ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED 1/05/11
Did your horse come with a built-in alarm system? Do you know what I mean?
For example, sometimes when you purchase a coffee maker or a special coffee grinder from Starbucks, they will throw in a bag of coffee. If you buy a new wash machine, you usually get a few packets of Tide. Or, as my Hubby just interjected, if you purchase a special VW Jetta you get a bike rack… OK, so you know what I mean.
Well, my horses all came with built-in alarm systems. I guess I should be excited to have a ‘free’ service added to my initial investment. After all, an alarm that doesn’t run on electricity or battery power could be a good thing. These alarms NEVER FAIL, believe me.
In the beginning, I was quite underwhelmed with their performance. Well, not actually their performance… THAT was always stellar. I was underwhelmed with the applications… I didn’t really think I needed a Donkey Alarm Clock, the Fed Ex Alarm, the “Howyadoin’ ” cacophony Alarm, or my favorite – the “We’ve Gotten Out” Shrieky Screamy Alarm. But, what did I know?
THE DONKEY ALARM
The Donkey Alarm is accurate to the millisecond. In fact, the World Clock calls me and syncs up to our Donkey Alarm. Did your donkey come fully equiped with this little add-on?
I no longer have to set any kind of the wake-up alarms clocks anywhere in the house. Why bother? The Donkey Alarm never misses! What a relief if the power goes out… I simply have to lay in my bed comfortably until the Donkey Alarm sends me careening onto the ceiling. From dead asleep to bolt upright in about a nanosecond. Have you heard it? It goes something like this:
(HUGE DONKEY INHALE) … Ehhheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee squeek, (and then the exhale) HAWWW,eeeeh, HAWWW, eeeeh, squeek, eeeh, HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA – brief moment of silence then the final —-AAAAAWWWWWWWW!!!! until it peters out with a slight cough, Humph.
Translation: “GET OUTTA BED YOU TWO-LEGGER AND FEED ME for crying out loud! Humph.”
The most ingenious perk to this alarm is that it only takes a single blast to wake the entire neighborhood…
And, the SNOOZE Button works perfectly every time. In fact, I don’t have to do anything at all – not even touch the Snooze Button — in exactly 10 minutes, it will sound again.
The Snooze Button alarm is a bit different in tone – which is another feature you don’t usually find in regular alarm clocks. The Snooze burst of the Donkey Alarm is a bit more shrill and pathetic. It goes something like this:
(Huge, weepy and sorrowful, ‘lost all hope’ type of inhale) Eeeeeeeeeehhh, he,hee,eeeh, eeheh, sniff, pout, eeeeeeh. (Pitiful and sobby exhale) Hawwwwuhuhuh, awwwwwww, woeisme, awwwwwwwwwuhuhuh awwwwww. Wahhh.
Translation: “Poor meeee. How could you forsake me for your coffee? I’m starrrrving. You are a baaaad owner. Wahhh.”
HOW TO PROPERLY SET THIS ALARM AND OTHERS
Oh, this is the easy part. For me, I did it basically, unconsciously. All I did was do the same thing at the same time a few days in a row and BAM! Alarm set. Easy as pie.
Unfortunately, there is a defect in this particular alarm. Once it is set, it can never, ever be reset. I know. I’ve tried.
THE FED EX/BIG TRUCK/HORSE TRAILER ALARM
In case your equines didn’t come affixed with this handy little item, you could bring your horse over and my horses will teach it to them. Its easy. When a truck comes into the driveway, everyone PANIC, scream and push someone into the fence or gate.
When inside the house, this alarm sounds like a Tsunami. We have the ’44 hoof model’ which thunders across the pastures, accented by high pitched youngster shrills and finalized with the foreboding CRACK against a wood fence or the CLANNGGGGGG of 1100 lbs of pure energy slamming against pipe that sends a sonic-boom type ringing throughout your body and entire valley floor.
I guess my horses are socially starving because any big truck coming up the driveway is enough to line-up 11 clamoring heads like an equine reception line. “Who is it? Who’s there? Oh, this is so exciting! Maybe they’ll have APPLES! No, noooo, maybe CELERY (they like celery)! Uhh, no they’ll have PEARS, I’m sure of it!”
If the truck is a horse trailer, I may as well stop all work and go outside. When the horses see me, they start the onboard alarm systems all over again as they race up to me to tell me what is happening… “Horse Trailer! HORSE TRAILER! H-O-R-S-E-T-R-A-I-L-E-R!!!!!
I know. I can see it.
This on-board alarm is not my favorite. But, it does help when the dogs are off duty or sleeping in the house.
HOWYA DOIN’ SALUTATION ALARM
This one is quite pleasant. It only sounds for a short time and is usually rather melodic. I see it as more of a salutation than an alarm. Maybe a greeting alarm. Do you hear it around your ranch? The muffled “heh heh heh” and then the lower pitched rumble of the second part “how ya doo-oo-oo-ooh in’?”
I guess this would sound untoward if it was from anyone other than your equine. But, when the equine “heh, how ya doin'” salutation lilts your way, well, I don’t know about you, but I melt.
I’m glad this is a standard feature for most models.
THE ‘WE JUST BROKE THE FENCE AND GOT OUT’ ALARM!
My least favorite of the alarm systems preloaded into my equines. This one happens without the equine even realizing it. It is a stealth alarm that the horse cannot hear (because at the time it releases he is temporarily insane) but sends YOU off in a dead run to the barn carrying any rope, dog leash, ribbon, extension cord you can find looped over your arm, an apple/crackers/a jar of baby carrots crammed in your armpit, a stick in one hand and the phone in your other hand.
The interesting feature of this equine alarm is that it creates an alarm in YOU as you hear it. Your brain screams, “OHMYGOSHWHATISHAPPENING???!!”
Yes, you’ve heard it. It starts with a simple loud CRACK (the fence breaking). Then, you hear a shrill scream as they fight over who gets out first. After that, hooves touching surfaces not meant for hooves to touch and your grass being ripped to shreds. Flower beds no more… Landscaping done. Those sounds are quite unsettling.
At this point, you don’t even realize that YOU are screaming, too. “GET BACK HERE. No! WHOA! EEEEEEEASY! SLOW, RIGHT NOW. NOOOOOO. EASY, DON’T. NOOOOOO. DAMMIT. GET. BACK. IN. THERE. I’M NOT KIDDING!”
Just about here is when the dogs chime in whipping everyone into a snarly frenzy of equine vs canine, with human in the middle, cage fighting.
At this point, I have learned to simply corral the dogs (much easier than the horses), sit down and sing a little melody. The poor wayward horses cannot help themselves. Curiosity brings them over to sniff my head and wonder why I’m so calm. “Why isn’t Mommy playing anymore? And, what is that soft sound I’m hearing?”
THE HUMAN ‘ALL CLEAR BACK TO DEFCON 5’ LEADERSHIP ALARM
You see, that’s the great thing about humans… we all come pre-installed with the ‘ALL-CLEAR BACK TO DEFCON 5’ Leadership Alarm. It is silent but carries a big punch.
The human ‘All Clear’ alarm is fixed right in our solar plexus and requires only a simple unwinding to start the process. Remarkably, it take far less energy than any other alarm we have and it emanates from us in a very all encompassing manner. The horses feel it immediately. “Hey, she sure seems contented just to sit there and sing. I guess our alarm is wrong.”
Ahhhh, the human All-Clear Back to Defcon 1 Alarm is so easy, cheap to install (just plug it in) and lightweight, you can take it anywhere. All you have to do is establish that you have it, remember that you own it and know how to use it.
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