Milady - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 08-28-2011, 10:22 PM Thread Starter
Green Broke
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Ohio
Posts: 4,260
• Horses: 15

On the day the mist laid gently across the ground a mare turned her stall. Settling in a corner with a soft grunt and a few heavy breaths while her owners paced patiently outside. Swirls of cool breeze brought in through the window of the barn caught against her as she gave that final push. A nicker, low in her throat, as her filly slipped onto the soft straw padded floor. With a gentle wag of her head the filly puffed out a soggy sigh. Here I am, she nickered back. And for that the mare was glad. After eleven months she'd finally given her owners her last foal. Her retirement was in due time.

Her coat was the color of the darkest night, giving contrast to her one back stockings and a blaze that gave her a blue eye. The foal they'd wanted and waited for. She was a prize. Her bloodlines had been hand picked for many generations. The foals from her sire were above promising and her dame had produced champions. She was gifted with the name Milady Moreover. And it took her exactly thirty two minutes to get up on her dainty little rubber tipped hooves. Milady stretched her lovely neck as she stumbled over to her mother. Nursing for the first time in her life. There was something about that filly. Like she'd already done it all.

The day the mare's halter was attached to a lead rope and that stall door was thrown open was a fine one. For Milady it was one of the best she'd seen so far. Because now there was this big new world. And she had these long beautiful legs that she was dying to use. Her mother took a few steps out, blinking against the change of light as they walked down the aisle. Milady took the moment to investigate her surroundings. Rearing up on her hind legs against her dame so she could see the horses in the neighboring stall. Her shrill little neigh echoing through the large metal barn. But if she thought the sites in the aisle way were amazing... she paused coming out of the big sliding doors. Ears forward, neck arched. Green grass, white fences. Even the texture change from barn to gravel was enough to make her wonder. Reaching her little neck down she politely sniffed the ground, nearly tumbling onto her cute little face. Startling at the sight of her shadow against the white ground she flared her nostrils and puffed out an indignant snort. Sidling over to her mother's side.

The mare patiently ignored her as the stable hand led them to the paddock. Unclipping Madame and shutting the gate behind the two. What was this green stuff that seemed to cover every inch of surface? Milady had to know. First she pawed at it. Striking out a hoof, putting her delicate ears back as it struck the hard surface. That wasn't very nice of it. Shaking her head she wearily watched her shadow as she reached down to sniff it. Turning her attention almost immediately to her dame who had taken to eating it. Picking her head up she walked over to figure out what exactly she was doing. But then quickly lost interest since it had nothing to do with milk. The sun was setting and a few birds flew by.... but being outside didn't worry her as much anymore. She nursed and yawned. Finding a comfortable spot near her mother to curl up for a nap. She was sure everything would be the same when she woke up.

Months passed, as they always will, summer turned to fall and fall to winter... and Milady would spend her last few days with her mother now. She was shockingly tall, standing next to her in her new blue blanket. Her nature was neither really calm or flighty, but yet she'd exhibit them both sometimes just to throw her handler off. The hands had to feed her dame seperately from her because she'd push her mother away and eat her oats and then her own out of the creeper. So it was decided that Friday morning that it was time to separate Milady from Madame. They let them out in the field one last time in hopes of exhausting the filly. As she pranced around the paddock, exhibiting her natural ability to show off. Already she enamored visitors. Who stopped to watch her, ask about her... Was she for sale? Of course not... at least not yet.

When at last it was time for the horses to be fed they would pull Milady in, as they always did. But this time Madame wouldn't be in to follow her. And since they'd fed them this way for awhile now Milady did not become worried at first. She simply waited. Taking her afternoon nap. Stretched out across the stall and then eventually standing. Head low, lower lip sagging just a little. She looked very much the normal little filly just then. That is until she heard a distant neigh. Flicking an ear she slowly opened her eyes. Looking around herself to figure out just what wasn't right. She lifted her head suddenly. Her eyes growing worried as she moved across the stall. Letting out a call of her own she suddenly felt more alone than she ever had been. Trotting now, back and forth as she frantically called out. A rear got her leg caught over the water bucket. She pulled it out without stopping, kicking at the walls in frustration. Why was she in here? And her mother was not? Surely they had forgotten to bring her in! Right now life was very unfair to this pretty little filly. Whose only worry was where she would get her milk now that her mother wasn't there.

