Tuesday, January 12, 2010

on duty: a painted pony

This morning while I was sitting here reading email and blogs over coffee, I noticed out my window that the painted pony was standing at high alert, looking across the front field and on across the lane toward the neighboring property.

Trusting his judgment, I went right out the front door to see what was going on.

One neighbor's dogs were barking at something I couldn't see, so I stood and listened for a few minutes and, not hearing anything, came back in.

The painted pony moved forward about 20 feet in the pasture, still watching. He smartly placed his quite splashy body next to a big oak tree, so that he was at least somewhat hidden from the lane.

I went back to the front porch. Although the barking dogs were directly across from me, the pony was looking far to the right, so I focused my attention there as well. In the distance I could hear a woman's voice, presumably calling the dogs.

My chief security officer stood tall and alert, pointing my lesser human ears to where the action was. I realized he was no longer looking toward the voice, but had shifted to a spot about midway between the direction the voice was coming from and the two barking dogs that I could see.

After a few moments, I spotted two small dogs, exactly where the pony was looking, but mostly obscured by brush.

We watched together for a few minutes. When the dogs ran off down the lane, hopefully back home, I came inside. He has now determined any danger is gone, and has turned back up the hill to a small pile of hay.

I believe he's going for my Employee of the Week award for the second week in a row. And he will likely get it, as there are literally NO other equines anywhere in the front field checking this out.


Grey Horse Matters said...

Thank goodness you have an alert security officer on duty. Glad it was nothing, but it's amazing how much they can see and hear that we humans can't. No wonder they spook a lot.

jme said...

nice to know someone's keeping an eye on things! i have a very vigilant mellon who occasionally freaks me out at night when i get home from work and it's pitch black and creepy out by the paddocks and suddenly he goes on high alert and i'm wondering 'hmmm, what exactly is over there that's worrying him...' he's usually looking in the direction of my house :-\

Michelle said...

Most people don't think of horses as great security systems but they sure do a great job (when they want to!) Congrats to the employee of the week - how many consecutive wins must he have before he can retire the award? =)

billie said...

Arlene, good point about the spooking! I wonder if sometimes the spook is to get our attention when we're not on top of what's going on around us.

billie said...

j, that's funny - Mellon is keeping you on your toes!

billie said...

Michelle, I am not allowing this award to be retired, as I need ongoing help around here! :)

Jane said...

Why does it not surprise me that your chief security officer is a pony?

billie said...

And half-Shetland, which should strike the fear of God into anyone!

CharlieHorse said...

Love reading your posts, billie, and appreciate your words, work and position regarding "rollkur" - :)
I have to tell you that I LOL heartily when I read your comment "and half-shetland, which should strike the fear of God into anyone!"
I couldn't agree more ! ! My half Shetland mare is amazing in her capacity to rule the roost at the stable where I board her and my half-Percheron/half-paint mare - - and that "roost" consists of a mix of mares and geldings to the tune of some 29 :) Funny to watch the littlest in the field, be the BOSS ! And, she is very clever about it :)

billie said...

Charliehorse, I can imagine that the only thing more intimidating to a herd than a half-Shetland painted pony gelding (he strikes fear into many huge warmbloods when we take him out to shows and such!) would be a half-Shetland pony MARE! :)

Glad to hear that you're enjoying the posts - am going to head off into cyberland and see if you have any I can read!

CharlieHorse said...

no blog ... tho I am tempted at times, I'ma an avid reader, yet timid writer...I do enjoy your posts and found you thru my obsessive poking into the hyperflexion issue (am also a budding cyber-activist for our wild horses, and against rodeo animal cruelty). Are you the billie frequently commenting on the Blue Tongue FB? I'm Beth S. :).
I note in your bio that you are a novelist. Are you published?

billie said...

Beth! Yes, it's the same billie here and on the FB page. :)

I am a novelist with 3 adult novels that have NOT been published. The first novel got a lot of attention when I shopped it around - had two agents and did come close when on submission to publishers, but ultimately it didn't sell.

Right now I have a middle grade novel nearly done and a nonfiction book nearly done and if I can maintain my focus going into this new year, I think I will see some action with these two.

Meanwhile I am seriously considering and actually very close to announcing the establishment of a small independent press that will publish books and voices that are getting passed by in NY. I know so many writers who have beautiful novels in hand (and have been told that by agents and editors) but those books simply can't find a home in a big house. I'm so frustrated with that - so I'd like to stop griping and do something to help.

I'll start with my first or second novel, so that I can be my own first guinea pig and hopefully any books that come after will reap the benefits of what I learned with my own titles.

Anyway, long-winded answer, but in a crazy way, it's easier for me to type fast and say this much than to condense down to the digested version. :)