For the last couple of weeks, I’ve been helping my neighbor, Patricia, with her barn chores. She is recovering from surgery and has lifting limitations so her daughter, Liz, and I have been working together to make sure her stalls are cleaned and her water buckets are full.
Patricia is a good friend and I like her horses so it really isn’t work; I enjoy visiting with her and her horses. She has also helped me chase loose minis and deliver newborn baby goats many times in the past. We make a good team.
The only drawback to visiting Patricia and her barn is her stallion, Ace. Ace is an aggressive stud and to make matters worse, he seems to particularly dislike me. His hatred for me is kind of funny because he really doesn’t have a reason. I’ve never touched him, let alone hit him, and I have always talked nicely to him. I have even fed him his supper a few times.
During my visits to help with chores, Ace became more and more aggressive toward me. I ended up having to ask Patricia to move him out of his stall so I could clean it because he became famous for rearing and lunging toward me with his teeth bared. I found this very intimidating and my fears and anxieties about Ace continued to increase every time I entered his domain.
Last week, Patricia and I worked out a system where she managed Ace while I cleaned stalls so I never had to even talk to Ace. Ace and I seemed to have developed a truce of sorts.
On Sunday, Patricia and I were talking and I forgot to ask her to keep Ace out of his stall a little longer than usual. His water bucket was filled with ice.
Ace was already in his stall when I entered to unlatch the bucket and remove it so I could bust the ice out of it. I was nervous so I tried not to think about how close I was to Ace, and I refused to look him in the eye.
My nerves seemed to transcend to my fingers and I was unable to quickly release the bucket. While still fiddling with the bucket, out of the corner of my eye, I saw Ace charging toward me with his teeth bared. His patience for my presence had evaporated.
Ace bit me in my back, which was painful, but the worst part was, in my effort to get out of his way, I whacked my head on a post in his stall. I was dazed for a few minutes but I seemed otherwise OK.
I have recovered without further incident but my head and shoulder hurt for a couple of days. I actually think the bump on my head hurt worse than the bite mark. Ace probably would probably think that was funny if he knew.
It took me three days to build up the courage to go back down and help Patricia clean her stalls so Liz, who Ace loves, had to help her.
Until Patricia recovers, if Ace is in his stall when I am ready to clean it, he will have to learn to deal with a little extra manure in his stall and a few ice cubes in his water bucket.
I will never again underestimate the wrath of Ace.
Don’t judge me. He is scarier and more powerful than his 30-inch tall body seems. Or maybe you are correct; I’m just a big chicken.
Either way, this cute yet wickedly smart miniature horse stallion has certainly outwitted me. Maybe that is actually the worst part of the entire incident!