Monarch writes . . .
We lovez our livez at Bits and Bytes Farm — nice big cozy stalls, plenty of grass in the big pasturez, good company from da other hosses — but once in a while you just got to shake things up a bit.
It wuz about seven o’clock in da evening on Memorial Day, and I had just gone out to the pasture wid Fofo Andy and Saint Lawrence, who we still call “The Baby” even though (at the age of two) he’s 16.3 hands. We wuz all grazing and just hanging out, and all of a sudden The Baby says, “Hey, I bet we could break out of here.”
Just like dat. Out of nowhere. So I sayz, “What fer? We gotz grass here. We gotz trees ta stand under, we gotz water. What would we do if we broke out?”
The Baby wuz already nibbling on da gate latch. “I don’t know,” he said. “We could . . . we could run out back and see the horses out there.”
“Yeah,” Fofo chimed in. “We could have a race to see who could get all the way to the back of the barn first. That would be fun.”
Me, I’m not much for racing. Never was. So dis did not excite me much. “Count me out,” I said between mouthfuls of grass.
“But there are hay bags in every stall,” The Baby said. “You know how you love hay.”
Dis made me lift mah head out da grass so fast I almost got whiplash. Hay? Nice plump, full hay bags in every stall, wid no one guarding dem? Dis might be worth the effort of escaping. “You keep working on dat latch,” I said.
Fofo went over and together, him and The Baby actually managed to work the latch free. I was surprised, but as soon as The Baby pushed dat gate open, I saw dem hay bags in mah imaginationz, and I wuz off like a rocket. Or like a Thoroughbred. I don’t think I ever came out of da starting gate as fast as I came out of dat pasture. Maybe if dey had thought to put hay bags at the finish line, I’d have been another Secretariat.
Anyway, we wuz all giddy wid the excitement of being free. Free! Free! We flew on winged hoofies down the driveway, across the yard, and into the barn. Freedom! Lovely freedom! And all the hay I could eat! We galloped all the way down toward the end of the 300-yard long barn, toward the back end where the big piles of hay bales are. I wuz all ready to just jump into dem and roll around . . . when I wuz brought up short. Dere was a board across da end of da barn, between where da stalls are and where da hay is stored. Dere was no way fer us to get back dere, or to get out to where our buddy hosses were, in da back pastures. But we didn’t care. Fofo just tossed his head, spun around, and said, “C’mon, let’s race the other way!”
So we started galloping back, but unfortunately our freedom run was interrupted by Elizabeth and Barry, who were waiting fer us at the barn door with stern looks on dere faces. We wuz all brought up short, very short. I didn’t even get to have any hay! And we got lectured, and had to put out halters on and go back to our pasture.
And now we iz separated. Fofo has been put in solitary confinement in Pasture 6A, and me and The Baby iz together, but dey haz put a better latch on our pasture.
But the summer is young, and dere iz still lotz of time fer us to plot more escapes. Watch this space fer more newz of Da Next Great Escape.
Happy Birthday to Momo and Fofo!
Monarch writes . . .
Me and my broddah Fofo Andy had da bestest birfday party on Saturday! My Mom got us a cake, and carrotz, and there wuz all da other hosses and dere Moms (and Dad, Barry) dere, too.
We know dat all Thoroughbredz officially turn one year older on January 1st of every year, but me and my broddah Andy think dis smacks of Socialism — one birfday for all hosses? Maybe even Communistical. So we likez to show our individualismz by having ourselvez a big party every year on our real birfdays.
My real birfday is February 26, and mah broddah’s birfday is March 6, and cuz we lovez each oddah so much, we haz our birfday party together. Me, as da oldest broddah, would of course get to blow out da candlez on da cake, if we had candlez, which we doesn’t because heck it’s a barn fer cryin’ out loud who wantz candlez in a barn? Cheesh.
Anyway, like I said, we got to watch the humans eat cake and we got fed lotz of treatz. Both of us got nice brushings, too, so we would not look too dirty fer our birfday photoz. I happen to think I looked especially handsome, but den I iz pretty good lookin’ all da time, not jus’ on mah birfday.
Oh, and one more note: I wanted to have some party gamez, but mah Mom said no. Ken you believe it? Like, I thought we could play pin da tail on da donkey. We don’t haz a donkey at da barn, but we duz haz Ms. Audible da Mule, and she’s big and white and I bet it would be pretty easy to pin a tail on her! But Mom nixed dat idea.
Still, even though dere wuz no party gamez, we had a good time. Here’s a picture of all da peeps at da party, wid da cake. Enjoy!
Suellen writes . . .
Both of the Slockbower Boyz are pranksters, but FofoAndy is especially troublesome in the wash rack. He is the kind of horse who likes to put everything in his mouth, so he’s likely to pull the brushes out of the racks, chew the snaps on the cross-ties, or nibble on my clothes while I’m grooming him. (He does NOT bite me, he just likes to pull at my clothing.)
He also LOVES to play with the hose, and he always has to have water to drink when he’s in the wash rack. I don’t know if this is a holdover from his racing days, or just a quirk of his personality, but he can’t seem to be in the wash rack without pawing at the floor demanding water. And, of course, he also has to play with the hose when it’s on.
But this weekend, which was the coldest we’ve had this winter, Andy came up with a new trick that showed how smart he is, and how silly he can be. I was cold-hosing his right front fetlock, which he’d injured slightly earlier in the week, and he kept licking the water off his leg, pawing the wash rack, and generally letting me know that he wanted some water to drink. So I got small feed bucket, filled it about a quarter of the way with water, and stuck it under his nose. He put his head in the bucket, but did not drink the water. Instead, he grabbed the rim of the bucket in his teeth and started pulling it away from me. I could almost see what was coming — if he pulled, and I pulled back, and he let go, I’d end up covered in water. So, thinking I was smarter than him, I relaxed my grip on the bucket a little . . . and Andy proceeded to pull his head up sharply, which caused the bucket to flip upside down, and dumped ALL of the water out all over me, the wash rack and the aisle.
He was VERY pleased with himself. I swear he was smiling.
Thoroughbreds are WAY too smart!
Fofo Andy writes:
Mom, I iz sooo sorry ’bout dat problemz wid da flooded barn aisle. Guess it really wuz an “isle” when I gotz tru wid it, wuzn’t it? hahaha. Dat’s a hoss laff.
I iz sorry. I could not resist. So Romeo, he had been tauntin’ me fer some time, callin’ me namez, snappin’ at my butt when I went by in da barn . . . so finally I gotz mah chance ta get back at him, and I took it! A hoof fer a hoof, dat’s what I say. Yes, I got out of mah stall during the night. Yes, I turnded on da water. And, yes, I left it on. (Actually, I’z not dat smart. I wuz lucky I figgered out how ta turn it on, ferget about me figurin’ out how ta turn it off!)
I admitz it. Dat water ran all night, right outside of Romeo’s stall, and he jus’ kept climbin’ higher and higher on dat pile of manure dat kep’ gettin’ smaller and smaller. His little island of poop wuz da only thing keepin’ his precious little hoofies out of da water in his stall. And we all wuz laughin’ big hoss laughs, all of us. We had to hush Audible, cuz her mule laughs wuz so loud we wuz shure she’d wake you up!
But I iz sorry, cuz it was your first time takin’ care of da barn all by yerself, and I picked dat particular night ta make such a mess. Now Elizabeth and Barry prolly think yer a dope, and dat’z mah fault. But, den, dey prolly knowz already you not too bright, cuz you putz up wid me and Monarch!
Luv and hoss kisses —
Monarch’s Reign learns to love racing.