Sunday, June 3, 2012

The Mare In Question; A Bit of Unplanned Excitement


Life has been very busy again of late. 

Scottie developed yet another hoof abscess last month and that entailed more daily trips to the barn to soak and wrap his foot. I have also been cleaning out flower beds and generally preparing them for the new growing season. Thanks to our early warm weather back in March, everything is doing extremely well and growing fast. I’ve already planted some annuals and have new perennials to add to the beds to fill them out. But first, a few perennials need to be moved to better spots, and I’ve been trying to figure out where to put them before I tackle the new plants. 

Our kids were both home for the Memorial Day holiday weekend which required that I clean the house, something I don’t do as often as I should. We had a nice visit even though the weather didn’t cooperate, and then it was back to the usual routines. 

Male barn swallow
I had just started riding Scottie again when he came up lame yet again, so now it’s back to the barn daily for foot soaks. Just the other day I took my big camera along and managed to get some pretty good shots. The barn swallows are back, and a pair of adults obliged me by sitting still on the fence while I took their pictures. When I looked at them on the computer, I was amazed by the beautiful irridescence of the feathers on their backs and heads. What great paintings they will make! I was disappointed that the shots weren’t more sharp and am wondering if maybe I need to upgrade to a better zoom lens for this camera. Or, perhaps I needed a tripod. 

This photo is of a little bird which was hanging around Mikey as he grazed. This bold little fellow got daringly close to Mikey’s mouth in this shot, and I figure he was waiting to grab any insects that Michael might have scared up while cutting the grass. What a brave little bird!

Mikey's Bird
As for the photo at the top, it is of the mare in question, a big rawboned Hannoverian mare named Mellissa. She is currently in heat and has been smitten by J Willie who is in another pasture. He seems equally smitten with her, even though he’s a gelding, and the two of them have been calling to each other constantly. Well, Mel doesn’t really ever neigh or whinny; she bellows. 

As I was bringing Scottie out of the pasture gate later that same day, Mel snuck up behind us and barged through the gate and headed for the driveway. This mare is nearly 17 hands and is a bit of a tank. There was no stopping her! My heart went into my throat, fearing she would take off down the drive and into the road. But she swerved off to the side to have a rendevous with JW. Quickly I put Scott in cross ties in the barn and grabbed Mel’s halter. But when she saw me with the halter, it was clear she had no intention of being caught and took off at her ground shaking big trot. I managed to block her from the driveway and maneuver her back toward the barn door where she thankfully took the bait and trotted in. Then I heard the sound of a cross tie breaking. Oh No! What had she done to my horse?!

As I ran into the barn aisle, I saw both horses at the far end. Shutting the door behind me, I approached them and grabbed Scottie and then opened the gate into the arena as Mel bellowed for JW yet again. She willingly charged into the arena which abuts JW’s paddock and leads out into the big pasture. Whew! She was contained!

A quick assessment of Scottie revealed no damage to his body nor did he seem the least bit upset. But his halter hardware was broken and one cross tie lay over his neck just behind his ears. In thinking about it, I’ve concluded that when he saw Mel coming at him down the aisle, he must have reared back and broken loose on his own in an attempt to get out of her way. 

At any rate, I’m just very thankful that none of us were hurt and that I managed to put Mel back where she belonged so that we didn’t have to chase her through the woods or along country roads. That bit of excitement is enough to last me for a long time! 

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