Thursday, June 9, 2011

Grand Prix jumper he is not

Imagine for a moment you are a prey animal and you know you are made of sweet, tasty meat. You are constantly surveying your surroundings, aware of anything that might consider you a filling meal. Your legs are made for running and your mind is quickly overtaken by the flight instinct when you feel threatened.

Your house is your refuge, your safe place, the place where you hang out and eat and chill.

One day a small, seemingly harmless monster moves in and decides to take up residence in your safety zone. You give the monster the hairy eyeball but decide it probably doesn't like your brand of sweet flesh so you move on and leave it be.

The next day something horrible happens — the seemingly harmless monster suddenly and without warning grows to five times it's normal size and sprouts thousands of eyes that stare hungrily at you. Then it starts screaming like a harpy, stamping and grunting around your house. You're pretty sure you see blood from previous hapless victims dripping from its gaping maw, perhaps you spot gobbets of rotting flesh stuck between it's razor-like talons.

Like any prey animal without a death wish you do what you must — You lose your everloving mind and freak the hell out in your mad dash attempt to escape the thousand hungry eyes and flesh ripping monster.

This morning Gabe was absolutely convinced the peacock, who has decided to hang out around Gabe's run-in, was going to devour him whole every time he puffed up into his full, glorious 5-foot plus plumage and started yelling for his girls.

I didn't realize how terrified he actually is of that peacock (only with the tail feathers up and fluffed) until he decided to try to escape from that bird by going over the paddock fence.

He didn't quite make it.

I'm a bit of a safety freak about my fencing, which is electric rope. When I moved to the farm it was all fenced in four strands of barbed wire which just would not do. I spent an entire summer tearing it all down and replacing it. I use the thick electric rope, not the skinny stuff because I determined the skinny stuff could be too dangerous for horses (who happen to be walking time bombs when it comes to mysterious injuries). I keep it all in good repair, have all the T-posts capped and check it regularly. One thing I really like about this type of fencing is that the insulators break at about 200 pounds of pressure, which is perfect. As soon as the insulators break, the fence sags harmlessly out of the way. I've never had a horse tangle up in the fence, the rope does not wrap very easily at all and really, they'd have to try pretty hard to get tangled in it. I like it very much and wouldn't change to anything else even if I had an endless checking account.

Gabe took down the top rope because he tried to jump the damn thing sideways instead of straight on. I have a feeling he would have cleared it if he'd come at it straight on.

He hit that top strand and the insulators popped free, the fence sagged and away he went, tail flagging, sweat dripping, the whites of his eyes showing and fear quivering his whole body.

But, all is good, he injured nothing more than his pride but he's still convinced the peacock is going to have him for lunch. Silly boy.


  1. That description of the horse eating peacock cracked me up! Poor Gabe!
    Good thing you have safe fence. I always figure that any horse, even the ones you trust the most, can and will get in a wreck at some point.

  2. Oh my, this post had me cracking up! Great descriptive story-telling, I could picture it perfectly!! PEA...COCK!!!! Our neighbor used to have one who routinely visited our pasture and he was also a catfood thief extraordinaire. Our horses were initially as Gabe is described here...petrified out of their ever-loving minds at this horse-eating monster! But...before long, Ladde was chasing (and trying to stomp) Mr. Peacock. This was hilarious!! So glad Gabe was uninjured...give him some time, he'll figure out he's the bigger creature someday. :) You just gotta love horses, right?
    Great post!!! Made my day!!

  3. Ya know, I don't blame him in the least! Peacocks scare me, too!
    I'm glad you have safe fences.