Balancing Humans and the Herd
Well, if all of you don't know me yet, I'm Angi. I've had people tell me that I'm not your typical person for my age, 17. I figure as long as I include that tidbit in the first paragraph, the rest of this might seem slightly more normal.
Let's start with least number of animals and work up, shall we?
Smokey - Working for some sort of terrorist group. She frequently attempts to kill me in my sleep. I'll wake up with her sitting on my chest, staring at me. I wouldn't be creeped out if she was asleep too. But no, she's just staring. She's a 20lb grey Maine Coon.
Spot - I do not understand how this animal is still alive. She must be 100 by now, easily. I've been thinking that she was going to die every day since I was 14. But somehow, she lives. She has a great life, but she is about 20 we think. I have broodmares that old.
Pzuzu - Named after the demon from the Exorcist. I promised myself I'd name the next animal I got Pzuzu, thus her name. When we were on foal watch for Boss Lady, a little critter walked up and snuggled in next to me on the fence. She was ADORABLE! Still is. Zuzu is a Cavelier King Charles mix, maybe a bit of Feist thrown in there.
Harley - The momma dog. When we got her she had no hair and was covered in flea bites and mange. It was also pretty obvious that she had just weaned puppies, and looked for them around our house for months before she gave up. She was hit by a car two weeks after we adopted her, and has a pin in her leg and a limp. This limp gets dramatically worse when we have food in our hands and she wants to look pitiful. We are looking for a little academy award dog tag to put on her collar. The vet told us he believed she was fixed, but somehow she got pregnant by the papered German Shepherd on the farm, and the next 5 dogs mentioned are the product of that. She's a large dog, probably a GSD, Akita, and something else mix.
A little about the pups, there are 5 of them, 4 girls and 1 boy. Rhea is the alpha, period. Harley realized early on that I was willing to do whatever was needed, so other than nursing duties the raising of the pups was left up to me. They imprinted on me, and I have to play mom at all hours of the night. They were born April 8, 2007
Sam - The wuss of the litter. He's 135lbs and terrified of the neighbor's Pomeranian. He often spends nights curled up on my legs because something has happened that means he just cannot live another night with his sisters. He is very dark with light brown eyes, the scariest thing you've ever seen. I would not want to meet something that looked like him in an alley. However, it if acted like him, it would run the other way. Fast.
Elphaba - Our Asian girl. She's what tipped us off to the Akita in Harley, because she looks near to a purebred one. She is beautiful, very elegant compared to her sisters. She is super long, legs/body, etc. Very loving, the most affectionate of the pups.
Biscuit - We're not completely convinced she's a girl. Considering having the vet double check. She is built like a male dog, acts like one, and... smells like one... Biscuit in a sentence? "Dumber than a post" comes to mind. She is my brother's dog.
Rhea - My baby! She was extremely small when she was born, I had to feed her sugared up formula every 2 hours from the moment she was born just to give her enough energy to nurse. She is the bossy one, keeps everyone in line. She also never shuts up. I love her to death, and play it off as her singing opera, but you'd think she would have to breathe eventually.
Boudica - Where to start? If Loki and Coyote had a physical incarnation, it would be Boudica.. She is too smart, and uses her powers for evil. I'm convinced Harley backed up to the fence or something, because there is no way this girl is out of a German Shepherd dad. She is small, low to the ground, and colored like a coyote. I have asked my parents for a genetics test for her for my birthday, to see what breeds she has in her. We know if she doesn't have a certain concentration of GSD, she's half coyote.
Check my barn!
Harper has her own thread in the Horse Protection section, look for a thread with my name by it.
For the rest of my life, that's a bit more complicated. I'd say I had a religion, but I don't really. I'm a lazy agnostic. I'm a big reader of everything from backs of bottles to textbooks to random fiction, I'm pretty random. TV wise, I love House and Ghost Hunters. I'm an avid History and Discovery channel watcher, as well as TruTV. I plan to attend the University of Louisville next year and major in Equine Business. I'm also homeschooled.
