Thursday, August 7, 2008


"I wish I had eyes in the back of my head" - "I could use another arm" - "I need to be in two places at once" - sounds familiar, right?

Sally, my old (20+ years) Thoroughbred mare, was used as a brood mare for a long time, and obviously feels very strongly about having her numerous babies ripped away from her. When we first got her, she was skin and bones, and absolutely frantic about being taken away from her latest little six-month old filly.

So four plus years ago, when she was put into the corral with Najale, who at the time was a skinny little 18 month old colt, she fought with her emotions and loyalty to her former foals valiantly for about, let's see, maybe three seconds, and then adopted Najale with her entire equine heart and has loved him unconditionally ever since.

The disadvantage about this wonderful maternal love, however, is that Sally cannot stand being apart from Najale by more than six inches, and will freak out in every sort of horse sort of way possible. She rears, she runs, she whinnies, she gets into quite literally a LATHER of a panic attack.

I am, regardless of Sally's discomfort, forced to feed them separately, because Sally will cheerfully give up every last bit of her feed to El Gordo colt. But otherwise throughout the day and night, where ever Najale is, Sally is just a few steps away.

So when I take both of them out to graze (which after the generous rainfall we have enjoyed is pretty much twice a day), I count on Sally's separation anxiety to keep her close by to Najale, and so I need to keep a lead rope on Najale only.

It usually works.

I do have to mention that I also take out both dogs for this grazing siesta time - Murray, my obedient, patient German Shephard/Border Collie mix, who follows me around with a tennis ball in his mouth, waiting for whenever I am willing to throw it (for hours, if necessary) - and Delilah, my husband's adopted-from-the-track insane Greyhound, who spends the majority of time outside clocking and comparing her own race times (she has her own stopwatch and is asking for an Blackberry for Christmas), chasing rabbits (of which we have LOADS, and thank goodness they usually outlast her on the long stretch), or eating horse dung in the pasture.

Now, Sally has been undergoing.... hmm, there really isn't any way to put this that isn't pretty crass.... an extended period of celibacy. I mean, she was a brood mare, which meant she at least was getting some when they wanted to get her pregnant. so she seems to, er, ENJOY the process, and seems to wait to, oh, REPEAT it as often as possible.

And my dear sweet virgin Najale, although he wasn't gelded until he was almost two (which means some of those male hormones should still circulating in his system), has absolutely NO idea of what it could mean to consummate ANYthing. Poor Sally tries to seduce him in true Mrs. Robinson fashion, and all he thinks she just wants to play tag or see who can bite who the fastest. And yes, I mean, it would be sort of incestuous, wouldn't it, with their relationship, right, so I can't get too mad at him.

So (back to the main story, if you are still reading this, which is amazing, because I would have given up about two paragraphs in - in fact, why are you still wasting valuable time here?! Isn't there any late-night television that it be more educational than this? Go try on the rehashing of the men's Olympic swimming - some good male bodies to check out there!), tonight Sally somehow either caught a whiff of something in the air or fancied she heard a studly whinny from down the road.

Whatever it was, she was certain it was male, and it was WAY more interesting than the grass she was munching on. So she took off at a fast trot for the northeast corner of our property, looking for the tempting pleasure that was somewhere beyond that fence.

Now, Najale was still concentrating on stuffing his face with grass as fast as he could, so took no notice at first - but suddenly Delilah (Greyhound) streaks in front of his nose, causing Najale to both throw his head up and suddenly notice, hey, Mom is taking off somewhere withOUT me!

So suddenly there is (I'll try to keep this in the correct order) Najale rearing and getting ready to dash after Sally, Sally STILL heading for the fence, Delilah suddenly deciding that this is the chance to break her latest 6.2 second 600 yard dash, and Murray ALSO unexpectedly resolving that THIS is the moment to stand between the excited Najale and myself.

Four animals all in opposing motion. If only someone had had a video going.

End of the story - all ended up safe and sound back where where they were supposed to be, and, since this story is being repeated about every other evening now, NO additional gray hairs on my head. I know it sounds very
nonchalant, but it's like having teenagers - after a while, you realize getting upset about it doesn't change anything, they will eventually come back home (or call you from the holding cell, at least), and you might as well go back inside and get another cold soda.

Another Diet Coke, anyone?