Category Archives: Norma Jean News

Getting to knooooow you, getting to know all abouuuuut you…

Our work is open again – for outside seating only.  Yay!  So I’ve been working a lot and running up and down stairs because we had to put a tent – to protect patrons from the elements – in our parking lot.

So, I’m kinda beat.  …Sorry about that.

However, I did spend some time today with the newbies.  So far, Ponyman Rocky Balboa has decided that I’m OK.  He will let me pet him to his shoulder, as long as he isn’t eating.  Today, instead of forcing the issue (I want to get a flymask on him to protect is bad eye), I decided to just sit with him as he ate.

For me, the best way to make friends with a horse is to break bread with them.  I sit and just do nothing while they eat.  Sometimes, if it is going well, I will find the best bits of the hay and feed it to him/her.

Today, I noticed that Rocky was standing at a mangate in the 5 acre pasture.  No one EVER has stood there.  So, I figured he was curious about where that particular gate led.  Instead of letting him through, I brought over some yummy bits of alfalfa, and we stood there together.  Well, I sat there.  He stood there.

After a few minutes, he came in closer and I rubbed his forehead as he munched.  Pretty soon he had pushed his hay into my lap.  I think that he is ready for a friend… since the donkey ladies have formed their own club… maybe tomorrow I can mask him.

By the way, Norma loves him.  But, he has no use for Norma.  It breaks my heart.  However, I haven’t given up.  We have lots of time to form a friendship.

Oh, I forgot to say, Rocky has this amazing whorl on his cheek!  Photo below.

I saw him, alone, by the mangate in the 5 acre pasture.

We sat together for a while.

This is his bad side… where he lost the eye.

I had a dog and a pony in my lap. It felt nice.  The field is starting to green up.


As you can see, he has a very pronounced whorl on his left cheek.


The two new girls are completely different, but they love each other.  I caught them grooming the other day!  They have certainly bonded.

Ethel Merdonk is definitely an older badonk.  She is also more wary and more protective.  Little Princess Buttercup Pebbles is a little firecracker.  When I let her into the big 5 acres, she runs and bucks and snorts… she is young and fresh!

Ethel is starting to let me pet her.  But she seems to forget that we were kinda friends the day before – like groundhog day.  Princess BCP always comes up to me with hopeful eyes.  She considers me an endless supply of cookies.  Neither will let me pet them all over… but they don’t run away anymore either.

Ethel Merdonk is older and more wary

I have yet to see Ethel smile.

Princess Buttercup Pebbles is very sweet and fresh and young! Neither will let me pet them all over – yet. It amazes me how Ethel has no long hair – as if it was cut… whereas PBCP is ALL hair!


THE WILD DONKS AT HALTER RANCHWell, we had some excitement last week.

The 4 wild donkeys had escaped onto a neighbors cattle ranch.  We had to use a drone to find them.  Luckily, they came back to the same water spot daily.  So, our GM had every single person from the winery and crew surround them (on the neighbor’s property) and then with arms outstretched (touching fingertips) we human chain corralled them home.

It was pretty amazing and a great cooperation.

Here they are in a very large wildllife corridor that we have fully deer fenced.  We know they are safe here until we find the break in the fence.  (They are the four who are huddled together, having a yummy “Thank you for letting us find you” fabulous dinner.)

Yes, we have two other domestic donkeys and three llamas in there.

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Fun and GAMES! And what Norma wants, Norma gets.

Today, I felt that the Three Donkateers and pony sidekick were settled enough to venture out into the 6 acres.  Besides, they had Norma with them and Norma knows the ropes of the 6 acres.  So, I opened the gate.

Immediately, they ran to the furthest point.

I opened the gate and they all ran immediately to the far corner. This pasture is 5+ acres and I’m on the opposite side – so they look tiny.

So I zoomed in. We have Rocky, Norma, Princess BCP and then Ethel Wonky Donk.

Uh oh. Here comes very expressive Wrigley.

Of course, snorting and neck hinging occurred. Norma is coming up to protect her pony, as she always did.

Both Wrig and Rocky took off running. Norma decided to exit stage right.

Wrigley was very excited. He made several runs through the upper pasture and back down to Rocky.   PS: You can see how the fence has majorly deteriorated since it was built 4 years ago.

Rocky (still flagging his tail), Princess and Ethel are now further down the hill and disengaged from Wrigley.

AFTER THE SOJOURN – What Norma wants, Norma gets.

I left them all out there to do what they wanted.

At dinner time, Norma indicated that she wanted back in with Dalton and Gwen.

Norma is no fool.  She makes calculated decisions.  So I asked myself why did she want in with Dalton?

Maybe Norma was a bit disappointed that the new pony didn’t instantly love her.   After all, she instantly loved the pony.  As soon as she was let into his pen, she went straight up to him and looked at him so hopefully.  She wanted that pony friendship she misses so much.   Truly, I had never seen her march up to a new horse like she took her position next to Rocky.

Rocky doesn’t know of Norma’s epic experience with ponies.  He doesn’t know what an expert pony helper Norma has been.  He doesn’t see her pony love and knowledge.

But he will.

Until then, I think Norma can only take small doses – as she figures out her position with him.  I think she is a bit confused on why Rocky isn’t her instabud and she wants to feel love at the end of the day, which Dalton gives her.

Still, I will keep Norma coming and going… because I’d sure love to see her ponydesires met with Rocky the half blind pony.

At dinner time, Norma asked to come into Dalton and Gwen’s pen.

Dalton is the boss, but he let’s Norma eat with him and protects her from Gwen. I think Norma feels loved in this pen.



At the end of their first day out in the big field, the new two donkeys plus the pony WERE EATING TOGETHER.  That had not yet happened.  So, I think a day out was a very bonding experience.

This seemed a bit ironic to me because for 25 years, it was always 2 ponies and a donkey (Slick, Dodger and Norma).  Today, it is 2 donkeys and a pony (Ethel Merdonk Wonky Donkey, Princess Buttercup Pebbles and Rocky Balboa).

Those dark brown stripes on Princess Buttercup Pebbles’ ears are so velvety and soft.  Kinda like her…

They hadn’t all eaten together since they arrived. But tonight, they did! Ethel, Princess BC Pebbles and Rocky.

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Supporting The Bucket Fund through Amazon Smile
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