Saturday, June 4, 2011

Chester's Busy Week

It's been a busy week indeed for young Haflingers around here. Between lessons, exploring the paddock, bossing us around and tooth care, Chester has had hardly any time to terrorize the Jolly Ball.

He finds his lessons hard because he was told as a very young horse that he must pull things no matter how hard they might resist and the consequences for not doing so were dire. He has done something called logging as a two and three year old and says one must move said logs or suffer verbal abuse and physical assault. It all sounds barbaric to me. Thus, when the humans put him on the spinning rope, he pulls and keeps pulling, retreating into some place where he feels he can't be reached or hurt. They are teaching him to relax and bend his neck when he feels pressure and have finally convinced him that he will not be punished. He was quite hot and sweaty again but seems most pleased with himself. He receives lavish praise for his efforts.

Now that he is nicely settled in his true personality is beginning to show. He is obviously part terrier because he loves to dig and explore with his feet. I have spoken of the delight he takes in stomping on and otherwise abusing the bedding bags. Now, our paddock has been the dumping ground for household discards from the mid-eighteen hundreds until my own humans bought it. After the winter or a heavy rain, many wonderous things make their way to the surface. Shards of very old blue and white pottery, green and blue glass from medicine bottles, bits of crockery and more recently, automotive bits and pieces. The woman does a daily scan for rubbish and whisks it away.

The trees under which this debris surfaces are Chester's favourite playground. Yesterday morning he found a small piece of the dreaded plastic material embedded in a root. He dug and pulled and worked away for hours. When he had finished, there was a large sheet of very old crinkly plastic spread out under the tree. It looked like he was having a picnic. The woman was highly startled when she beheld his handiwork and beetled off to get a shovel to fill in the excavation.

Yesterday afternoon Chester's dental appointment took place. The medical woman arrived with her assistant and they set up a wonderous array of objects on a table. Chester, an innocent in the world of dentistry, was readily caught and led into the barn. He was given a needle, which bothered him not one whit, and quickly grew quite inebriated. His first dental tune-up revealed many points on his teeth, a tiny, deformed wolf tooth, which was extracted, and a canine tooth so sharp it had cut his tongue. Canine tooth? I have felt from the beginning he was part Golden Retriever (in addition to the terrier blood) and this would seem to prove my theory.

I stayed well away from the proceedings but Molly kept sticking her head in the barn, checking to see he wasn't getting treats. He wasn't. He was helped to his stall and told he had to stay there for two hours. Within a few minutes we could hear pitiful wailing and crying coming from within - no gnashing of teeth though, thank goodness.

He was back to his usual self in no time, running around the paddock in straight lines and generally making a nuisance of himself. Who know what he'll dig up next or what creative pastime he'll invent for his newly perfect teeth.


billie said...

Sheaffer, I am on the edge of my seat reading about Chester's transformation. And also thinking "thank goodness Jack was not there" as I can see him eyeballing that table laid out with all those tools and then eyeballing the "vitinery" out of the other eye and there is no telling what would have transpired next!

You have a veritable archaeological dig going on right in your own back yard - how fun! You never know - something wonderful might be excavated by the talented Chester, and you might end up finding fame and fortune reporting it. THEN you can purchase the farm down the lane and come be our neighbor during the wintertime. Rafer and Redford have visions of a donkey paradise down the way, to which they would be invited daily.

AutumnSkyRanch said...

Thank you for letting us know about Chester's progress. Yes, he most certainly has Terrier blood, or perhaps he lived with one in his past and watched how the excavation was done with precision. Such treasures he is finding! I am so happy he now has his teeth taken care of, and that he is learning how rewarding it can be to be trained in a humane way. And of course, the best thing is that he has you as his friend to report on his progress. Sheaffer, you are truly a reporter extraordinaire.

Buddy said...

Hay Sheaffer - what a character Chester is - maybe he was looking for truffles???

Glad he got his teeths done - I'm sure it feels much better.

In training - he will learn quickly - he is a young boy after all.

Your fren,

ponymaid said...

billie - Jack and the dental vit would have been a very volatile combination. I know she is a most competent specialist but still...Jack is a force unknown in nature. Chester on the other hoof quite liked all the attention. Our dig under the trees continues but the only intact item we found is a bottle with a wood stopper that says "For internal use" on one side and "For external use" on the other. Intriguing. Unfortunately it was empty so I could try it neither way. Do you think it could finance the purchase of the house near you?

ponymaid said...

AutumnSkyRanch - thank you so much for your kind words. Chester's lesson yesterday was a huge breakthrough. He thought hard about the last lesson and went into the ring and was extraordinary. So good the trainer got on him and he didn't panic. Then the trainer got on and off a few more times and Chester was just fine with that and so they called it a day. Chester was beaming from ear to ear and so were the humans. I myself was most pleased with his progress. He has lost that terrified look.

ponymaid said...

Buddy - truffles, eh? I confess I hadn't thought of the possibility. I feel truffles are something I would find most acceptable as a food group. I will research further and see if we are in a well-know truffle area. The woman says it is mostly a weed area but one never knows.

Susan said...

Camryn here: are you sure you aren't in my pasture? My human finds all sorts of stuff like your human and Chester do!!! Her takes a magnet out from time to time to check for invisible metal. Her found the remnants of a fake Christmas tree this spring even. I'm so glad Chester is learning from nice humans this time. Would Molly be jealous if I sent him internet hug? Not a love hug, just a you got lucky with good home kinda hug thing.

ponymaid said...

Camryn - the Woman perked up her ears at the sound of a metal magnet that isn't Chester - though Chester assures us he's more than up to the job. I have informed him of the virtual hug you have sent - he is thrilled. Molly has no romantic attachment to him and refers to him simply as "that pest" or "the brat". She hates being wakened up from a sound nap under a tree by someone goosing her broad backside and saying "c'mon granma shift your gift".