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Turkey and Monkey business

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The Turkey of LoveThe perils of visiting a yard to go help people with their horses... The Turkey Of Fear.

I went to a yard where I know there are various species of poultry from when I have visited before.

I have previous bad experiences with Geese, but have been trained to show no fear as I would a horse that was invading my space, and have used the "Cape of Power" (my jacket) to provide me with the confidence to walk on by (rather like a bull fighter). I have even progressed to the "gloves of power" as in the gloves are neither here or there for the gander, but it gives me focus to keep my intent clear (and not to turn tail and run!). Thank you Jo.

So, today I feel confident. I am 10 minutes early and so let myself into the yard where the stables are. I see a Turkey and his bride, but hey, I can front up a Gander, and a turkey is much less dominant, like a big chicken, Right?

I walk in, and as the (rather larger than I remember) turkey comes over, I get out the "gloves of power" and with confidence step over to the stables.

Hmm, the turkey is pretty persistent, moving ever closer, looking rather intimidating, and sadly it appeared that the owner was still in the house. No fear, "gloves of power" at the ready I step towards the exit. Oh no, the Turkey of Fear had me, would not let me pass! He looked at me with beady eyes, and came closer. In fact I had to step behind the wheelbarrow.

I tried to get a grip and front it up, to no avail. I walked towards him and he came right back at me, I skipped back behind the wheelbarrow.

I looked around for options and the only fence near enough for a dash would have been into the Goose enclosure. Hmmm, that option did not seem ideal. Mr Gander protecting his wife.

The turkey and I walked around each other at the wheelbarrow, but I was under no illusion I would not reach the gate to the house unmolested. The turkey had me.

I was saved, there was a shavings fork in the barrow. I mentally apologised to the turkey, picked it up and used it as a mobile wall to keep him at a safe distance. He walked, I walked. The shavings fork stayed between us.

He was a clever old thing, that Turkey. He knew. He kept his distance and he escorted me to the gate with dignity.

Note to self ... Gloves of Power do not work on Turkeys. Plus, Turkeys are a lot more scary than I ever realised!

But then...

I was up front, and told the owner straight up of my problems, and fears. I was a little dubious when told that the Turkey was chasing me for a love and a cuddle. Eh?

I was also told that he was a she. TBH I did not get that close.

She did chase me, round the wheelbarrow et al, but because she wanted a cuddle.

I was rather sceptical, but trust the owner, and so met my nemesis again. I had a cuddle.

She was friendly.

I feel foolish.

We posed for a photo.

Turns out, she was the Turkey of Love!

At least I never professed to be a poultry expert. I think I am best sticking to horses!

 

Meanwhile, back at the ranch..

Jay is booked on a clinic with Warwick Schiller next month. I knew there would be spectators, but since I booked the clinic has also been made an official BHS training day for Instructors' continual personal development for their instructor register. This will mean more spectators, and will also change the dynamic of the clinic I think.

Jay is still barefoot, it is saving me money and time, as I am shaping his feet myself. To be honest he is doing it mostly himself by road walking, I am just having to smooth off the edges. His feet look FAB, and we have some Easyboot Gloves to wear out hacking.

Because of the clinic I am having him out and about a bit more to ease him back into being a proper working horse. Last week he went in the box for the first time since October, I rode him up the track to Pollington (see Jaycam photo) Ride to Pollingtonand David picked us up in Jay’s car for the trip home. Jay was excellent, and old pro… well, he should be, he is almost a 10yo now!

 

Then, 2 days later we drove to an indoor arena, that Jay loves. It has mirrors so his mate can do schooling too, plus we had music. He seems to have remembered the vast majority of his schooling. I was, in fact, for a few minutes, Charlotte Dujardan (or however it is spelled). The photo is Jay Man waiting to get back in his posh car.Jay by his car

 

Yesterday we hired Sykehouse arena, to do first JUMP since October. Jay was jolly, when I asked for walk to trot he did an eeeiiiiiiieeee, and went straight to canter, but was very mannerly. We only did a few X poles and 4 uprights, after all it was Jay’s first time jumping with no shoes

 

Today we enjoyed hacking, in fact I have been musing over the various things we meet in this "quiet" village that we live in...

 

It seems to be a month of the strangest animals, first the Turkey of Fear, then the Turkey of love, then one evening last week David and I were out driving only to see two people apparently wrestling an emu over a five bar gate, and bizarrely the emu type bird was wearing a red collar and lead... No we are not on hallucinogenics.

David would not stop for a photo, but I was intrigued enough to text Jo, who is obviously my "go to" person for feathered friends, and she lives a few hundred yards from the gate in question. She knows her stuff, and assured me that it would likely not be an emu, but would be a Rhea (like an emu but smaller, and less ferocious). Google Images confirms that.

Then a male and female duck took up residence on our pond (much to the Moor-hens' disgust) and a pheasant started to strut around the lawn. We even had a Heron check out our pond, but it found it too small I think and it flew away again. I feel that poultry of all types are stalking me.

This evening I took Jay-man out on a ride, and on the way home a dog was blocking our path. A the owner was catching the dog we got talking and I told her that I did not really understand why Jay was sometimes tense when passing her house, when he has two dogs at home. I know that two Great Danes leaping at a fence, that is about 5 ft above road level already is quite a sight, but for goodness sakes, he does pass well, but remains suspicious even now after almost 4 years.

She told me that it may be the monkeys.

MONKEYS?

Yes, they breed monkeys, and apparently they scream sometimes, especially the baby monkeys.

Poor Jay, I thought he was moving to a quiet place, but what with cattle driven up and down the village, exploding bird scarers going off (due to start up again soon), the odd military jet that can be so low you can't see it over the top of the house, occasionally Chinook helicopters, as well as the general farm machinery with regular tractors and JCBs, the groups of cyclists off the Trans Pennine cycle trail, the visiting motorcycle groups, the caravan club, the various pony and traps or horse and carriages, the shows opposite with the arena buzzer, two haulage yards, the canal crossings with the metal bridges that sound Ker Plung Ker Plung as you go over with added boats to watch, donkeys, wild red deer, the intercity trains in the next village, the goats on their trampoline, yes really I have a photo,Goats on their trampoline the odd bouncy castle, the chicken shed that plays radio 2 all of the time (not scary in itself, but Jay is suspicious as radios are not usually played in the middle of a field), the sheep, the recycling day where the man rides on the back of the lorry breaking bottles into bins. ... and now monkeys... When we ride out from the farrier's place we also have pigs, and a troll bridge where you can see between the wooden slats to the gully and stream below, and also a wind turbine by the path.

Maybe Jay's riding country is not so quiet after all, and I appreciate my horse all the more for taking it all in his stride. At least I know why he has such an interest in that particular house, whereas the other myriad of dogs barking at fences is of no interest at all.

Monkeys, I never would have guessed.

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  1. Anne

    Not being that horsey, I don't always understand the finer points .... But this blog was brilliant for me. Informative and it made me laugh in the right places

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