Surprisingly it would take nearly a week to get the filly to stop her pleading. She had suddenly become hard to work with. When they tried to lead her in with the other foals she refused them. Wanting no part in being turned out, she'd plant her back legs into the ground and come up. Which would earn her a sharp tug from her leader. Turning around in a circle, she truly didn't want to harm the person. She just wanted her dame. The security of their private paddock. And when she saw those other foals, she'd much rather have the security of her stall. After she was tugged into the field with the other foals she was at first ignored. They had more important things to do. But the curiosity got the better of them and she was crowded by them all. Which did not please the little filly at all. She pinned her ears and bit out at them. Showing them who was boss. But what she did was earn herself space. And a lot of it. It'd take awhile before the others would want to be a part of her group, letting her take the role of their leader.

Milady would settle into life after that. Eating when she was given food and drinking when she pleased. She tore her blanket and was given a new one, which she quickly outgrew. The tree in the weanling field was the point of interest for her. She rubbed it, chewed it, reared up at it. Which would cause a chain reaction for the others. And soon they were all chewing, rubbing and rearing. Then chasing around the field like their tails were on fire, sliding in the slick snow. Which would eventually earn one of their playmates three months in his stall. But Milady never really did pay attention to him, so she was none the wiser.

As the snow melted and the sun shown longer across the sky things started to change. Milady's short winter coat shed out to show off just how strikingly beautiful she was. Taller and leaner than the other foals she was again the topic of conversation. In which it was always noted that no she was not for sale. She was their prize. The one that dashed across the field ahead of the others when it was time to eat. She was the one that moved across the ground with such an air about her you'd think she'd been born famous. And she might very well have been.

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post #2 of 6 Old 08-29-2011, 12:39 PM
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: East Coast
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This is great! I can picture it all in my head. SUJ you are really a fantastic writer.

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post #3 of 6 Old 08-29-2011, 01:10 PM Thread Starter
Green Broke
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Ohio
Posts: 4,260
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I'll work on this some more later and I've got another paragraph of the other to come. Got to go work with horses.

100% Anti-Slaughter and PROUD of it!
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post #4 of 6 Old 08-29-2011, 08:29 PM Thread Starter
Green Broke
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Ohio
Posts: 4,260
• Horses: 15
To a horse change isn't something they learn to expect. Warranted she'd spent her life on the farm and things had been the same day in and day out. So she had no reason to expect it. But it was there. Looming in on her. As a foal she was expected to follow her mother. When a halter was put on she was expected to wear it. And besides for the fact that she thought the halter bothersome she'd learned to except it. Eventually had come a lead, at first just one to see if she'd walk forward. Stubborn as she sometimes could be and as young as she was it was no surprise she didn't take to it. So another lead was added, this one around her hind end, to teach her to move forward with the pressure on her pole. That lesson was won, however you looked at it, by patience and understanding. Although Milady did leave a few bruises when she decided she'd rather be investigating exactly what her dame was doing rather than tolerate the indignity of the lesson. None of that would compare the filly for what was to come now that she was older.

In the morning a crow talked his pleasure of the sun. Earning a few grunts from the humans and animals that did not think it so pleasurable. But as always Milady was up. Neighing her protest that it was taking too long for her caretakers to let her out. She pawed at the door as the people filed in. Earning her a sleepy "stop it". Milady nickered. She wanted out. The door was in her way and she needed a person to open it for her. Trust her, she'd tried on several occasions to open itself to no avail. When she noticed a few of the other yearlings going out she called out. She was to go out first. Didn't they know this? She tossed her head and went to the far side of her stall, hopping up to see what was going on.

