Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Ye Olde Pecking Order

I woke up early this morning because my dumb cell phone was going dead and beeps every 30 seconds or so to let me know that it's dying. Sheesh! Whoever thought up that dumb design function needs to be shot! So, anyway it turns out to be a blessing in disguise because dear hubby who usually does the chores in the mornings had decided to leave the horses in today because it was raining. Yeah...so? It's Oregon silly willy, it's usually raining. My thoughts are that if we left them inside every day that it rained, they'd never get outside.

So I head out to put their blankets on and throw their bums out. Don't feel sorry for them, we have two separate shelters and either one of them is big enough to house all of them. And, it's a warm rain - maybe around 45ish...something like that. So I end up putting the blankets on the girls only, they're both mature ladies and deserve a little extra TLC and outside they all go. And of course they expect to have a little extra hay, so of course I oblige. They're so spoiled and it shows. They're all a little "fluffy" if you know what I mean. And while I'm dispersing piles of hay out in the pasture, I can't help but notice their little pecking order shenanigans. Soooo amusing to me!!

Shad is definitely the "lord and ruler" over his herdmates. Everybody accepts that without exception. Even llama bin laden, you know, Merlin. But after that, things get a little sketchy...you do know that entertainment in the country comes cheap don't you?? Well, so here's where my morning time schedule goes all to heck, because I just have to stand there and take it all in. So there I stand out in the middle of the pasture in my nightgown in the rain with my hubby's wool knee socks and my mucks and my winter coat in the middle of 5 horses and 1 llama who are trying to decide just who is really in charge here.

First off, we have difinitively decided that Shad is the number 1. No questions about his authority, and normally Ladde is number 2...followed by Harley...followed by Siri...followed by Kadie...and lastly Merlin, the llama. Sounds simple enough, right?

Not so fast...now the girls will trade off all the time. Seems like they're always trying to decide just who is lead mare for the day. One day Siri is the queenie and then the next day Kadie is the queenie, and then sometimes it depends on where they are, or who they're standing by is the determining factor. You just can't keep up with those two, and truth be told, I don't think either one of them really cares a whole lot. So, they're kind of boring in the whole scheme of things, but they're all a part of the recipe. Even once in a while Kadie can boss Harley around and he's okay with that...because he loves Kadie. However, most of the time Harley delights in his little fantasy that Kadie is his woman and he herds her around and tries to protect her from everybody else and even though Kadie pretends that she hates this, I think she secretly enjoys it (most of the time anyway). But Harley is always king farook over Siri...she's scared of Harley (and he delights in that most of the time) because nobody but Siri pays a whole lot of attention to Harley anyway; he's a pushover and everybody (including Kadie) knows it.

Here's where it can get confusing...now remember that Siri usually rules the roost over Kadie, not always but most of the time; and Harley rules over both of the girls most of the time, but sometimes not Kadie and all three of them always boss Merlin (the llama) around. This is without exception.

Insert Ladde. Keep in mind that Ladde has firmly established his dominion over Harley, Siri and Kadie. He is definitely number 2 in the overall herd's pecking order. However...Merlin (the llama) has set his dominance over Ladde. Yep. Even though Harley, Siri and Kadie are bosses over the llama, Ladde is not. However humiliating that fact, it is nonetheless the truth. Merlin has somehow established enough of an "air of superiority" that it has Ladde intimidated. Well, that and his ability to spit.

Herein lies the key.

Where Shad, Harley (especially Harley, he doesn't give a rip), Kadie and Siri will occasionally suffer the occasional onslaught of flying green phlegm...Ladde - under any circumstances - will not be subjected to this bit of indignity. PERISH THE THOUGHT!! I do believe that Ladde would willingly forego his breakfast before he would digress to the unfathomable and unpardonable act of allowing himself to be spit upon by that llama!!

