I decided to go to the barn yesterday to feed the horses warm mash and carrots. My husband suggested I gas up the truck while I was out so I headed to a station that would give me ten cents off per gallon due to grocery purchases. This station is on the opposite side of town from where we live but close to the stable. Guess who managed to lock herself out of the truck? Guess whose cell phone was locked inside the truck? The man inside the convenience store part of the gas station claimed no telephone access so I crossed the parking lot to get to the grocery store, thinking they of course must have a pay phone. I did have my wallet in hand since I'd used a credit card to pay for the gasoline. The temperature wasn't all that cold but the blankety-blank wind kicked up making it seem so. Gloves and hat inside truck? Check. Apparently pay phones are a thing of the past but a kind store employee let me use their business phone. Of course I had to be interrogated by my husband as to how I performed this miraculous feat but he did agree to rescue me.
Once I was safely ensconced back in my vehicle I headed for the barn. The farrier was there and he happens to work in the area where my coffee pot to heat water for mash is kept. So I tiptoed around him and whatever horse he was working on trying not to get in the way. The owner of the stallion laughed at me as I announced that I was going to walk behind him and "Please don't kick me." He's not mean but he is a stallion so I give him a wider berth than some of the other horses. One of the mares getting worked on doesn't like to be cross tied so she was dancing around making entry and exit interesting. I just kept shoving carrots down her maw whenever I passed so she'd be too occupied to think about kicking me. It's a good thing I never had kids as I'd probably be constantly feeding them in an attempt to make them behave.
So, one of the areas where horses are kept is a large ring with two stalls at the opposite end from the gate. There are usually two horses in the stalls and two loose out front. I will brave my way to the stalls, depending on which horses are loose. I think most horse people will tell you it's not wise to carry a bucket of carrots into a situation where the horses aren't contained. I know that so why did I do it? I had one bucket of mash and one of carrots. I should have shoved a handful of carrots in my pocket so I wasn't waving a red flag of temptation. But no, I set both buckets inside the pen as I fasten the gate and promptly have a head in the carrot bucket. I manage to shoo the horse away but note that I'm getting more of a close up rear view than I'm comfortable with. I quickly dole out the mash and carrots to the loose horses. Generally that will keep them occupied until I can reach the stalled horses and get them taken care of. Lots of times I can even make my exit unchallenged. You can imagine how thrilled I was to have the more aggressive of the horses run full bore towards me. She wanted more. I should explain that this is a two year old filly who doesn't have all her manners yet. Somewhat of an equine juvenile delinquent. So when I shoo her she turns around and kicks me a glancing blow on my arm. Okay, I capitulate and give her another scoop of mash so I can make my exit in safety. One of the helpers was on his way to move her to a stall and informed me that she can be "naughty." No shit, Sherlock. But it was my own damn fault and fortunately I didn't even get a bruise.
Tonight we are having a rib roast since I goofed at Christmas. Tomorrow the tree and decorations come down and 2011 calendars will go up.
I hope everyone has a safe and happy New Year's Eve and best wishes for a great 2011.