Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Fly

I nearly got on the wrong side of some kicking hooves this morning and they came from a very unusual source, Danny. Unusual because I've never before seen Danny kick, ever. He paws when he's playing but I've never once seen both rear feet off of the ground until today. I was leaving the pasture after feeding. I had Brandy's feed bucket tucked up under my shirt so that the others wouldn't know what I'd been up to down at the little barn. You might not think horses are that smart but trust me, anything to do with food and even the dullest horse is a genius...and I happen to think that all of mine are all pretty bright anyway. I paused because I was startled when I saw Danny kick out and catch Django in the chest. The two of them were in the pass through across the road which separates and connects the two pastures. I'm standing there watching them when I suddenly realized that Danny was squeezing around the corner and making a bee line straight for me. I started scrambling across the fence but only managed to get one leg across before he brushed past me, knocking me off balance and the rest of the way across the fence; it was kind of like a very ungraceful dismount because I managed to keep my feet but it didn't look pretty. I got angry and threw the feed bucket at him which was of course the wrong thing to do because it didn't punish him, it only made him turn around and come back toward me so that he could check out the bucket for food. At first he acted normal but then he started doing almost a rocking horse/bronco kick, rocking forward and kicking back with both rear feet over and over. He circled and then ran to me again and that's when I finally saw the fly. It was the biggest horse fly I've ever seen, at least two inches long, and it was latched on to his rump and not letting go. Poor guy was trying his best to get it off of him but he couldn't reach it with his mouth and the fly evidently had a good seat because the kicking wasn't even loosening its grip much less dislodging it. He finally calmed down a bit, walked over to the hay beside Django and began to eat. I thought this was my opportunity to swat the thing off of him. I actually thought that I could reach across Django with a stick and get the fly but that failed for all sorts of reasons. I know, it wasn't a great plan to begin with but it's the best I could come up with at the moment. Finally after he took off and started kicking again and hit Django in the chest again...poor, long suffering Django, ha...., I edged up to his head...he wasn't wearing a halter...and calmly soothed him as I kept one hand on him so that I was ready to start moving around with him if I needed to. I worked my way slowly along his side until I made it far enough back to reach that fly. I swatted it as hard as I could and expected it to hit the ground so that I could stomp it but I think I just made it mad because it looped and did a dive bomb right back to his rump again. I took that as my cue to get the hell out of Dodge. Danny started doing the bronco routine once again and then ran for the barn. Mouse looked concerned, watched him all of the way to the barn, turned and looked at me (probably hoping I'd go so she wouldn't have to) and then veeery slowly made her way down toward the barn. I've never seen that horse move with so much hesitation. She reached the corner of the little barn and then just stood there with her head cocked, listening. Evidently, he'd calmed down because she turned and was headed back up the hill when I finally climbed into my truck. No one would believe me and probably everyone will think I'm crazy for talking to a horse but when I was trying to get close enough to get the fly, I kept shouting at Mouse who was next to him but still a safe distance away, "There's a fly on his rump. Get the fly off his rump." She'd look directly at the fly and then looked back at me with that same look as if to say, "I'm not going anywhere near those kicking hooves. You do it!"