Category Archives: Mama Tess

How to make your human laugh. By Tess and Finn.

I have a coupla comedians around here today.

One meant to be funny, I think.   The other didn’t but was funny anyway…

Both of them got treats because I’m a pushover.


I brought Tess in today because she is 22 and needs more attention these days than the youngsters.

I had planned on grooming her and taking care of all her ‘older mare’ needs that she’d rather the other horses didn’t see.  After all, she is lead mare and I know she is not ready to give up her poll position.  We have an agreement that her age ailments are our little secret.

Anyway, I put a halter on her and fake-tied the lead rope around the beam where I always tie her.  Our usual routine, for the entire year she suffered from Canker, was to put her in this exact place, give her a bucket of healthy grain, and do the hoof clean and medicate then wrap dance.  We did this twice a day for a year.  We were a well oiled machine.

But today, I was just grooming her so I tied her and didn’t give her a bucket of grain.

You’d think I slapped her in the face.

At first, she stood there, politely, waiting for me (the slow and ignorant human) to get the bucket of grain.  She shifted her weight and stared at the feed room.  It was obvious to me that she was trying to get me to go into the grain room and do the right thing.

I didn’t.  I went about my business brushing her and fawning over her.

She wasn’t happy.  She wanted her grain.  So, she started thinking horsey logic.

Hmmm.  Being a resourceful mare, she looked around and had an instant idea.  The bucket was right there!  This will be easy!  She nosed the empty bucket hanging in front of her a few times so it clanged against the rails.  She was proud of her noisemaking.  She turned and then stared right at me.

“Didja hear that?  Are you gettin’ my drift here?”

But you ALWAYS give me grain when I stand here. The bucket is empty. Please fill it.

That didn’t work, either.

I could see the wheels in her brain working…  “OK, the human is really stoopid today.  She needs extra help.”

So, Tess flipped the bucket off of the rail and flew a few feet to land right at my feet.  (It was a good toss.)

Tess:  “Human, are you DENSE?”

Me:  Uh, the was unnecessary.

Tess:  “Well, you are not doing what you are supposed to do and I’m just helping jog your memory.  You are supposed to put grain in the bucket I just put at your feet.”

Me:  Says who?

Me:  “Human, get the grain and put it into my bucket, please.”

Me:  Not today, Tess, we aren’t wrapping your feet.  I’m just grooming you.

Tess:  “Uh, no you aren’t.  Not without grain.  Besides, I said PLEASE.”

Me:  Dudn’t matter.

Tess:  (pouting and burning a hole in my face with her eyes) “But that is our deal!  I stand here nicely as long as I have grain.”

Me:  Since when?

Tess:  “Since the Canker time; you set a president and I’m old and you are unfair and you are abusing the elderly!”

It was then that I started laughing.  She was so earnest in her pleas.  It was as if she felt sorry for me for being so ignorant.  She was going to help me through this and she was going to try to not get angry.

When I refused, she was appalled that I would not oblige the Queen.

After tossing her bucket at my feet she stared at me plaintively and pleaded, "But I'm old! This is Elder Abuse! Don't you love me?"

In the end, she won.  I couldn’t resist her face or her horsey logic.  She is older and she’s a great mare so why not…

Besides, she made me laugh!


Finn is funny all the time.  He doesn’t mean to be.  He just is.

I have no idea what he thinks or how he comes up with all of his silly antics, but he is truly amusing.  He kinda reminds me of Lucille Ball.  Whatever he does ends up being funny.

So today, for a reason only he knows, He posed for photos like this:

I pulled out the camera and he did THIS...

Now, I’ve never seen him turn his head sideways like that so I started giggling.  As I start laughing, he realizes that what he was doing amused me.

So, he did it again!

He does it again! (I kiss his nose.)

Now, I’m hysterical.  As I’m laughing, he pretends to be really pissed at me.  He pins his ears and slits his eyes but he kinda winks at me.

I take another photo.

He fakes like he's mad at me for laughing...

He finds this really funny so he turns his head sideways again and pushes his nose towards the camera.

He does it again only pushing his nose right into the camera

By this time, I’m cackling but not giving him the treat he knows I have in my pocket.  So, he stops all of his antics and gives me the, “Hey, I’ve made you laugh a few times now.  Where’s my treat?  C’mon.”

Hey, those were good faces! Where's my treat?

I tell him that if he does it one more time (I wasn’t sure if I had a good shot yet), I’d give him an ENTIRE apple.

He looks at me as if he is excited to rise to the challenge…

“Game On! But you better have that camera ready because I’m gonna pull out all the stops for this one!”

Saving the best for last... he got the apple.


He got the apple.


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March Drop in the Bucket Fund:  THE JUNKYARD 4.
These 4 sad horses were found in miserable condition, 2 pregnant, all starved – yet owned by a hay broker!  To learn all about the Bucket Fund and to donate towards the care of The Junkyard 4, please click on the photo (photo credit, Trish Lowe)


Click to help our Junyard 4!

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Some thoughts from my deeply bedded stall…

I’m sitting in my jammies and working from my very cozy home office.   Thank you for letting me take yesterday off!


I remember having heard the expression, “We are overwhelmed by the outpouring of well-wishing” regarding some event or mishap…  In the past, it has always been a phrase that made as much of a personal impact on me as, “We hope you enjoy…” or “Thank you all for attending…”.  It didn’t mean that much to me.  It sounded like a sentence written by a campaign manager or PR coach.

But, I was wrong.