Instead, whenever Ladde and the llama have a moment of indecision over the rights to a certain pile of hay...Ladde leads with his rather large and intimidating behind. He has really developed walking backwards, with only a slight tilting of the head and glancing behind, to an artform. I do not jest. It truly is something to behold and appreciate; the way his body arcs just so...and he maneuvers with the greatest of ease...around in a circle to place his big old butt right directly in front of the hay - and Merlin...and with the best dirty look he can muster, and intimidating lift of leg...just so...and still the llama stands his ground!!! For the love of Pete! - does this blankety blank llama not know that this 1400 poundish animal could remove his freaking head with just one well-placed hoof??? Well, if he does he ain't lettin' it show...because stand his ground he does with the best of them! Gotta give credit where credit is due. That is one heck of a ballsy llama! Either that...or he's just plain stupid - and I haven't figured that one out yet. And, apparently neither has Ladde because more often than not, his grandiose display of equine superiority and threatening body language does absolutely nothing...and he walks away and leaves llama dude to his pile of hay.

With his dignity intact.

Sort of.

Well, if nobody was watching anyway.

We must all choose our battles...we win some, and we lose some. And in the end, hopefully there's nobody keeping score.

Because if there is...we're all toast.


Yep...I am easily amused.


Train Wreck said...

Don't tell me those beautiful pictures are current? I love the roses. I can't wait till warm sunny plantin weather!

Grey Horse Matters said...

Beautiful pictures, we could all use a little color about now.
I love to watch herd dynamics and pecking orders. They are all so amusing to watch, it's better than TV.

Gail said...

Wonderful flowers and interesting story. I too am amused with the pecking order.

Adrenalynn said...

And now I totally want to come and live with you! It sounds just wonderful :) Lovely photos!!

Jenn said...

The horses don't try to kick Merlin? I've wanted a llama but heard they are really too delicate to survive the roughhousing of horses. I'm glad all of yours get along splendidly, even with the pecking order shenanigans.

The flowers are making me yearn for spring *sigh*

C-ingspots said...

Trainwreck, these are flowers from my yard from last summer.
Jenn, Too delicate?? Merlin is as quick as lightening on his feet and he and Harley play together like llamas. If the horses bug him, he threatens to "spit in their eye" - works like a charm!

Donna said...

The retired horses at my barn live with a bull, he thinks he's a horse. A huge black and white horse, with horns.

Gail said...

Your mail keeps coming back so please send me your address and I will mail your book.

Molly said...

I love to watch herd dynamics. Fascinating to throw in a different species and see what shakes out.

allhorsestuff said...

too funny...you out there in your nighty and wool socks in the rain..composing this post!

wonder if the spitting thing may work for human dynanics... when they are acting animal...like asses?
I may have to learn to lobb a lugie!

SSC~ The Domestic Diva said...

I liked the story and loved the pictures of the flowers.

Carolynn said...

Sounds like a great morning to me, except for the rain. I'm not a fan of rain, yet here I sit in the Pacific Northwest, a literal rain forest. Must get help....Pretty flowers, BTW.

Anonymous said...

beautiful day... a definitely different view from here.. where we just got another 2 inches of white stuff

trot on friends, trot on

greymare said...

I love the flowers. It is -27 celcius here with three feet of snow. It will be June before we see any flowers. What a beautiful thing on a horrible day. FV put me onto your blog. I am working on a project about the ghost wind horses. Found a out of print book on them. I am checking more sites etc. Could you please send me a copy of Siri's papers and any other information you have regarding these horses for my research. I love Siri, and her daughter. They're beautiful. Let me know if you can do and we will connect with contact info. Thanks. Keep posting warm beautiful pictures, Will help us get through this long long winter.

allhorsestuff said...

Where -o-where did my Lorie gal go???
Missing you and prayin!

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Jeez, I was having a hard time following. I'm a visual kind of person, so you need to lay it out for me with photos or drawings or something. lol!

But llama bin ladin...aka llama dude is the coolest critter in the barn. Our two are fearless and calm, too. Horses don't scare them one bit. lol!

Beautiful flowery photos.


Molly said...

Excuse me but I'm the only slacker blogger out here. There's no room for others.
Just say you and yours are fine and all will be well, thank you very much.
I'm missing the Spotted Wonder Horses!
My sister in Corvallis writes of snow. I don't know of what she speaks. Do you?