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Golden-Girls-xmas-2014-pm

From all of us at Two Old Horses and Me:

Jean, Rick, Pepper, Chickadee

& the Herd of Oldsters

We wish you the merriest of holidays.

And thank you for being interested in our little slice of life in the pasture here in northern Colorado.(Because what good is a blog if no one reads it?)

Thank you, thank you!!

P.S. If Santa needs two more reindeer tonight, he’ll find volunteers in the pasture 🙂

“Make new friends but keep the old. One is silver and the other’s gold.”

 

Jack-back

I always get a little misty-eyed when I hear stories about animals who had once known each other, then were separated for a long time, and then reunited. There are several tear-jerkers about elephants. How after years of being apart they immediately know each other and find comfort in being together once again.

On Tuesday when I went out to feed the Golden Girls, they weren’t waiting for me at the gate, like they usually are. I had to walk deep into the pasture to find them.

First thing I noticed was not two, but three horses grazing together. I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me, because we all know that the GG’s are not fond of hanging out with the herd.

As I drew closer, the newcomer approached me and I felt this wave of excitement when I recognized him. Jack (aka Amigo in this blog) was back.

This dear horse who was part of the original Herd of Oldsters and Bud’s best pal was reunited with his friends.

I actually got a lump in my throat and my eyes felt damp. Not too long after Bud died, Jack moved to a new boarding facility. We all missed him. The Herd of Oldsters was whittled down from the original five members, to Pepper and Chickadee.

I haven’t seen Jack’s people, so I don’t know how it is he came back, but I am thrilled. He is a sweet guy with a boatload of personality. We picture him walking into the pasture and finding the Golden Girls.

“Hello ladies! I’m baaack.”

And now they are the Golden Girls plus one. A herd of three, together all the time.

It must feel comforting.

Like old times.

 Welcome home, Jack!

P.S. Is there an old friend you could reconnect with? How about today?

Seriously, who could resist?

Seriously, who could resist?

 

As the cold weather continues, the regulars show up when I feed the Golden Girls. It seems the horses know my routine better that I do!

Truthfully they show up no matter what the weather. I’m just a little more gullible when it’s cold!

Some of you may be wondering how I could be any more gullible. You’d be justified!

Gullible could be my middle name, though I prefer to think I’m more kind than gullible.

Spin it however you want.

If you’re a horse and part of “our herd” there’s likely a hay cube or two in your future.

Parka

Meet Parka.

He’s one of the newer members of the Herd of Oldsters, though he’s lived in the pasture for at least a couple of years. I’m not sure what led him to the Oldsters, though I suspect it had to do with the gossip he’d heard around the pasture about the oddball folks that feed their horses from the back of their vehicle and hand out snacks.

Some horses simply cannot keep a secret.

So one day he moseyd over to check it out and decided he liked what he saw.

Parka is retired from the rodeo.

He was a working horse.

We know this because branded on his left flank are the letters PRCA (Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association.)

Can you see how we came up with his blog name?

We can be so darned creative sometimes!

The story we heard about Parka was that when his owner retired from the rodeo, he just couldn’t let Parka go to an unknown fate. He is just too nice a horse.

We agree. Parka is a complete gentleman.

When I show up at the pasture and unload feed pans and call in the two sweeties, Parka stands at a distance watching me and waiting for an invitation, unlike some of the others that belly up to the fence and get a little pushy.

Parka waits.

He watches.

Parka-2

And if I call to him, he’ll come to the fence for a treat.

And then he watches me some more.

Parka is old school, with old school manners.

He doesn’t want to be a nuisance, or go where he’s not welcome.

“Yes, Maam I surely do appreciate those hay cubes,” his eyes will say after each treat.

He’s grateful.

And mannerly.

There’s no showboating with Parka.

He knows what he’s done in his life.

He’s been in the spotlight in an arena.

He’s helped his rider earn money.

And who knows, maybe even fame?

But he doesn’t rub it in to the others.

I like him for that.

Parka is a horse that knows who he is.

Comfortable in his own skin.

We’re still getting acquainted, but I’m guessing that when he feels totally comfortable with me, he’ll have some great stories to tell.

I’ll be sure to pass them along to you!

It seems our summers are taking on a predictable pattern. That is if you can count two years in a row as a pattern.

The other night when we went out to feed our two old sweeties, I had to walk into the pasture to find them. That was surprising, since they are almost always right at the gate waiting for us.

At the far end of the pasture I found Bud, Pepper and…

a young black and white Paint gelding.

