The house is quiet, except for Christmas music. It is raining softly outside.
It was a beautiful day - got a lot of farm work done. Got hay for the horses, and cleaned up the barn, fertilized the pasture - spread the wood ashes. I found a cache of eggs in the barn today. The ducks are laying - two months early.
This afternoon the young mare came to the back of the barn while I was busy with the tractor. I yelled at her and she made a perfect rollback to leap out of the barn. About 10 minutes later she was back, peeking around the door. I went out to give her a face rub. She stayed a minute, then sauntered off.
Just as I finished my chores, the three of them came up. They grabbed a bail of hay off the trailer and were munching. I came up on the tractor, not wanting to scare them. I called for them to get into their stalls. They obeyed, the old gelding had to push his stall door open, it was funny. Anyways, the mares stayed in their stalls, but the old gelding came back out.
I pushed him back into his stall, went to give hay to the mares - when I turned around, he was out. He went back to the hay, calm as could be, started eating. I had to spread fresh shavings, so I put two flakes in his hay rack - put him back in his stall - turned my back and out he came.
He's 1200 lbs, and taller at the shoulder than I am. I told him to go back in the stall, he did, but when I turned my back to grab a rake, out he came. By this time, I knew he was just doing it to mess with me. But there isn't much room in the barn when the equipment is in the way. So I told him to get back in his stall - this time he sniffed my hair as if to say he was just having fun with me before he walked back in the stall.
I locked the door on him. Mind you, the mare's stalls weren't even closed. But they never give me a hard time like he does. I tell them to get in their stalls, they stay. He likes to mess with me. I think it's a guy thing.
Christmas Eve 2005, we had just finished the stalls that evening. The weather was damp - it was raining - it was a cold miserable night. I was so thrilled to be able to put my three horses in their stalls for the first time. They seemed happy too.
I'll need to get up in the morning and start cooking right off.
How fortunate I am to be home this year. Most of the time I have to work the Holidays. I didn't go out much this Christmas Season - I don't like crowds, and the main drag is nicknamed the 'Dixie Dieway' because the traffic is so bad.
Merry Christmas - Happy Hanukkah - Merry Yule - Peace on Earth