When we - Mr. Clean, Shaggy, and the in-laws - first moved out here, we bought 30 acres of land. We picked out a little spot near a giant oak tree for our future house and there was plenty left for our current house and one for the in-laws. Well... that ended up not happening. My MIL became quite ill and the pile of medical bills just kept getting higher and higher SO we sold 19 of the acres, tripled our initial investment, and paid off their med bills in full. That acreage then traded hands over and over a few times, with nothing going in next door to us.

I, for one, was thrilled. I like not having neighbors. I like not having the ISSUES that neighbors come with. Not that I'm anti-social or anything... it's just that, out here, neighbors can sometimes come with questionable baggage.

When I was growing up, we lived in a neighborhood where everyone had 3-5 acres of land. We had horses. The neighbors along our back fence-line had poodles. Lots of little yappy balls of fur, who were CONVINCED they were herding dogs, and therefore CONTINUALLY came through our fence to chase the horses. Amazingly, the neighbors then became vehemently upset when they caught our horses running down their dogs. Go figure.

My sister, who also lives on land and has horses -- she has a neighbor with horses, too. Except HIS horses have no boundaries and are constantly breaking through the fence to visit THEIR horses. I can't tell you how much money my sister has spent repairing fence (that the neighbors refuse to help pay for, citing that it's not their fault their horses have boundary issues).

Like I said... Baggage.

We've been blessedly ALONE out here for almost 14 years - the nearest house a 1/4 mile away in any direction. It's quiet. There's no neighbor drama. No one complains when the dogs bark at deer (or other animals) at 3 o'clock in the morning.

About two weeks ago, my FIL calls me:

FIL: Hey! Did you notice your horse has some visitors?
Me: What? Are the dogs in the back pasture again? I'm going to wring their necks if they're playing in the pond. The last time, they brought DEAD FROGS back with them. And pond stink!

FIL: *laughing* No, not the dogs. BIG visitors.
Me: IN the pasture WITH her?? What are you talking about? Who is visiting?
FIL: Not in the pasture. Next door.
Me: **running to the back door**
Me: Ohhhhhhh. Hahaha. That's funny.

There were cows in the pasture next door, the acreage we'd sold. My horse was FUHREAKING out, though. She's never seen cows. She didn't know WHAT to make of the funny looking four-legged animals next door. I walked out there to calm her down. Doodlebug came with me and we brought the dogs - to acclimate them as well, since they also have never seen cows and I didn't want them trying to get out to chase the poor beasts.

Pretty cows. With cute little calves at their side. They were headed away from me and down the fence line. Val - my horse - was speeding up and down the same fence line, her eyes bugging out of her head.

Now, a lot of cattle people I know use the funniest manner of noises to call their cattle in for feeding time. Many, I've found, use the old Soouuuieeeeeeee pig-calling sound. I tried it. And then those big buggers turned and RAN back towards us. HUNGRY. And me, empty-handed.

The horse freaked. The dogs freaked. Doodlebug clapped and cheered and told me I rock, because now he was seeing them up close enough to pet. Heh.

We hung out. We acclimated. We chastised any barking that occurred. And after a while, everyone was happy.

Last week, my FIL called me:

FIL: Hey! Did you notice your horse has some visitors?

Me: Yeah, the cows. You told me last week.
FIL: *laughing* No, not the cows. She's got something else now and they're REAL friendly.

Me: Not IN the pasture WITH her?? Right? RIGHT?
FIL: Not in the pasture. Next door.

Me: **running to the back door**
Me: Ohhhhhhh. My.

There was Val, hanging out on her side of the fence. And on the other.... a group of horses, some with babies at their side! They were nuzzling each others' necks and basically doing the getting-to-know-you horse dance. It was VERY cute. One big Belgian draft was particularly interested in making friends. He hung around a little longer than the others but then wandered off with the rest, in search of green, green grass to munch. I thought: How nice for Val to have some friends next door. (and they have enough room and enough nice grass to NOT want any on our side of the fence)

I got a call yesterday:

FIL: Hey! Your horse is ummm, well... she has a visitor again.
Me: Yeah, the horses. I saw them this morning.

