Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Is this a barn or Noah's Ark?

Today I was thinking about all of the other animals that tend to collect when you have a horse barn, whether by design or via the time-honored "hey, it's-a-barn-we'll-dump-the-kittens-there-late-at-night" method. Or via the "OMG it's on Craigslist and it looks like crap WE HAVE TO HELP IT" thing that sucks you in, and before you know it, you have 5 cats with 19 legs between them, three goats, a Labrador Retriever with a taste for show tack, an arthritic llama and a donkey that needs a lot of expensive farrier care.

Sometimes those additional animals really complicate things. Many years ago, I acquired a farm and had some issues moving the previous owner and his border collies out. The border collies were thrilled at the introduction of a large stock tank in the pasture. "Awesome!" they said to each other, "The new chick has installed a swimming pool!" They proceeded to dive into the pool, swim laps, jump out, roll in the mud and then dive back in repeatedly. I constantly drained and scrubbed the tank and swore profusely at the border collies, who laughed and shook water all over me.
I love dogs, but I swear there were moments...

Then there's the fact that horses who have not been exposed to certain animals may not necessarily experience love at first sight. When my horses started sharing space with llamas, the young ones adapted immediately to the odd looking shaggy creatures in the next pasture. The one who snorted, whirled and tried to run me over was Clover - the 30-something rescue mare! Apparently in all her years on earth, she had not yet encountered these creatures, and she did not want to learn about them now. She did adjust but it took a while.

So today I want to hear from you: What other animals share your horses' space and what do your horses think about that? What's the craziest incident you've had thanks to another animal in the barn?

My question this morning: Why do all the barn cats show up when you are re-wrapping the leg on the mare who is scared of barn cats? Is there a cat notification system like Twitter?

(As my friend pointed out: Yes. It's called Kitter.)

And a couple of updates on old stories:-

Frank Mackay's trial postponed. What else is old. It's amazing anybody ever makes it to jail, with all of the delays! Original blog here. The good news is that the horses fully recovered, and no, he will never get them back.

Remember all the starving Arabians in Canada? You have to see some of the success stories. Now those are some great after pics!

Important information if you EVER donated money to Jason Meduna and/or Three Strikes Ranch:

If anybody gave any money or donations of any kind to 3-Strikes, Jason or Anissa Meduna, yiou need to call Abigail at the Attorney General’s office in Lincoln, NE 402-471-2682. They are working hard on getting this all put together. As you’ve read, he waived preliminary hearing. Moves on to District Court, July 14th, 1:30 PM MT.

By the way, I hear the Jason defenders are on a tear over at ABR. Oh. My. God. Here's my official statement on THAT nonsense:

I was at Three Strikes. I am not a highly emotional or dramatic person. My friends can attest that I have no problem viewing horrible things without having any sort of outward reaction. I do not have nightmares about cruelty cases and I am not given to hysterics. When I tell you that Three Strikes was the most awful thing I have ever seen in person, you should know that I am not exaggerating in any way.

Three Strikes was not a "horse paradise." Three Strikes was a death camp with horses that were so weak we barely got them into trailers. One, "Piglet," had to be picked up and PUT in the trailer. Turns out she is pregnant - at two. That's just awesome. That's what she needed, on top of starvation. No wonder she was so damn hungry. Her adopter deserves a damn medal for getting this poor thing up to weight so that she and her baby will have a chance. That's her at left. Awesome job!

There will never be any excuse or explanation for what happened over there other than a big ego and the refusal to admit failure and ask for help. Horses were dying and Jason and Anissa were still posting on the 'net like everything was rosy and hiding the situation from everybody who could have helped. They CHOSE for horses to die in agony rather than be embarrassed. That's an active choice. You think about that.

Anyone defending Jason Meduna is as sick as he is, in my opinion.

And what would the day be without a Bad Parent du Jour entry? Normally I would applaud a parent for putting an helmet on their child...however, in this case, I am distracted by the desire to know just where the protective gear is for the much younger and smaller child located underneath the draft mare!

Then again, what would be adequate protective gear for a small child located underneath a draft horse? A steel igloo? Full body armor? That mare's feet are wider than her head...seriously!