Yup, you got it.

Miss Pepper has a new boyfriend.

Again.

Apparently, our thirty-year-old mare is hot stuff in the pasture.

The three watched me approach.

Nobody moved.

At first I didn’t get it. I thought they were just hanging out together.

I called and they looked right at me, unmoving.

I’m something of a slow learner!

The deal is, Bud was NOT about to leave Pepper with this interloper, this intruder, this disrespectful young whippersnapper.

No matter how badly he wanted his dinner, he stayed with Pepper.

He’s one loyal Appaloosa.

Eventually, they decided a pan of grain sounded pretty good.

Pepper broke out and  took the lead, Bud followed, and pulling up the rear was the Paint.

He’s young and new to the pasture, and frankly the Herd of Oldsters is somewhat of a safe place to ease into the herd.

No one chases you off.

Or kicks the you-know-what out of you.

As long as you mind your manners, they accept you.

Mostly.

But really, did he have to conscript my mare?

He couldn’t just use the Oldsters as a stopping point on his way into the herd?

Apparently not.

Amigo and Red want nothing to do with him. They didn’t come for their treats, which is quite unusual.

Red, our resident Mustang, seems especially disgusted.

Of course a few years back, he was “the boyfriend.”

This as of yet unnamed Paint is a handsome boy.

And I expect he’s a nice enough horse.

To his credit, he’s accepted Bud. And there’s been no kicking – at least not that we can see. If you recall, last year, Fred was much more aggressive. He hurt Bud and we did NOT like him at all. We were extremely relieved when that affair ended and Fred left the pasture.

“Don’t let the gate hit you in the rear end on your way out,” was our comment when he left.

And now we start again.

As the Pasture Turns, Season Two.

Stay tuned….

Pepper, Red, Jack and Chickadee have been reported to the humane society.

The caller was anonymous and said something to the effect that three sorrel horses and a bay (that would be our girl) don’t look so good. They’re too thin, and haven’t weathered the winter very well.

My first response was, “well, duh!” I realize it isn’t the most mature of responses.

Interestingly Bud wasn’t included in the mix even though we think he’s had the roughest time, and is by far one of the most identifiable horses in the pasture. Those appaloosa spots are like a billboard.

An official contacted the owner of the boarding facility, telling her there had been a complaint lodged. She followed up right away, explained our daily feeding routine, regular vet check-ups, farrier care and overall TLC that we provide, and added that the Herd of Oldsters are, well, old. Apparently her explanation satisfied the investigator and the case was closed.

In the pasture, we look out for each other’s horses.

It’s just what we do. And I appreciate that other boarders keep an eye on our two old sweeties.

But this felt different.

It felt like a direct attack on the owner of the boarding facility. It had to be someone who’s boarding their animals there too, because the horses are no longer visible from the road.

Seems to me if you have a concern about an animal, the first thing you do is go to the person in charge.

We’ve done that on a couple of occasions. You ask a few questions. Make it known that you see something of concern. Maybe follow up with the owners.

That is unless you have a different agenda.

Like trying to make trouble.

Overall, I’m not a fan of anonymity, though I understand there are times it’s important. But mostly I believe if you have something to say, have the courage to identify yourself. If people are worried about our animals, I want them to tell me.

I’d love to hear what you think. Am I over-reacting?

 

As for Pepper, she thinks it’s kind of cool that at almost thirty years old she now has a rap sheet!

And is getting extra feed. Okay, maybe she likes that best…

A couple days ago when I went out to feed our two old sweeties I noticed that Bud was having trouble walking.

He seemed to be almost dragging his two back legs, and appeared to be in a lot of pain.

Poor old guy.

Scared the you-know-what out of me.

It’s never fun to be sick, but it seems especially hard around your birthday.

The vet isn’t totally sure what’s going on. She found a stone bruise on one of his front hooves and put a poultice on.

Now we wait.

She moved Bud to a “private room” where he won’t be bothered by the other horses.

His pals in the Herd of Oldsters are worried.

They call for him and wait like sentinels at the gate for him to return.

It pulls at my heart. I wish I could simply explain where he is, and they would be reassured.

On the upside, he’s on some good pain medication, so seems to be feeling better.

Though we’re not sure how long he’ll be at the “hospital.”

He’s rooming next door to Minnie, who’s there to put on weight. You can see her behind Bud in the photograph above.

It was a hard winter on most of the horses.

Send your good thoughts Bud’s way and I’ll pass them along.

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