Saturday, July 23, 2011

Sheep Attack!!!!!!!!!

Horses are odd creatures. 

I am always amazed at the things they tolerate from us: noisy trucks and tractors, being hauled around in trailers, bridles, bits and saddles  (not to mention the bouncy, flopping ape in the saddle).  Horses are truly tolerant creatures.  We put them through so many confusing, frightening scenarios and they never bat an eyelash.  Which is why I'm always surprised at the completely random things that set my horses off.

My horses frequently spook at other animals.  Particularly Spider.  Vinny and Matilda would much rather eat grass than worry about the goings on outside their pasture, but Spider is always on the alert.    He vigilantly protects his herd from the masses of turkey, deer, squirrels and small songbirds waiting to attack.  And by "protects", I mean that he runs around like an idiot, blowing and trumpeting, while "his herd" ignores him.  Sometimes Vinny joins in the running and blowing, but only if he doesn't have anything better to do right then. 

But, every once in awhile, a truly scary animal shows up.  Like when Spider first saw the neighbor's goats. He spent the rest of the day pacing the fenceline, trumpeting a "challenge" to his new rivals and and circling his herd.  The goats ignored him (because goats are smart), and he eventually gave up.  He had Vinny and Matilda all riled up for most of the day, though.  Or the time another neighbor's pet steer showed up in the front yard.  Even Matilda was scared of that, and nothing scares Matilda.  Truly, non-equine domestic livestock are monsters to be feared.

Today, we barely survived a sheep attack.  That's right.  A sheep attack.

Let's back up.... so as to begin this story at the beginning.

When I got up this morning, I looked out the front window and noted: "Hey, the neighbor across the street got some sheep.  Neat."  I thought nothing more of it.  It is brutally hot here.  My days are consumed with hosing down horses, dumping and then refilling water buckets (my horses prefer cool water directly from the well and I'm a big, giant sucker) and trying desperately to stay cool.  The heat index here is 120 F. It's just ridiculous.  The horses are barely moving, and they're still dripping with sweat.  Imagine my surprise when I look out the window and see them running around like idiots.  Why are they running?!?  It's a million degrees, do they have a death wish?!?

I ran out onto the porch to see what had them so riled up.  Nuclear holocaust?  Alien invasion army?  Zombie apocalypse!?  I saw nothing.  Oh wait, I saw sheep.....

It is over 100 degrees and I am standing on my front porch, sweating profusely, while my idiot horses run, blow and snort at fluffy sheep across the street.  Annoyed, I yell out, "Boys!" (Matilda, being more intelligent, has realized that sheep are no threat and is no longer running)  "Boys!!  It's friggin' sheep.  Stop being stupid and settle down.  Easy!".  Vinny, hearing me yell, stops running and turns to face me.  He snorts one more time, but the fun of it is over.  So, he resumes grazing.  Spider is unconvinced.  He stands at full alert, watching the sheep.  Every so often he looks at me, then back at the sheep, as if to say: "Do you see that?!?!  Do you see those things?!?  They are going to come over here and eat us!  Why are you not concerned?!?!"

I retreat to the air conditioned comfort of the house.  I also make a mental note, "Note to self:  A certain bay horse is bored and needs more work.  Obviously, the heat is not really effecting him."

Really, I don't know what I'd do without him to protect me from the marauding gangs of sheep that torment our neighborhood...

Sheep. Can you see them?  

Seriously, that is the best image that I can get of the offending ungulates.  We live in the country.  "Across the street" means across a highway, plus some acreage.  So, that greyish, sort of sheep shaped blob is the offending creature.  There's a couple more sheep, but they're hidden by tall grass (lying in wait for their attack!).  It's not something I'd be getting upset by, but what do I know?  I'm just a floppy ape with a saddle!


Sheep are still super scary.  It's hard to tell from this fuzzy footage, but they are wreaking havoc on the neighborhood.  Havoc!

Sheep!!!! Do you see them, now?!?

Run Away!!!!!!


  1. My Russell used to panic at cows until the barn owner got a calf and put in in the pasture. Russell spent the day herding the poor little critter until it ended up hiding under the water trough. Cow fear over.

    Get a sheep. *G*

    Horses are silly about stuff like that for some reason. I guess the "domesticated" prey reflex is a bit different than in the wild. In the wild, they would fear dog critters.

  2. I think you're being a little hard on poor Spider. You know at that distance it could have maybe been a killer mountain lion. And here he was protecting you all from this killer and nobody pays attention. Seems like he gets no respect for his diligence.

  3. You never know... they could be the rare horse-eating variety.

  4. I side with Spider.

    Obviously the reason why there are no eyewitness reports about bloody marauding sheep attacks is that no one was left to tell the tale... come on people!

  5. You live in a DANGEROUS country .. after the veloci-chicken here comes the tricera-sheep. Oh come on! You should care more for your equines and keep them safe from all these vicious animals.

    Me, I thought my mare was a city-girl, but yours are not bad either ^-^

  6. LOL! This is so funny! Gotta love Spider. :)

  7. My horse Buddy is also terrified of sheep. A neighbor used to keep some a few pastures over from us. Twice the whole herd of about 15 escaped and decided to crawl through my board fencing and spread throughout my entire field. The other horses didn't really care, but I found Buddy hiding in the run-in shed, trembling in despair. *sigh* He really is a smart horse. His only other irrational fear is miniature horses (which, really, terrify him to no end)...well, and Canadian geese. Not regular geese...just the Canadian variety.

  8. Cute story. My crew are undone by unfamiliar animals too. Although with only two of them in the pasture now (one is staying with a friend), Savanah must satisfy herself with circling Rogo.

  9. There's always something that gets my herd excited. Today, the cows got out, into the horse pasture. Now they are used to cows, they live with them but they're always on the other side of the fence.

    I wish I had my camera when I was calling the cows back into their side. I saw Knot, peeking around a shed as if there was an alien invasion. The other three stood guarding the entry. I know I missed some running.


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