Sunday, February 22, 2009

An Excellent Visit

Imagine my surprise when yesterday a vehicle drove up to the house and my friends from the church I visited in the fall (including Ed the former jockey) hopped out and began shouting greetings in my direction. It was the one bright spot in an otherwise windy, snowy day. They donned boots and bustled right over to see me.

Doc intercepted them at the gate and began his usual antics to draw all the attention to himself. He pulled back his lips and smiled, he washed the fronts of their jackets and he bobbed his head up and down til he became dizzy. The woman explained to the visitors that he has ADD and a terrible need to be the centre of attention. I called to Ed from the back of the scrum and he battled his way through the chaos. He massaged my ears and told me I was looking well and we exchanged pleasantries until Doc noticed and barged in. Jack examined the visitors from a distance and decided, based on my enthusiastic endorsement, that Ed looked alright and came over for some light forehead massage.

The woman allowed us in early because of the piercing wind and all three equines and six humans piled into the barn. The woman cooked our dinners and when Ed saw the meagre portions he said, "My goodness, the racehorses in Newmarket (in England) got eight quarts of oats at each feed, are you sure this is enough?" Finally, someone who understands the prisoner of war conditions under which we exist. The woman gave an evil, callous laugh and said we were all going to join Molly on the Jenny Craig project. I don't know the Craig hussy, but I do know I despise her.

Doc's feet were sliding every which way on account of ice buildup and Ed ducked into his stall, spry as could be, and cleared it out with a hoofpick. He uses the racetrack style which involves cleaning both front and back hooves from the same side. Doc was puzzled at first but caught on quickly. Given Doc's bulldog-like build and short, muscular legs, herself was surprised that he managed to not topple over on Ed.

Ed spent some time talking to Jack and when he saw Jack eating his dinner off the metal stall front he said, "That feels good on the gums, doesn't it, laddie?" Jack was astounded at Ed's level of understanding and on thinking it over told me, "I like that one - he knows a thing or two. He can lick gruel offa my stall any time." High praise indeed.

Too soon Ed and the others were whisked off to the house. Ed has promised to return and the friends who invited me into their back yard last fall have reissued the invitation. I plan to take them up on it. The woman's camera apparatus was paralyzed by the cold weather but she managed to snap a photo or two. I apologize for the dreadful quality but, as you know, I have no control over my universe.


billie said...

Sheaffer, what a delightful rendition of what sounds like a lovely visit. I love how Ed just stepped right into the routine.

I hope the Jenny Craig comment on the part of the woman was a joke!

Buddy said...

Oh Sheaffer - you had such a great day! I had my hoofies done - buy a new guy and they are so much better - no ouchiness at all. Life is grand.

Send Molly my love!


ponymaid said...

Billie, Ed was so happy to be back in an equine atmosphere that he would gladly have moved into my stall and would have been glad to have him there. We love hearing his tales of galloping on Newmarket Heath and jumping over large fences. The woman is putting Molly and self on a mysterious powder concoction to help us burn fat cells. It's always something...why can't she just leave our fat cells alone.

Buddy, how are your trotters feeling after the trim by the new footman? Molly will be home on the weekend so I will be able to keep you better informed on her shenanigans. Shedding season is beginning and Jack and I are afraid of choking to death in a cloud of Molly hair. She's better insulated than the average Yak.

robert5721 said...

Sheaffer and Jack,
friends like ed are hard to find....keep them!! You might want to post some of the stories that he tells about the racing they are a real hoot!
Mr Gale
PS. Amy, the rescue donkey is doing fine, and sends her best wishes to all of you up there in the freezer..she is putting on some good weight and wants to play constantly..I guess that means that she is felling good, what do you think?

billie said...

Sheaffer, you would be astounded at what we horse women do for entertainment and also for what we think is in the best interest of our equine charges.

My teen-aged son recently "accused" me of being "obsessed with horse supplements." He thinks it is not a fit topic for dinner conversation, but some days the diets of my herd are the most pressing thing I have to fret over!

Between keeping fat ON Salina and OFF everyone else, I am constantly plotting and reading and trekking to the feed store and to online resources. I wish you could see me in the feed room each morning, measuring and scooping, and that comes only after advance prep inside the house.

Right now I am taking a course that is teaching me how to balance the vitamins and minerals to the hay/pasture based on lab tests of such. The only thing on the earth that could get me to take this on, (the math) is that I think it will be better for the equines.

What can I say? We horse women might be a little bit... shall we say, eccentric. :) It stems from love, I assure you.

(you will need to remind the pony of this when his grazing muzzle comes out of storage in a few weeks)

Gale said...

How great that you had visitors on a wintry day! It's obvious that Ed was there primarily to visit with you and to meet Mr. Jack Joy. Poor Doc (oooops, remember how many notes I posted that started with "Poor TJ......") doesn't know that his world is about to turn upside down when Molly returns in all her glory. Will her head fit through the barn door?

I like that trick of picking out all the hooves from one side too. Some of ours will let me do that, and some like to make me walk in circles to get at all their feet. I swear they are laughing when they do that ("Let's see how many times we can spin her around! Maybe she'll get dizzy and fall over").

Three equines and six humans must have made for a cozy barn, at least for a short time. Bet they had more fun in the barn than in the house with the feline and canine!

ponymaid said...

Mr. Gale, we are all delighted to hear that Amy is honing her frolic skills. She will be well and truly on top of things when she is mixed in with her play group. Amazing how off-loading a full quota of parasites perks a donkey up. And of course actually being fed...

Billie, I can honestly say that horsewomen as a group scare me half to death. With all the measuring of waistlines and supplements and food, I'm always afraid I will end up on an all-air diet. I don't like the sounds of this diet powder at all.

Gale, I have strongly advised the woman to slather Molly's enormous head with liberal amounts of axle grease before trying to fit her through the door. Fortunately Ed did not try the racetrack hoof cleaning tactic on me - the woman says no one's arms can reach across that span of undercarriage. Very funny I don't think. Pshaw.