At first nothing happened. Nobody came for her. She stood frozen in place at the edge of her stall. Looking out the big sliding doors and out into the paddock where she normally went. One of the hands came back and took a lead off her stall. Still frozen for a moment she flicked a ear back at the sound of the clip on her stall being undone. Excited that she was finally going out, and nervous that she'd have to reestablish her dominance once she was outside Milady moved quickly to the doorway. But on the mans arm was not only the lead but another leather piece. She didn't pay it any mind. It wes unimportant. What was important was her turn out. She didn't want to wait for him to clip the lead on but she did, shivering slightly in anticipation. Once he lead her out of the stall she became more antsy, prancing beside him with her head tucked and tail up. Causing the horses that were still inside to snort and paw in their stalls. Instead of going toward the paddock though the handler was taking her in the opposite direction. Milady froze, her hooves making a scraping sound against the ground. The handler clucked her forward. Watching her wearily to see what she was going to do. With a low purring sound she moved tentatively forward.

With a slight sigh of relief the hand led her to the cross ties. Turning her around and snapping the two leather break away ties to her halter. As soon as he stepped away the filly moved forward. Confused by this new pressure from both sides of her face. She tucked her back legs under her and started to come up but the handler was quick and pulled her back down. Making her back up back into the right spot. Flaring her nostrils and snorting loudly the filly moved her backside away from him. Keeping an eye and ear on him to see what he was doing.

100% Anti-Slaughter and PROUD of it!
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post #5 of 6 Old 08-29-2011, 08:58 PM
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Winnipeg, MB
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Amazing story!
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post #6 of 6 Old 08-31-2011, 11:58 AM Thread Starter
Green Broke
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Ohio
Posts: 4,260
• Horses: 15
A large truck pulled into the yard. And out of it came a small man and a box of tools. He was never a fan of days like this. Dealing with horses that had barely been touched... So his mood was flat as he tried to remain calm. He'd been struck by many a hoof of a young colt with no installed manners.

When he walked to the filly he looked her over, just a glance, studying the lines and structure. Going over her anatomy. Keeping in his memory her markings for future reference. Milady sized him up. She flicked her ears as he came up to her, moving her back end before becoming restless once more. But instead of making a clattering mess of herself she tossed her head and propped one leg.

"This the one," the man would ask to the hand. In which he'd receive a nod. Swift and brief. That she was.

Nodding the man picked up a tool from his box. Showing the filly it briefly before reaching for her front leg. Now the filly had had her hooves picked up before. But only by the spry handlers and never by a man who she could feel was tense... almost nervous. So her instincts told her that she shouldn't be standing on three legs, just in case. She planted her hoof firmly on the ground. Tilting her head to the side. Seeing this streak of stubbornness the man used the tool in his hand under her frog, while leaning against her shoulder. With a shuffle and a stomp she relented and let him have her hoof, although she was quite ready to flee if necessary. At the start it felt very similar to having her hoof picked, and so she lost her worry. Loafing on the cross ties. That was until he brought the big metal clippers out. He started to put her hoof between his legs and that was when she became concerned once more. And because she'd lounged a little the farrier had given her credit and lost some of his weariness. So that when she yanked her hoof away it took him slightly by surprise. Causing him to lean against her to regain his balance, which in turn caused her to brace herself against the cross ties. After a moment the man calmed, glad that it hadn't gotten worse. He took a breath and straightened the filly up before trying again. But Milady no longer wanted a part in what he was about to do. To her it felt like he was attacking her leg. So she sidled away again, and again, and again. And since the farrier had several other horses to do he lost his patience and the other leather strap came into play. Because attached to a wooden handle, as it was, it made a very effective twitch. So the velvet part of her nose was brought through the loop and the twitch was twisted until her nose being in it was more important than whatever the farrier was doing. So for that front hoof she was kept held like that. Once it was finished she was given the chance to realize that none if it was killing her so it'd just be in her best interest to stand there. So when he moved to her back leg she barely moved away from him at all. And only because horses think on one side at a time did she move from him slightly on the other side. Milady realized quickly that when this man came to visit the faster he was done the faster she got to go back to her normal routine.

Having survived her first trim the stable hand led the filly out and turned her into the paddock. She bolted around, putting the other horses in check as she went, as if she was glad that the leg attacking man was no longer near her.

100% Anti-Slaughter and PROUD of it!
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