Goat TV, Horse Entertainment

It was warmer this afternoon and the horses whinnied eagerly when I came into the barn to mix up their supper, voicing their usual complaint that I am the slowest supper-preparing human on the planet, and my hideously slow prep means they could starve to death, falling in a heap of bones, if I don’t get a move on.   (I’d like to see them open four different containers, measure four different measures with the correct amount of Supplement A, Supplement B,  Wormer, and Feed, and get those into the correct feed pans any faster! Ahem!)

They were, however, were clearly distractible.   Birds zoomed by–heads looked toward birds.  A cow bawled somewhere in the distance–heads looked toward the sound.   The neighbor’s goats were in the lot next to the south horse lot and their attention wavered.  Then R- took his garden cart to the hay barn to bring some more bales back since I was feeding from the last bale in the aisle and they alerted to its odd little noises.   I kept working.

Just as I called Tig to the big barn gate to come in, both horses were completely distracted and suddenly took off for the south fence.  I looked.  Someone was running in the goat lot, and the goats were running too.  Bleating and running.  Running and bleating.  The human had a rope…made a loop…whirled the loop.

On our side of the fence between, the two horses showed amazing lateral moves, staring at goats while shifting right, left, right, left…heads and tails high, ears pricked, eyes practically out on stalks.  It was like a sofa full of fans leaning this way and that watching a crucial football game on big screen TV.  Minus the pricked ears of the horses.

Whenever the boyz get all hyper about the goats, I refer to it as goat-TV, the premier horse-entertainment channel.  (They also watch cattle, but “cattle TV” doesn’t roll off the tongue as easily as “goat TV”, and the cattle are always in a much larger field, goes all the way to the dry creek, much farther away than the horses can go.  They *were* interested when a young bull found some downed branches and started mock-fighting them.  ANYway.)

Rags and Tig weren’t paying any attention to me…the guy roped a buck goat by a back leg; the goat bucked; the guy tried to grab it; much exciting leaping and yanking and so on went on while the horses passed invisible popcorn back and forth.   As the guy moved to the far corner of the lot with the captured buck goat, the horses went even wilder, loping around feigning kicks at each other, and then running back to the fence to see more.  I went inside.  I can’t just let them come back up to eat in any order, because Rags is a food-obsessed little guy and will try to sneak Tig’s feed (and special supplement) so Tig has to go in first, and then Rags, to be sure Tig has a chance at his own ration without a scuffle.   (Why not put them in separate stalls to feed them, someone’s going to ask. Because Tig is stall averse.)

So I left them for half and hour, roughly, went back out, and they made it clear they were seriously insulted by having been denied their supper ON TIME.   I said Yeah, yeah, I know, come on, Tig, come up to the gate.   I suppose, said Tig.  But it wasn’t fair.  I let Tig in; he went straight to his pan; Rags followed Tig at a courteous distance and veered off to his pan.  I watched for a bit and then put out some flakes of hay to hold them until Night Hay time.

Never a dull moment.

And having looked at the little video of a panda eating bamboo, I have to say that horses eating either hay or grain (or for that matter grazing on grass when we have any) are far more stress-reducing than a panda.  For me.

4 thoughts on “Goat TV, Horse Entertainment

  1. your descriptions are wonderful, I’m chuckling here as I’m reading and imagining the horses watching the goats. We have neighbors that moved in last summer and about a month or so ago brought home two baby goats. The other day we went out for a walk and the goats were out of their pen, the neighbor was using the chain saw on a fallen eucalyptus limb and the goats were nibbling on the bark. One came right up to our fence as if to say “Hello, pleased to meet you” and Ebony (the border collie mix) was NOT at all pleased with the idea and went into full blown get out of my world mode. Honey, (the mini golden retriever – if there is such a thing) was interested in visiting with the goat to the point that I was glad I had her on the leash because she knows how to climb over the fence and go visiting. It was all I could do to hold on to Ebony because I was laughing so hard as she barked, she doesn’t stand still and bark, she bounces up and down hitting the ground with her front feet. The goat looked at her for a bit then turned and trotted off to resume snacking on the tree.

    1. I love it when the baby goats are playing. We have a problem in that these are miniature goats, so the babies can get through the horse fence, which has four inch square mesh, and at a later point in growth can stick their heads through, and then try to pull out, and their little horns catch. But still it’s fun. When we hear the little ones bleat (they sound more like a cat meowing at that age) we go out and find them and put them back on their side of the fence. When we built our fence, the neighbor had only cattle, so the fence was planned to exclude cattle. Goats go through a cattle fence like water through a sieve. Goats compete directly with the deer we’re trying to be a resource for (we’re actually trying to be a resource for all levels of wildlife) so we don’t want goats or cattle on the place.

  2. Hi – The horses keep you young. Would your babies be receptive to TV? I would think not.

    But they are fun, says someone who does not have to do the work.

    Stay safe and sane,

    Jonathan up here in New Hampshire

  3. I “pack Ribbon’s lunches.” I use gallon ziplock bags, measure out the day’s quantity of each element, and make them up 40 or so at a time. I have a bunch of small plastic tubs (8 for $1 at the Dollar Tree) for her supplements (she gets biotin and MMX), and all I have to do to prep her feed then is to add the hot water half an hour or so ahead of horse-chore time, then pour in the pre-measured supplements, stir, and dump the bucket in her feed tub.

    It works for us!

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