FIL: Umm, yeah. Except you might want to go look.
Me: ** running to the back door**

FIL: *crickets chirping*

It turns out, I should have looked a little CLOSER at Val's new Belgian friend the first time. This time, I could see from a FEW HUNDRED YARDS away that he was not only a boy... he was an INTACT boy. And a boy who was VERY READY for boy business. Any my girl?? She was shoving her Hoo-Ha up against the fence, ENCOURAGING him!!

Just so you know what I was up against....

This is Val:

She currently stands about 16 hands high. She's a decent-sized girl (Dutch Warmblood and Arabian) and might have another inch or so to go before she's full-grown.

The naughty, naughty stud in question... well, let me tell you. The world's tallest living horse is a Belgian who stands at 19.3 1/2 hands. The world's largest Belgian stood at 19.2 hands and weighed a whopping 3200 pounds. Yes, you read that right. Each hand = 4 inches. You do the math.


Our neighborly testosterone machine was about 17 hands and was quite a bit heavier than the horse shown in the above picture. And when I reached the back of the yard - Val's pasture directly across from me and Big Boy's to the right - he was up and hanging OVER the fence, trying to do his business.

Now, you tell me... how exactly do you plan to disengage the P0RN-FEST about to happen? With the you in question being a scant five feet in height??

Having experience in breeding horses, I can tell you one thing. You DON'T just walk out there and lead your mare away. You don't walk out there AT ALL. Not unless you want your last words to involve a mouthful of dirt and hoof. And also? My horse and I are on the same cycle, making it doubly dangerous for me to go anywhere NEAR a stud horse. Oh yes, they do love the smell of women "in heat".

Here's what I did. First, I flipped out. I ranted. I screamed. My girl was about to be plundered by a marauding pasture pirate.

Then, Doodlebug RAN for my lounging whip (basically a four foot sturdy length with another two-three feet of whippy end). Val hates the lounging whip with a fiery passion. She knows it means "work" time and having a dainty DIVA attitude, absolutely detests being told when and where to work. I snapped it in the air and squalled a big, "Yahhhhh, Get AWAY from her you OVERSEXED BEAST!" because things like that just randomly pop out of my mouth when I'm freaking out.

It worked enough that Val removed her Hoo-Ha from the fence and Big Boy retreated back to his side.

For about 10 seconds.

Then he began to try and come THROUGH the fence because dammit, that girly beast smelled GOOD to him. It didn't help that instead of running away completely, Val stood only a few feet away from him and tossed her mane and shimmied her hiney back and forth, teasing him. She pranced and flitted and flirted and... I wanted to STRANGLE her.

I had ONE chance or we were in deep, deep horse manure (and I'd be a GRANDMA next year). I sent Doodlebug running for the shed again, this time to put a little feed in her bucket. Val might be a dainty diva but, well... the horse is a PIG. She's a walking stomach growl.

As soon as the feed hit the bucket she took off, leaving the poor blue-balled stud hanging out (in every way) at the fence. A quick lock of the paddock gate and she was contained.


The stud became ENRAGED at being left behind, unsatisfied. He ran and roared and reared and HOLY COW, he started pushing down my fence!

In the paddock, she pranced and flirted and tossed her head, calling to him, ENCOURAGING him to come on over. The slut.

A few phone calls later, the people living on the other side of the pasture (who are currently leasing it from the owner) managed to get all of the horses out and have agreed to only let the cows in from now on. Thank goodness.

The only problem?

I've been working my TAIL off in the house this week so haven't been paying much attention to the goings-on outside. And after checking Val, I have to honestly say... I can't tell if she's coming in season or going out. If it's the latter, there's a very real chance she might be bred. I might just have me a little BAGGAGE myself next year. I don't THINK so... but Good Lord, there's no tellin'. Wooo JOY.

And I didn't even GET to the part where Doodlebug asked what exactly that pasture pirate was trying to do to Val. You have fun imagining how to explain horse s-e-x to a 10-year old while his eyes are bugging out at the sheer size of the member in question.
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