Sunday, March 13, 2005

The Duke-ster

Let’s talk about my horse. If you don’t know drafts, he’s BIG. Seriously. Dinner plate size hooves. Shoulder stands at 6 feet. Weighs more than most cars. His head is longer than my torso, and at 5’6” I’m not short.

He’s also a sweetie, as are most drafts. Really steady, something in horses that is called “bomb proof” although he lacks being totally “bomb proof” by only one mark: he’s mostly blind in his right eye and can be startled on that side. He actually likes working to the point you can almost hear him saying, “Oh great, she’s bringing out the harness.” He hates being ridden, and being a rider I do sometimes do that to him. He tolerates my foibles.

I think I’ve mentioned before that I take the equines to the front pastures when I can here at the end of the winter so they can get an easy bellyful of grass. Trouble is, they are characters, both the horse and the donkey, and donkey started jumping over the barest of barriers I’d put up in one spot in the neighbor’s back field. One day he evidently dragged it down and boom, both horse and donkey hightailed it to the front and to the nice grass. Cow had enough sense to just stay in the back. Goats don’t pay any attention to fences anyway.

Ah, but the very nicest equine-type grass isn’t in the front fields, it is in the orchard and other most often mowed areas right around the garden. In the garden where the onions and some other things have recently been planted. And which has a fence but not gates. And so, for some reason, this huge horse went into the circle garden to have a look-see even though there is no grass in there. Dinner plate sized hooves. Right through the onions. Sank a good 18 inches. We have made really nice soil in those permanent beds. But it is hard to find onion plants when they’ve been stomped that deep.

Husband was mad, but not as mad as he might have been. He fixed most of the damage and cussed the equines but really, he was amazingly tolerant. Not that we haven’t made changes to try to make sure it doesn’t happen again – oh we have.

At least he didn’t knock over one of the fruit trees to use to scratch his belly. That’s what he does, all trees of a certain size he scratches his belly on.

That was a couple days ago. Today it was so bright and sunny and warm that I got my work in the house mostly done and took my laptop and my horse and donkey to the front fields so they could graze and I could finally finish writing an actual letter that I’d started I don’t know how long ago. I got the letter done then went up to help husband in the garden. The girls went frog hunting.

And the next thing you know, old Duke is headed over the bridge. He’d gone to a puddle there to get a drink and just raised his big old head and walked right on across and out into the road. Husband was gathering leaf litter from the woods to put on the newly planted blue potatoes and heard me hollering, “Whoa! Whoa Duke!” Duke stopped to check the mail, and stayed there and looked at me as if to say, “What? The mail didn’t run today?” while I ran toward him. Donkey went on out wandering down the road just for fun, and when Duke and I came back over the bridge, Donkey acted like suddenly he couldn’t find his way back across the bridge.

All these shenanigans are one reason I really like the equines: they are funny. Amusing. Smart. Plus I just like the way they smell. And I like the way I feel around them. Free.

But they got put tightly back into the back field in short order. And I came back to the house to fix dinner.


justrose said...

That sassy equine, stomping through your onion field with dinner-plate-sized feet. Truly, he sounds like more fun than most people. I LOOOOOOOOOVE horses. Seriously. Have only been on them twice in my life, and those were both glorious times. Someday again ...

the Contrary Goddess said...

Well, it is not really a field . . . but describing our gardens is more than I . . . hmmmmm, maybe I should do a post just on that . . . the design . . . . Anyway, yes, he might even like sassy boots, but tomorrow his farrier is visiting to give him a manicure. The farrier was born the year I graduated from high school -sigh-.

alix said...

them's would be some BIG boots.