It all began with two goats. Before we knew it, there were fourteen. Everything seemed to be moving right along until one day we noticed a couple of the goats were on the outside of the fence. Our fence had a hole. Upon further inspection, we notice several holes, one in almost every fence section. The cause? Roxy, our newest horse, was taking her front leg and pushing the fence down, so she could lean over and eat the “greener” grass on the other side. This daily practice has ruined about 800 feet of fence.
We knew what was happening. Every day about lunch time, the goats would go to their favorite spot and venture out into the neighboring field to graze until their heart was content. They managed to migrate over to my garden at least twice where they ate not only the strawberries, but also every single leaf leaving only stems about one inch long. Yes, I complained, but I knew repairing the fence was going to be an expensive and time-consuming task. We are still building a barn, and now it’s gardening season; we had to prioritize the tasks around the ranch, and the goats grazing outside the fence was not a priority until the inevitable happened. Continue reading Meanwhile, Back at The Ranch: Well, CHUTE!→
If you asked me if I liked even or odd numbers, I would say “odd.” There is something about the numbers one, three, and five that intrigue me. You would never know this fact based on what’s going on out here at the ranch.
Cats: When we moved to the country in 2004 we brought along our two cats. Of course, back then we were “city” people, and I won’t even begin to tell you the exorbitant amount of money that was spent on each of them. A third cat eventually joined the group but died of an unknown illness. Really, I insisted on an autopsy…of a cat…and the findings were indeterminate. We were left with two.
Horses: Our Mustang, Jet, came to live with us because our neighbors had one too many horses. We were clueless new horse owners, but our friends are very experienced and have followed through on their promise to guide us in the right direction. “The right direction” included buying a horse friend for Jet. Roxy came to live with us just a few months after Jet’s arrival. It was great fun watching them get to know each other while they lived in the midst of all the goats.
Cats….again: Last summer my husband brought home two three week old kittens who had lost their mother. He claimed we needed barn cats. Here’s a little secret….we didn’t have a barn. We nursed them along and let them stay in the garage with a heat lamp during this cold winter. They are our outside cats. They enjoy bird watching and hopping in my car when I am late for work. Continue reading Meanwhile Back at The Ranch: Life is TWO Good→
Editor’s Note: What we’ve found as our readership has expanded is that the RDC Community is full of humans with interesting lives. As our dear Earth turns on her axis, these folks are managing skyscrapers, scraping animal droppings, and dropping mail in everyone’s mailbox on their route. One of our readers, who gave me permission to share a few photos on a past Silent Sunday post, is a sheriff. He rides in the mounted patrol and his horse has an interesting story. While recovering from recent shoulder surgery, he sent “Traveler’s Story” along for my perusal and I asked his permission to share it with you. Have a story YOU feel needs to be shared? We’ll read it and work with you if it fits with our mission. ~ [kelly]
Traveler’s Story, by Sam Chestnut
edited by Kelly Roberts
The date was March of 2005. I was still recovering from a Prostatectomy due to Prostate Cancer. I heard from a friend that a man not far from us had a good looking Tennessee Walker gelding for sale. So Jean, our daughter Darla, and I went to check it out.
When we walked into the barn I saw a horse standing against the back wall of a stall with all four feet spread out, his nostrils flared, with his eyes fearful and widely open. I thought to myself, “Boy, something has just gone on here.” It was clear the horse was terrified and near panic. All of his hair had been shaved off with hair clippers and it was still early March; the weather still very cold. He was in an unheated barn with no blanket or method of keeping himself warm. He was somewhat skinny and not well kept. There were no physical scars other than his shaved mane, but it was clear the horse had been ‘through it.’
When did it happen? When did I become so dependent on technology? Even in the country, we are not without “city luxuries” like Internet, satellite radio and a DVR. However, the other day I had to turn in my work computer for an upgraded version. I was without the machine in my classroom for only a couple of hours, but I noticed a shift in the awareness of my surroundings. I should have taken that as a sign of how my evening at home would go.
No computer. Phone turned off.
It was a beautiful evening in the country. As soon as I entered their pasture, the animal migration began: the goats head to the shed, but the horses came to me. After all, I have the carrots and they know that. After feeding everyone, I took advantage of Jet’s lingering. She let me groom her from mane to tail while Roxy stood by and simply watched. I was able to brush her thick black mane; it’s so healthy now that she is living with us and away from the horses that used to tear out chunks with their teeth. As I ran my hands down her leg to remove the fly bots that had accumulated in just one week, I noticed crimson highlights right above her hoof. Wow. My horse is not just brown. She is brown, crimson, auburn, and black. She is gorgeous. Her Mustang brand reminds me that she was captured and taken from her home, but I take her head dropped near my chest to mean that it’s okay. She let me run my hands over her eyes and scratch under her halter, and for good measure I kiss the soft flesh of her muzzle. This is it. This is what life is all about.
I’m sure none of this would have happened with a phone in one hand.
I wanted to write about it. No computer. I scrounged up a legal pad and took some notes. This is hard without my computer; the task can wait. I checked my email from my phone and remembered I had a DVR’d television show to watch. Technology habits sure die hard, don’t they?
Somebody, please, don’t let me forget what it’s like to live life with my hands on something other than a keyboard.
Showcasing Red Dirt culture ~ authored and managed by contributors with connections to the great state of Oklahoma.