Jan 3, 2010

Of Flying Mice & Horses

Yep, I caved and put blankets on the horses. It made me feel better.

There is nothing like another couple inches of snow to brighten my day! It’s my last day of vacation and I absolutely have no idea what to do with it. One-degree temperatures do not lend it to very much. I’ve cleaned closets – two of them, and the pantry. And I had a mouse fall on face. If that isn’t a hazard of cleaning, I don’t know what is! A lot of good those three cats are doing us. I am thinking maybe they should get a taste of the one-degree weather! Seriously, we haven’t had a mouse in the house for years. But then we never had a dog that could open (and not close) the exterior doors. Dang Ritz anyway!

And if you think I am pretty blasé about a rodent on my face, you are wrong. Granted, mice don’t freak me out like snakes do. If a snake fell on my face, I would never come back in my house again. Ever. I would have to live in the barn. And you think I’m kidding! Not!

In the case of the flying mouse, I jumped over three dogs and one cat as I ran out of the room screaming. Ritz took that as an opportunity to chase the cat, which may have went for the mouse, had the dog given it half a chance. But then again, look at him! Probably not! After I woke up Case to tell him what happened, I abandoned the pantry job until John could secure the area. I was pleased to see the little critter’s lifeless body in a trap the following day. Sorry, PETA folks, I’m a farm girl. We eat beef and kill mice. Excuse me while I go wash my face …. Again!

To make this horse related, there is one cardinal rule when riding with me. If you see a snake on the trail, don’t look at it, don't point to it and don’t tell me about it. Just keep on riding like nothing is there. It is truly a phobia with me that is not the least bit funny. I get the heebie-jeebies just thinking about it right now. When I was young, a neighborhood kid threw a dead snake at me and I still feel it touching my leg like it just happened. And that was forty years ago. I don’t forget or forgive; God rest that kid’s soul, whatever his name was....

At Cowgirl Weekend 2004, I was riding John’s horse. Ginger had always scared me and I never quite trusted her. When a rattlesnake was found on the trail, there was no getting around me not knowing about it. The only thing I could do was get the heck out of Dodge. It was the first and only time I have ever opened Ginger all the way up and let her run. And run we did. Fast! You'd have thought a den of snakes were after us. Although the memory of the snake still sends shivers down my spine, that race from terror still makes me smile. We were flying.

I realize I may be opening myself up to torment by admitting this online. I’m sure some prankster will think, “let’s scare Tammy” and want to sneak up on me with a snake. My husband knows not to do that, my kids know not to do that and those close to me know not to do that. Broken trust is the quickest way to end a friendship. Ask the boy from the hood all those years ago!

And with that said, I’m going scoop snow. Again.


  1. Blankets: Have been trying to wean my boys off them. But our issue is it will be warm a few days, then WHAM, we get nasty cold stuff again. Later this week we are to have some single digit weather at night. Blankets will be out for sure!

    Snakes: Don't like them, but fascinated by them a bit. IF I know they are there, and a safe distance away. Hank hates them, and anything that looks like one in the trail. Have had him trotting along at about 12mph, slam on the brakes and throw his head to the grown to get a close look at the dirt mis-colored by an ant-trail, then see it was nothing to be afraid of, and as I am gathering myself from being jetted off over his neck by the slamming of brakes, he goes back in to that 12mph trot, slamming my butt back in the saddle with a big "whump" noise, as I grab mane to keep from being left behind him in the dirt. An experience that is comical to watch by others riding with me, but by no means fun!

    Mice: Have not had any in the house for awhile. The newest cat would LOVE to find a real mouse to play with. He has slaughtered all the toy ones, ripping their bunny fur hide away from the little plastic body, leaving it lifeless in the hall for us to step on in the middle of the night.

    Better than a real mouse with its head decapitated I guess.

  2. Anonymous2:49 PM

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  3. You so need to come to Alaska. There are NO SNAKES here. I used to live in Florida, Tennessee and Kentucky where there are lots of snakes. Hated them The cottonmouths used to hang from the trees and swim in the lakes.

    I had the same experience with rats as you did with the snake. I cornered one in the barn and it ran up my leg inside my overalls. Creeps me out now, forty some years later.

  4. Jonni - I think a yo-yo of temps like you have is harder on the horses and I would probably be more apt to blanket then, too. I took the blanket off my gelding this afternoon. He has never worn one but for one trailer ride in the winter. I noticed him trying to scratch his belly on snow drifts so I set him free. He looked relieved!

