Sunday, February 1, 2009

Flight of the Killer Bumble Bee

Today, while I was on the second floor of my house, perched on a ladder , cleaning windows, I happened to look down to admire the geldings running past. I had noticed a dirt bike rider going up and down the road a few minutes earlier and wanted to go out to check on things. JB absolutely hates dirt bikes, scared to death and he can get to running. Given the ice, I didn't want anyone running..Well, I should have gone out earlier because as I looked down at the geldings running past....Roman, Brego, Cassidy, Rebel,.. and JB??? OH NO! JB is with the geldings in their pasture.

How I came off that ladder without killing myself, Tom or the cat I will never know. Tom ran out the front door and I ran to the grab my boots and a halter. My heart jumped as images of horses getting kicked or going through the fence, slipping and breaking a leg on the ice ran through my mind... I had to hurry. All bets that the motorcycle had sent him through or over his fence, seeking safety with his herd. Damn dirt biker...

Well, by the time I got out there, things were, to my surprise, pretty well under control. I stopped and watched for a moment. JB was going nose to nose with all the other boys and no one was making much of a fuss..Given the fact that my stallion doesn't typically have quite this much contact with the geldings and he was acting like one of the herd, was really satisfying.

Tom and I have been considering giving this a try anyways since he used to run with the geldings until he got to playing too rough at the age of 4. I just hate keeping him separated and have considered gelding him for this reason alone. So I was very happy to see that it may just be a possibility yet. As soon as the footing is safe, I might just try to reintegrate him into the herd now that I can see they seemed to be holding their own.

I decided to catch Jb up just the same for now and put him back in one of the corrals nearer to the house, given the footing. As we walked back to the corrals, he was getting more and more worked up the closer we got to where he had just run from, knowing there was still something over there that might just kill him. As we walked past one of the iced over areas in the pasture, one the geldings knew to avoid but JB did not. I noticed he had run across and fallen.

We finally got back to the corrals and JB was a ball of nerves, still blowing and snorting and hyper vigilant to his surroundings. , still looking for the motorcylce , aka the killer bumble bee. I looked him over as I talked to him quietly and his breathing eventually started to slow.

JB did have some hide missing from the front of his right shoulder but it looked more like a kick. I put some gop on it. It wasn't deep and only toook the hair and a maybe a thin layer of skin. Probably stung but he was not bleeding and would most likely live. Other than his nerves being frayed and a scrape, he was fine. I threw some hay in front of him and checked on him repeatedly. Pretty soon the geldings made their way back over to the corral area and stuck around, as if to offer comfort from across the fence. It seemed to work and pretty soon JB was looking less tense and scared.

All afternoon I listed for the dirt biker and I finally got my wish. He came back up the road flying by , revving the engine and over all making a lot of noise. He drove by and I suspected he would turn around , like he had been doing earlier, and come back by.I ran out to the road and stopped him on his return trip. My instinct was to rip him off the bike and throw him in the snow and then proceed to shoot holes in his bike but sanity won out. I asked him , politely , if he would mind slowing it down and explained that my horse had spooked earlier and run through the fence as a result of the racket he was making with his dirt bike. Surprisingly, he apologized and seemed quite sincere and said he would take it easier when he came by our place. Honestly , I hadn't expected him to be as nice as he was but was quite thankful. I didn't see or hear that bike the rest of the afternoon and JB was able to eat his afternoon meal in peace.

I don't know what I will do if I meet one of these on the road someday. JB isn't afraid of too many things but dirt bikes, they are the devil themselves in his eyes!


ellescee said...

My draft mare will absolutely lose it when she hears (or sees) any two-stroke engine. It's quite a chore to try to reach the brains of an overreacting 1800 lb mare when she starts to spiral out of control! I totally understand your stallion coming unglued! We're going to work with Callie on it by driving a four wheeler around and around and around her in the field until it becomes "No Biggie." Since we do ride with her in the mountains, it's something I want to address before it gets worse!

Good luck!

Jonna said...

JB actually doesn't mind the 4 wheeler anymore, Two years ago, we bought one to plow with, drag the pasture with and move round bales with.. That has helped him and he is no longer afraid of it. We can run it in his paddock even because I have a wagon I hook to it to clean manure. There is just something different about those dirt bikes. I actually thought JB was making progress since we got the 4 wheeler and then one of the neighbors was riding one of those scooter past our place all last summer. It wasn't overly loud and JB seemed to be getting used to it. Now it feels like I have lost ground.