Tuesday, July 31, 2012

My Driving Adventure

They have returned from holiday so apparently my life can begin again. Pshaw. This holiday business is very inconvenient for those of us with no typing skills and much to say.

The day before they disappeared into the vastness of America, I was taken for a road trip to an equine establishment that teaches various disciplines, including driving (my forte). It's rather tiresome being confined in a metal box with windows too high to be useful and no wiring with which to tinker, but I managed the trip over quite well.

They were tremendously excited to see me, especially the horses, who had never before met a donkey. They practised their free-form dressage moves in the air and emitted many loud snorts and whistles. Eventually three of us were strapped into our harnesses (no, not together!) and off we went for a tour.

A magnificent creature called Rosie, a Warmblood of Swedish descent - red of hair and fiery of temperament - strode off at speed, followed by me (out of breath) and Joe, a two-tone horse of Doc breeding. My word, sixty acres of track is an alarming space when one particpant is eight hands and the others are sixteen hands. And I might add, I was hauling a considerable load. Nevertheless, I completed the course (including a ditch crossing) and was able to watch the extraordinary Rosie flying around the field, doing figure eights and all sorts of other impressive foot work.

The human residents were charming, tending to my every need and even whisking me onto the lawn upon arrival so I could be in some matrimonial pictures. I was turned into a large grass paddock, where I could watch my neighbour zoom around his own paddock, snorting and trying to get to me. I encouraged him to simply jump the five foot fence, and he very nearly did.

One thing puzzles me, however. The humans congregated on the lawn, being very noisy and eating all sorts of foodstuffs but I was not invited over. I stared at them very hard through the bottom rails, which worked to the extent that they came over in little groups to see me but I was not let out to mingle. Even when I made my low whuffling sound that usually summons the Woman, they still kept me confined. I tried a few full-throated brays and all that got me was a chorus of raucous laughter and some loud neighs from the horses. I simply don't understand the social contradictions inherent in human behaviour.

I am invited back any time and may be offered the position of Professor Emeritus in their driving program. I will have to ponder this but am leaning toward accepting.

12 comments:

Finn the Wonder Pony said...

Hay Sheaffer!

You totally should have the Position of Professor Emeritus in any driving program! You are one of the most accomplished equines I've seen in harness. I am sure the horses were extremely impressed by you. Pnut and I love donkeys. Since Herself seems to not appreciate your social skills, maybe you could come to live with us.

We missed you terribly during your absence. My woman contacted yours about sending you something, then she lost it. (Stupid humans!) Then her computer crashed and we were incommunicado for a couple of months. We are back now; hopefully she can keep from wrecking the thing again...

Your friend,
Finn

ponymaid said...

Finn - you are a dear, good pony. You most certainly deserve your owh donkey companion and muse. Perhaps your Woman has acquired one for you but has absentmindedly misplaced it? Our Woman is a tremendous wrecker of virtually anything - dropped, smashed, lost - she does it all. Especially the spectacles she parks on her head and then searches for everywhere but in the rat's nest that passes for her hair.

billie said...

Sheaffer, you must definitely accept the Professor Emeritus position of honor. However, review the perks and make sure they include all the things a donkey needs to be happy in a long tenure, else they will end up draining you of your myriad talents without proper compensation.

I suggest your own room there, a grassy paddock, and what I call barnyard privileges but others might call an 'all access pass." I also feel that if you must travel in a rolling dungeon, they must install a mini donkey bar with all your favorite things to enjoy along the way.

Rafer and Redford are busy dealing with a gray fox and several deer fawns which seems to mean they require many extra calories a day, at least according to them. It is a very busy summer this year. I know you don't enjoy winter but I confess I am ready for autumn already.

Finn the Wonder Pony said...

Sheaffer, I do believe you are correct about having my own donkey. In Florida there were 3 young donkeys on the next property. One was extremely interested in me.... he would follow us along the fence, whuffing the whole time. I am sure he was supposed to come home with us, but my Woman totally forgot to have him shipped. He was so cute, all white with dark around his eyes. I guess it's for the best; Pnut would probably have said he was HERS and not let me near him. Maybe some day...

david pastorius said...

Well Sheaffer, you did it, I went and got a donkey. Now, I figured that your stories were wild exaggerations. Apparently not. Let me tell you about "George's" first day.
When I arrived home with George in the trailer, I ran in the barn to find a halter that might fit better (lesson one, none of them "fit better"). I untied him, put the smaller halter on and went out the escape door. Dutifully undoing safety straps at the rear ramp and getting ready to unlatch it, when I had that feeling someone was watching me. I looked over and George was right beside me, watch with keen interest my "unloading him procedure"! He had slipped out the escape door right behind me.
Sheaffer, I fear your stories aren't exaggerated in the slightest....oh dear, oh dear....

George's obedient human

ponymaid said...

billie - first of all, may we offer our condolences on the loss of your beloved feline. We know exactly how you feel - bereft. We still miss Sally.

I hereby appoint you my official representative on the Professorial negotiations front. You understand me completely. I will also require a viewing stand, with appropriate snacks, so I may properly assess my students. And half-glasses. Thank you in advance.

ponymaid said...

Finn Pony - this is an egregious oversight and must be rectified at once. Send for two donkeys and your problems will be solved. Such a simple solution and yet humans cannot be trusted to reach it of their own volition. Honestly, no wonder we sometimes despair.

ponymaid said...

david - we are so smitten with your tale of George's arrival and self-unloading, that I have made the Woman repeat it to me at regular intervals. He sounds to be an utterly wonderful choice as your boon companion. We look forward to many more tales of your burgeoning friendship (or possibly your personal indentured servitude).

billie said...

Sheaffer, my services are yours to command. I thought of you this week on my writing retreat to the mtns. b/c I met two handsome young Haflinger geldings named Bob and Bill, and I think I might have gotten a taste (only just, though) of Miss Molly.

They were quite dashing and quite full of themselves all at the same time. I watched them served their evening meal and oh my, what a show they put on as they flagged and waved one another over the side of their stall wall.

ponymaid said...

billie - TWO Haflingers? Surely that is illegal...as you have seen, dining events are a free-for-all brawl, requiring at least one level of physical separation to control. Good thing you weren't injured in the melee.

billie said...

Sheaffer, I left out the tidbit that they are a driving team - and rumor has it that Bill, not the boss of the pair, lets Bob pull more than his share when they're hooked up to the cart. How's THAT for getting the boss when the boss can't do much about it?

ponymaid said...

billie - it's obvious,the exponential combination of brawn and brain is just not right. Two sides of the same coin with low native cunning winning out. It's all very Haflingerish. We miss ours quite a lot.