground or B. the cold has made her mind as fuzzy as her winter coat and she can’t figure out how to get back inside the barn! So what do I do??? I tell Chad to go out and chase the horses back in (I’m not going out there, its too cold for humans!). My faithful hubby gets bundled up with a forced ‘Yes Dear’ smile on his face to chase horses back into a barn as the wind blows tiny ice particle’s onto his exposed face making it go from warm to frost bite in less than 4 seconds! I watched him trudge through the thick snow with a warm heart, knowing that my hubby loves me and that the horses will be saved from Mother Natures wrath! He got to the barn and what did those horses do? They ran opposite from the barn and into the pasture! Chad sort of chased them back towards the barn but they did a wide circle around him and stood there facing him…oh good, a stand off! I could see him shaking his fist at them and I’m sure he was using threating words as his skin turned from pink to a frosty blue. He finally gave up and did what I always do, trick them back inside with tasty goat grain! These horses will follow a hand full goat grain to the ends of the earth! After a few tense moments and a few snickers on my end, he got the horses back the into barn!! Good job honey!
why do they stand there in 50 BELOW wind chills???
I should train myself NOT to look out the window early in the morning to see what the naughty’s are doing, its too stressful! I pulled back the curtain to see what was going on in the field and I spotted Laci the mini tank laying halfway in the barn door. Dunkay was trapped in the barn with his head poking out, Sparky and both goats were stuck outside trying to get back in! Our mini tank was laying completely still, head down, not moving a muscle. I truly thought she was dead. She likes to lay down in the middle of the field but in the middle of door way? I ran from window to window trying to get a different view to see if she was moving, I even knocked on one window which is silly, they can’t hear me that far away although both goats perked up and looked my way happy to hear human sounds,they have ears of an elephant when it comes to the possibility of food, all other sounds they ignore. I woke Chad up and told him in less than 3 seconds how Laci was laying in the doorway possibly dead and that the other animals are trapped! I yelled that he needs to get up NOW and go do CPR before we lose her!! He looked at me with one eye open with his ‘here she goes again’ look and mumbled something about the ‘horse is sleeping, leave her alone’. I insisted he get up and save my horse,he insisted that he stay in bed and rolled over. Needless to say, by the time I got dressed and out to the barn, Laci was sitting up looking at me with joy in her eyes knowing that breakfast was early this morning!