The Flying Horse Poop Folly

Imagine a gray haired woman standing in a pasture between horses and a newborn calf, flinging horse poop balls at the lead mare. It would be a funny sight, you might think. Oh, but wait—it wasn’t just something for you to imagine—it happened to me.

In early spring, about two years ago,  I noticed a cow bringing her new baby out of the woods to introduce it to the rest of the herd. In my lifetime of farm living, there have been many such introductions. The new calf is inspected, sniffed, and given the once-over by all the cows. The new addition is accepted and everyone goes back to grazing peacefully.

It was such a pretty day, I left the yard and walked across the pasture to enjoy the Wonderage-old initiation. Everything was fine until the horses arrived. This wouldn’t be a problem, I thought. The new mare had been around the cows and older calves. Wrong. This was a new baby. The mare, Wonder, smelled the baby, acted like she might bite it, but instead, whirled around, hunched her back and started to kick the little fellow.

I, of course, yelled a rather loud, “NO!” It was something close to the frequency of a jet breaking the sound barrier. This caused everything to run. The calf tore past the horses toward the open pasture. The five horses took in after the fleeing baby and the cows ran in the opposite direction.

I lost my flawless running ability several years ago. My running efforts look somewhat like the flailing awkwardness of a six-month old Labrador puppy. Picking up a short stick that was lying nearby, I took off in my best hippety-hoppety gait. Finally, I was able to get between the horses and calf. The baby was too big for me to carry to the corral, and too tired to walk. It lay down.

Luckily, my cell phone was in my pocket. Who to call? My oldest son was thirty miles away. My son-in-law was out of town on a job. A call to my other son, Ben, indicated he would be home in about twenty minutes. I didn’t mention what was happening for fear of his driving too fast. The waiting game began.

Here’s where you can use your imagination again. Imagine the sun is going down and a chilly wind is blowing. The cows are gathered on the hill, watching. The calf is lying down and the horses are circling the wagon—the calf and I being the wagon.

The stick that I had grabbed was too short. I scanned the pasture around me. There was nothing—nothing to use to keep them away. Then I looked down and found my weapon… those round, golf ball size droppings from a horse. I picked one up and threw it at Wonder. It hit the mark and landed against her neck and disintegrated. Well, this weapon wasn’t going to leave a scar, but there were plenty to throw. It wasn’t enough to make her leave, but it made me feel better. It distracted the mare, so the horses calmed and resumed grazing in a stand-by mode.

I heard my son’s truck come across the cattle guard and was relieved. Ben drove to our side in the pasture and I told him my story. His grin soon faded. The calf had rested enough. It stood, Wonder made a move toward the calf and the race began again. This time it was much more fun for me. I got to watch. Ben ran after the running group, caught the calf and carried it to the corral. We convinced the cow to join the baby and we closed the gates.

Wonder was taken the next morning to spend the following month at a horse trainer’s ranch. When the horse returned, she was not concerned with the calf. I think thirty days away from her life of leisure changed her mind. Now there is peaceful co-existence in the pasture.

There are no photos of this episode. Had anyone been in the pasture with a camera—I guarantee—they would have had to put it down and help me, or I would have thrown horse poop balls at them.


4 Responses to The Flying Horse Poop Folly

  1. Kay says:

    This could happen to only you, Mz. Linda.


  2. Your stories are so fun to read, and I learned something new with this one. The first time to ever think of a horse acting like that…poor baby. I’ve also decided that getting hit with snowballs isn’t so bad after reading what the alternative could be 🙂

  3. I actually think the snowballs would hurt worse…but, let’s just use the snow.

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