I run a Tennessee Walker breeding farm. My mom or dad sign the checks, I coordinate everything from daily food to breedings and foalings. My mom would like to pretend she's involved, but whenever she tries to do something it ends up scaring the horses. I'm not being disrespectful or cold, I'm simply stating a fact.
I have a hard time balancing life as part of the herd and as a human. I have no idea why, I just do. I speak their language more fluently than English I often think. Thus, the title. You'll a lot of me talking about the horses I meet as if they were other people, full with quotes. That's just how I roll, you'll either get used to it or you won't.
I know I'm leaving a ton of stuff out, but I'll get into it as I rant later on in the thread. I'm good at ranting. It's one of the many services I offer, along with plentiful sarcasm.
Best wishes to all who take the time to read this! *hugs* to you all!
I love your description of the animals.
I rode Harper for the first time today.
Even on my gelding, the dead-head who does nothing but walk and protect me, the guy who I have no reason to be nervous around, sometimes gives me that little nervous butterfly feeling in my stomach. I've always gotten it, every time even for a few seconds, on every horse I've ever been on. I'm a confident intermediate rider who has been on more horses than I can count of every level, but for some reason that little hesitation has always been there. From QH to Ottbs to Arab-crosses to Walkers, mostly calm, sweet, bombproof and gentle horses. I have never understood why that little fear was there. I've never had any bad experiences with being thrown or anything, and I've never had a horse spook and run (very far anyway, see the ottb reference above).
For the first time in my horse-loving life, I didn't get that.
I was in a 1x1 panel (12' long panels) space with an emergency opening as my trainer reccomended. She was in her halter with a lead rope tied to either side. I only planned to sit on her and let her get used to me. My trainer's fear was that she would run off because the only contact she had on her sides from a leg was just before a spur hit her. I was only to sit there running my legs back and forth on her sides as she would allow. I asked her to move close to the panel so I could slide on (she's too tall for a mounting block at 17.2hh, and this was bareback) and she stood still perfectly. She stood for about 2 minutes until she had eaten all the grass in that area then took a small step to the side. Of course, I about fell off. When this mare moves, she MOVES! It felt like the earth was shifting under me.
After a few minutes of running my legs over her with no issues at all, I called for my mom to hand me the saddle. I put it up on her but left her in the halter, again with no intention of doing anything but sitting on her in the small pen even though I had tied the lead rope to be reins. I got back up again and I knew I had to take her out of the pen, period. My mom (always been nervous about this horse) told me no about riding her just in a halter and no about getting her out today. Eventually, my mom had to go to the neighbor's house to get something and I was left with only my dad who was working on something in the barn out of sight but still in ear range. She had left with the promise that I would not get back up on Harper and would not ride her outside of the pen (which was just small circles, she's become very supple). That lasted about 30 seconds, which was how long it took for my mom to get out of sight.
Harper seemed to know that we were going to go have fun. She scooted back over to the fence for me to get back on with no prompting, stood quietly while I fiddled with the "reins" and stirrups then opened the gate from her (think threading a needle on the ground from a sky scraper). The second we rode out of there and into the open pasture I had never been that excited in my life. I rode the adreniline high for an hour after we were finished. Harper and I did nothing but walk around randomly, checking out some trees and rocks. Then it dawned on me. I didn't feel that twinge of uneasiness. I was completely at home with this horse, and she with me. I had waited three and a half months for this moment, and even though we were slowly walking along, I felt like we were going at full blast across that pasture. I knew I had finally met that horse that few meet, but talk about often. That "one" that is the perfect match.
I thought horses like her only existed in books and movies, things of fairy tales that 11 year old girls believed along with the pegasus. But at 17, I have met the pegasus. She is a big bay mare who has the grace to loan me her wings.
I rode Harper for the first time today. I now believe that fairy tales not only exist, but can come true.
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