Saturday, June 28, 2008

my morning poem

Every morning when I walk out to the barn, if I'm running on time and not late, this is what I see. And every time I see this, it makes me think of that Gerard Manley Hopkins poem that goes "Glory be to God for dappled things..."

Except in my mind it reads: "Glory be to god for donkey things" and continues, "and mares as black as night with one kind eye."

How in the world did GMH keep his poem of praise so short? Mine would go on and on.

And living here, it would have to end with a squeaky bray and a smile:


the7msn said...

Nothing says "I love you" like a squeaky bray. How sweet that Rafer Johnson and Salina share their space. Can't wait to watch the herd dynamics evolve once Redford arrives.

billie said...

Linda, how funny - just before your comment popped in, I was thinking that I am likely when Redford arrives to see TWO donkey faces each morning and hear TWO squeaky brays.

The first night Rafer was here he spent with Cody, as Salina was overwhelming in her welcome and Cody was a bit more respectful of the little Rafer's space. But as of the second night, Rafer Johnson and Salina have stayed together, and they operate pretty much as a team.

I do separate them for feeding and to keep that option manageable in the event we needed to do so, like the night Salina had to be tubed, for instance. They separate themselves sometimes during turn-out. (my horses love being together in stalls, and since they have open access, will often pack themselves in, in various combinations)

Salina sometimes chooses to be with Keil Bay, and Rafer with the pony, which I find shocking because the pony is the least likely to share a stall of any of them!

I hope things click with Rafer and Redford and Salina. They will get their double stall when Redford arrives. I can't wait to see the look on Rafer's face when the lovely Redford steps out into the barnyard!

Roberta Isleib said...

Hey Billie, if you get a chance would you mind contacting me off-blog? It's about sandplay therapy in a new mystery:)

billie said...

Roberta, I'm on my way out the door but will touch base later this evening. Sounds very intriguing, this mystery...!

jme said...

is there anything cuter than donkeys and their squeaky brays? i keep trying to convince my mother that's a sound we need to introduce to our farm... i'll have to keep working on her ;-)

each morning, as i'm spotted coming through the gate, one horse sounds the alarm and, all in a row, five of the sweetest faces, hay and shavings caught in their forelocks, pop out of their windows to greet me - something that always gives me a smile no matter how early i've had to get up to feed!

Grey Horse Matters said...

I like your poem. Rafer and Salina look so content, I hope when Redford gets there it will be a bigger happier family. I can't wait to see how it goes, although I'm sure he will fit right in and they will all be hilarious to watch. I've often wondered why horses accept so many different animals as their companions. I know they are herd animals, but they accept so many different types of animals to be their friends.

billie said...

jme, I agree - the faces popping out is one of the best things ever. When we moved Keil Bay and the pony here, it was incredibly sweet those first few nights and mornings. Funny thing is, it never gets less sweet.

billie said...

Arlene, they do seem happy together. Yesterday I put Keil Bay's kiwi-colored fly sheet on, as I was cleaning tack for hours in the barn aisle and had let him join me with access to the bigger barnyard.

He kept going out to graze and then coming in and standing with me, and sometimes running in to escape a big fly.

He HATES the kiwi-colored fly sheet, and when I got it out he did his big floating trot right out of the barn to get away. I followed and put it on, and he went and stood pouting with his head over Salina's stall door. She had a fit! You've never heard such snorting and carrying on. It's such a mama mare behavior - she just didn't want him sticking his head into her and Rafer's "space." When she's on HIS side of the barn, she will gladly share a stall with him.

The other day I came out and Rafer Johnson and Dickens (cat) were lying stretched flat out beside one another in the middle of the barn aisle while Salina stood in her stall with the fan and hay. They do seem to be quite capable of making friends outside their species.

Rising Rainbow said...

What a cute picture......they look like great buds

Twinville said...

Yes, you have so much to be thankful for.
Such a gorgeous black mare and adorable ear-flapping donkey. hehe

billie said...

Thanks MiKael and Twinville!

We have been w/o internet for nearly 24 hours, so this was delayed a bit. However, w/o internet, I managed to work on novel AND do laundry AND ride Cody. :)

Victoria Cummings said...

I want a little donkey so much! Hopefully, Salina will adopt Redford as easily as she bonded to Rafer. I think it's great that you let the horses have access to each other's space. It cuts down on the territory disputes, and I agree that letting a horse spend time with you while you're working in the stall or the barn is also a good way to build trust and respect. You've got such a beautiful happy home.

billie said...

Thank you, Victoria.

The only down sides to letting them have access to stalls the way we do is that now and then a water bucket gets torqued beyond all recognition (big horse butts swinging around to get out of one another's way) and once in a blue moon someone will get a bump or scrape. Mostly it works just fine though.

I close Cody up with his breakfast so he doesn't get intruded upon, and periodically I rotate the geldings solo over to Rafer and Salina's side so each one can have some "private" time. Which probably runs counter to all natural horsemanship "theory" but they seem to enjoy it when it's their turn!

We are very lucky to have the barn set up the way we do. (which we didn't do - the previous owner did !) We rarely tie horses for grooming, tacking up, untacking, hosing down, bathing, etc. We tie periodically just so they don't forget how to stand there, but for the most part they're at liberty.