When the barn door opens eight horse’s heads of varying sizes and colours (colors) follow every move. Hooves shuffle and stamp in impatience. Occasionally a resounding thump hits the cedar wall if the breakfast service is too slow, followed by a clamour of loud whinnies protesting at our inefficiency. All around the barn animals stir, the goats begin to bleat mournfully, the cows and sheep raise their voices in unison and in the chicken coops, Tux and Adolf the resident roosters stridently welcome the day whilst busily monitoring their feathered harem.
Each animal has developed it’s own particular method for attracting the (1) fastest and (2) the most attention and is daily working hard at perfecting it. The stalls nearest the barn door are occupied by Roman the black Morgan and Quest the huge bay Shire. Roman is and has been since his arrival at the ranch, a NOW horse. Always the first to halter… after 3 spins of the stall to the left and a follow up routine of three to the right for good measure. Hanging on to horse and head collar was achieved with endless sessions of gritted teeth, sheer determination and, I am sure…. more than a little insanity on both sides of the lead rope ! After several years of intense training Roman has learnt the error of his ways ( I think) and so have we ! The black Morgan now stands quietly for his “playing out clothes” to be adjusted…. Before routinely kicking his stall door for breakfast. The arrival of the much anticipated bucket of early morning grain temporarily quietens the OCD equine whilst he checks it out, before a well aimed front hoof kicks the inoffensive vessel into orbit. Having achieved total anarchy and got everyone’s attention, Roman then proceeds to divert his attention to the re located breakfast grain on the floor.
Across the barn, big brown Quest watches the adolescent behaviour and has adopted the opposite tactic to achieve the same reward. BREAKFAST. He has access to passers by on each side of his stall and if he really times it right, the deep soulful eyes under the shaggy black hair manages to beat you to the door and pleadingly remind you, twice (coming and going)…. that he hasn’t yet been fed. His giant head will drop, nose on the ground to have his head collar fastened by even the smallest horse person and whilst waiting for breakfast service, will grind his teeth and toss his head in anticipation.
I’ve just been timed out again and only Roman and Quest fed. It’s 7.30 am and time to go down to the barn
Take care, keep safe, M