The opinions expressed in previous entries may or may not express the current opinion of the author.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Respecting No

I was very glad I answered the call to travel over an hour to trim one little miniature horse. Of course, I'm always glad to meet a new horse and new people and see new places. But the main reason I was happy? ..... Miniature cows!

Who knew that such creatures existed? I knew there were smaller, heritage type breeds, such as the Belted Galloway. But bona fide miniature cows? Never knew about them. The owner had a four year old Western Heritage miniature cow, about to calve. She was about the height of a Shetland pony, although much longer and stockier looking, and possessed of a pair of magnificent horns. The other mini cow was an adorable Jersey yearling heifer, whom I thought at first was a spring calf from this year. The owner said she would probably only grow a couple more inches in height.

It was fascinating to talk to this woman, as she has experience riding cows, and teaching them tricks. She plans to teach her Jersey calf - who already knows how to bow - to pull a cart. She said she finds cows easier to work with than horses, and quicker to learn.

The miniature horse was a pretty dark brown mare, four years old, who had been sold away for a while and then returned. The owner told me she often looked grumpy but was in fact a sweetheart.

She was pretty good about her front feet, but when I went to do the hinds, she started kicking. The owner was surprised at her behavior and said she'd never acted like this before. My first thought was to hold on and make her put her feet down politely, on my terms. But then it came out that this was her first trim since returning home. Looked like probably the farrier at the other place had given her a bad experience with her hind legs. The owner said the little mare had never been one to tolerate rough handling and that another farrier in the past had caused her to be temporarily difficult about trimming.

So, rather than insisting on anything, I set her feet down immediately if she wanted, even if she was "rude" and kicked or snatched. Within a few minutes, she became cooperative, allowing me to handle her hind feet without any fuss. A very intelligent, well-intentioned little horse, but with a zero tolerance policy for bad manners!

Look - seven years old, and this bull is only waist-high .....

From the International Miniature Zebu Association website
Full grown cows ....

My daughter-whose-favorite-animal-is-the-cow happened to accompany me on this trimming expedition. So now guess what she wants for her next birthday.

No comments:

Post a Comment