    Funny about Hank and snakes, unless it is you riding him! And good thing he doesn't leave you behind ON THE SNAKE!! Yikes! Last spring my son & I rode down the road. We stopped to let the horses graze & I look down & UNDER my horse was a snake. I screamed, kicked my horse into gear and took off down the road. My son figured out pretty quick what the deal was. Mom always told me they are more scared of us than of them. That was not the case that day!

    AK: We've been to Missouri in the fall and love to ride there. A friend went in the spring & warned me never to go there in the spring. There were these black snakes breeding in the trees and some would drop into the campsite. I would have packed up and left as soon as I caught site of the first one. In S Dakota, one camp we had to water from the creek not the pumps. My sons saw a snake. So I become a midnight water stealer... sneaking to the pump after the other campers went to bed to get my horse a bucket of water. I couldn't go near that creek! No snakes in Alaska? I'm there! Oh, wait. There is the pesky snow thing you got going there.... LOL!

  5. Oh my, I'm sitting here laughing so hard I have tears running down my face. Only because I can relate to this whole thing. I'm actually a afraid of mice and everyone that is seen is soon to be a dead little mouse in a trap. If you're in my house your butt is mine. Stay outside.

    I'm so afraid of snakes, everyone knows to NEVER bring one near me or tell me if they see one. I've had a few experiences but the best one was years ago. While pulling weeds around the pool I saw a snake (garden variety) I screamed,ran and actually jumped the narrow end of the inground pool. My son still can't believe that. I was a lot younger then too. And imagine my surprise when my 4 yr. old granddaughter volunteered to have Lucy the Python or Boa(who cares) draped around her neck at some pre-school show. Her mother(also afraid) and me were way in the back.

  6. I totally agree with you, snakes scare me like crazy!! I can't stand to see them, and if anyone tries to chase me with a snake? They better run for their lives!
    I also have an intense fear of spiders, but I have gotten better about them. I can now kill them myself, sorta, without waking up my other half to do it!
    We have a couple cats that kill the mice, have never had one in the house, probably wouldn't be too happy about that though!
    Thanks for the laughs! Even though it wasn't funny to you!!

  7. It was -18 when I did chores this morning. Since when does it get THAT cold in Nebraska? I might start packing my bags soon!!

    I don't usually blanket until I'm ready to start shedding out for the show season, but this winter all bets are off. Violet will have her turnout on until spring now...

  8. So the good thing about this awful weather is that there are no snakes, huh?

    I wondered about blankets when I saw the temp this morning. I think I would have caved too. It's beastly out and horses aren't known for their common sense.

  9. Whoa, scary story about the mice falling on your face! That would scare me much more than snakes.
    Our horses don't have blankets, but they sure do have thick coats to combat the frigid Utah temps.
    This is my first trip to your blog, and I really enjoyed browsing through.

  10. My grandmother had a snake phobia. Growing up we didn't have poisonous snakes, but where my grandparents lived there were all sorts of them, so we weren't supposed to touch them but get my grandfather who would determine what kind & how to dispose of them (the poisonous ones, anyway), but not ever say anything to my grandmother. I must have been about eight or so, and we were down visiting. I found a snake I didn't recognize, so I went running up to the house to get my granddad. You know how adults will spell things in front of kids so they don't know what's up? Well I ran into the kitchen where my mom and my grandparents were all having coffee, tugged on my granddad's arm and whispered (loudly) in his ear, "Daddy," (what we all called him) "there's a s-n-a-k-e!"

    I think my mother and grandfather about peed themselves laughing. I still hear about it.

  11. Did you kill that kid? You said may he rest in peace...

    None of that stuff scares me and I'm a city girl! In fact, hubby and I had a little tiff because he wanted to kill a snake I found in the woodpile and I didn't want him to. Blogged about it. Think it was called "The Do-Nothing Technique." Com'on cowgirls, get a grip! lol

    Now the cold. Did you say "one degree?" Yikes! That's where I'm a wimp. Wimpy, wimpy, wimpy. It's in the twenties here now and I CANNOT TAKE IT.

  12. Scoop snow and make snow cream!



  13. Oh You!
    My mare does NOT get much of a coat...and I do not feel badly in the least for blanketing her..it keeps her warm and cuts down on my feed outgo..and my "Horse elbow" I have developed...too much mudd is quite painful now! I am getting too old for the de-mudding!
    Yea..with ya..snakes can make me jump like the best of them!
    Hang in there...warmer days are around the corner(right?)


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