I swear to every single God that anyone swears to, I feel overwhelmed by the outpouring of well-wishers.  I wouldn’t say it any other way.  It is absolutely true.

I am very grateful and I thank you from the bottom of my heart (another phrase which is overused but is true here).  I am deeply moved (again, very true) and I was buoyed by the level of outreach towards me and my injuries from all of you who don’t even know me.

Honestly, you guys made my week!  You ROCK!  Thank you.

Look what Mother Nature left for me this evening!


A donator challenged me regarding the “goal” of the Bucket Fund.

He didn’t mean the emotional goal, he meant the financial goal.  For example, he wanted to know how much money LeRoy actually needed.  He thought I should set the thermometer for that number.

Since others of you might be thinking the same thing, I wanted to let you in on my strategy here.  First of all, all of the Charities I’ve used as a Bucket Fund need more funds than we have ever raised.  I’m not saying that they aren’t grateful, I’m saying that times are tough and Rescues are having a really rough go of it…

The financial goal of the Bucket Fund is to receive and deliver 100% of whatever you all feel like giving.

The Thermometer Strategy:

I start the ‘end’ level of the thermometer at a doable amount ($500).  In this way, our smaller donations (which is what the Bucket Fund is all about) feel worthwhile and part of an obtainable goal.  If we get close to the initial end level, I raise it a bit so that the Rescue can still benefit if people want to give more than the initial $500.

So far, that has worked well.

But, yesterday, the same donator told me that he would have donated more if he knew the “goal” or what LeRoy really needed.  So, taking his advice to heart, I raised the thermometer end to $2500.  I thought I would experiment with a more reality-based goal.

Well, at $2500, we received hardly any donations.  I think that kind of an end mark makes the $5 and $10 donations seem worthless – which is totally untrue and against the principles of the Bucket Fund.  Every single drop counts!

So, I have gone back to keeping the end level of the thermometer just slightly out of reach so that we continue to feel like we can make a difference.  And, we have.  All those smaller but significant donations have made this month the best so far!

Goal Amount?

I guess the only answer to give someone who wants to know the amount needed is this…

There is no good answer to that question… LeRoy needs medical help and after-care plus a life-long home.  And, the people who have cared for LeRoy have diverted funds which would have gone to other animals.  So, what LeRoy needs could be calculated – but is really universal… it is what all the forgotten, abandoned, sick or injured animals need.  To that end, whatever feels comfortable for anyone to give is what the Rescues feel grateful receiving.  Every drop makes a difference…

My Personal Goal for the Bucket Fund

My personal goal for the Bucket Fund is to be able to receive $1 from every reader every month.  That would be remarkable and incredibly powerful for equines in need…  If every reader (200,000+ per month and growing) gave a dollar every month, the Horse and Man Group Bucket Fund could turn the Horse Welfare Industry right-side up.

That is my personal goal.

But, I’m thrilled and happy with whatever we give every month.


Well, I caught myself in the act today…  Totally manipulated by my teenage Morgan mare, Gwen, and her pasturemate Untouchable Sam.

I think I noticed my backslide because I’m moving so slowly right now.  I actually had the time to mull over how I had totally succumbed to being worked-over by my little darlings.  Here is how it happened…

I Got Werked!

So I’m in the barn feeding.  I throw Tess the last flake of the “good” hay and open another bale for everyone else.  It is fine hay but not as good as what Tess got.

Gwen receives her flake.  I continue to feed.  Gwen sniffs her flake and runs over to Tess to see what she got.  Ah ha.  Tess got better hay.

Harumpfh. Gwen is pissed.

I notice this because I am taking my time doing everything.  So, I’m still in the barn when Gwen realizes her misfortune.

I see Gwen standing just outside kicking distance from her mother, Tess, as she stares at me.


Me:  yup.


Me:  yup.

G:  (Running to the first barn window as I move down the barn aisle – I can see her mane flying past the window as she whines… )  CAN I HAVE GOOD HAY, TOO?!!

Me:  eat what you have…

G:  (Sticking her head through the 2nd barn window and pleading)  BUT, I LOOOOVE YOU.

Me:  the hay you have is fine

G:  (Running to the 3rd barn window and shoving her head further inside the barn pathetically)


Me:  everyone else got the same hay you have

G:  (Now she has followed me outside the barn and is standing just outside the barndoor in her best Morgan Park-out position with her softest huge brown eyes having their way with me..)  BUT I LOOOOOOVE YOU AND I’M SO GOOD AND PRETTY!  LOOK AT HOW PRETTY I AM AND HOW MUCH I LOVE YOU THE BEST!

Me:  (melting into a puddle as I start babytalking to her and finding myself turning inside to get her some of the better hay)

Here you go, Gwendin, Momma loves you, too, baby girl….

Sheesh.  AH HA!  Foiled!  She got me!

GWEN doing her best to look deserving

And, to top it off…

As I continued to feed, slowly, I noticed that Untouchable Sam (the feral rescue mare)  is standing as pretty as she can, next to Gwen, and trying to get my attention.

Me:  Wow!

Sam has her head over the bars of the gate and she is stamping her feet while looking right into my eyes!

Me:  Wow!

I walk over to her and she says:


And with that, I caved again.

I got totally werked by my mares and I smiled the whole time…  Gawd I’m a PushOver!  ;)

Untouchable Sam, melting my heart...

HORSE AND MAN is a blog in growth… if you like this, please pass it around!

HORSE AND MAN is a blog in growth... if you like this, please pass it around!