When I have to leave town, I always prefer Hubby to care for the ranch because, in some way, I just feel better about it all.
Unfortunately, with his work schedule, he can rarely feed for me. Maybe a night here and there, but not very often.
This time, however, he told me that he could feed – for the entire 5 days!
“No sweat,” he said…
So, Hubby fed for me for a week!…
When I came home, the horses were picketing in front of the ranch.
FACES ONLY A MOM WOULD UNDERSTAND
I arrived late Friday night.
I asked Hubby how the horses were doing.
He said dryly, “They are all still alive.”
I looked at him and did a Scoobydoo. “Huh?”
“Well, it rained everyday and I left before it was light and I came home after dark. I know they are all alive. But, I don’t really know how they are.”
I was getting a feeling here that things weren’t exactly peachy keen.
Me: Did Slick get his medicine everyday?
Hubby: Of course!
Me: Did he eat it?
OK, well, that was good…
So, I went to the barn to feed.
APPROACHING THE BARN
As I approached the barn, the horses felt all ‘abuzz’. It was as if they all were on the verge of popping or something.
It was dark, but I could see them with my high powered headlamp. — but seeing them wasn’t what got my attention.
I could ‘feel’ them.
They were about to explode…
I wonder why?
Yes, the weather was starting to turn stormy – again.
But that wasn’t it.
They were upset. Rattled.
Horses are creatures of routine. If you change their routine, they either roll with it, or get rattled. If one gets rattled, that horse will influence another and so it goes until you have a ranch full of lunatics who aren’t really sure why they are upset, but they react anyway.
So, back to the story…
The horses were electrified. They were snapcrackleandpopping all over.
What was up with them?!
Was there a coyote somewhere? A bear?
My first hint was the full, but backwashed waterer in the mare pasture.
It had water filled to the top, but clearly someone had washed their hay in it and the trough hadn’t been dumped and refilled.
My second clue was the flooded back porch of the barn (from the rain). They hate that.
It hadn’t been mopped.
I stepped into the hay barn and things became more clear… I could literally follow his trail from the hay stacks to every feeding place.
The mares were in a tizzy because he had fed them in their usual places, not their ‘when it rains’ places.
They were standing in their DRY place and the food was in the usual, now wet, place.
They were very upset that they had to eat wet hay and had simply – left it there. They didn’t eat and they were uncomfortable and food frantic.
FINN, BG AND WRIGLEY
These three were clamored into a corner of their huge pasture.
They were barely containing their fear as they pointed up to the corner of the pasture.
THEM: OVER THERE!!!! THE BAD THING IS OVER THERE!! LOOOOOOOOK.
Me: Where? What?
THEM: O-V-E-R THERE!!! JUST LOOK!
It was a downed tree. A very huge, downed tree right in the middle of where they usually ate.
They were hysterical.
THEM: HOW CAN WE EAT WITH THAT HUGE THING IN THERE?!
Me: You eat.
THEM: NOOOOOOOO! It will eat US!
So, I walked them back into their eating area, all the while with them blowing and prancing behind me.
Me: See, its just a tree on its side.
THEM: WHAT? Just a tree? On its side?
Me: Uh huh.
THEM: Uh. OK… What’s for dinner?!!
I looked down and saw three piles of wet hay, sitting there from breakfast.
Hubby didn’t know this about horses…
TESS, NORMA AND DODGER
Tess has a soft spot in her horsey heart for Hubby. She flirts with him incessantly. He loves it.
Tess was quite happy as she had received everything she needed plus extra grain.
Norma and Dodger were fine, too. However Norma did inform me that she hadn’t received one apple piece since I had been gone (that is our special thing…).
She followed me past her fenceline – donkey hollering her disgruntled donkey truths while I nodded and promised to bring her an apple piece during the next pass.
THE FEED ROOM
We keep the puppies in a stall during the day if we aren’t home.
Clearly, the puppies had been in the stall long enough to have devised a remodeling campaign…
Or they were auditioning for EXTREME MAKEOVER… not sure.
The entire stall was rearranged and dismembered. There was a hole approaching China in the corner. Their water bowl was filled with water and … toys.
They had clearly run amok.
(I should dress them in little striped outfits when I leave next time. That way, when they emerge from their dig, whomever finds them will know they are escapees…)
They had also doubled in size. I swear!
I sighed, walked away and entered the feed room to organize dinner when I saw, all around me, the ruins of early morning haste and late evening fatigue.
What I found most telling, was the corner rip in the egg flat…
You see, I buy flats of eggs for the dogs. They come wrapped in plastic. You have to cut the plastic with a knife because it is kinda thick.
Well… when I saw what looked like a clawed animal had ripped or bitten into the egg flat, I knew…
Hubby had gone over the edge.
I knew exactly what he did and how frustrated he had to have been to hack at the egg flats like that – I’d done it, too.
I smiled to myself.
He finally understood… He gets it.
Spending five days getting up too early, working all day and coming home in the dark to demanding fuzzy faces – he had cracked.
He now totally knew what it is like to feed day-in and day-out – rain or shine.
When I came into the house he said, “Cheers to the hardest working woman in the entertainment industry, and at home…”
I thanked him, smiled…
And I told him that feeding was too much for a guy who works as hard as he does and hiring a feeder was the best idea for the future….
He looked so relieved!
And, outside, the horses stopped their picket line and put their noses down to eat…
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