Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Proverbial Horse!

“You have to get back on the horse that threw you.
                                 Unknown


Do you remember that old saying? I have always believed this saying and believing in its concept has gotten me through many tough situations in my life. I find myself in one of those situations now, and I am now in the process of climbing back on that proverbial horse after feeling like I have been thrown and fearful of being thrown again. This does not involve a real horse, as we do not own horses.

I was bottle feeding Annie last Thursday morning and as per usual she followed me around after draining the bottle quickly, always hoping for more. I usually just walk around mingling with the other cows and calves until she gets bored with me or one of the other cows or calves distracts her and I can continue on my way without her.

This works very well everyday but there is a little calf that looks identical to Annie that has now taken a liking to me and follows me also. I was walking around after distracting Annie when “Cute Calf” starts following me, her Mother decides to chase me down the hill. I was scared but OK. Some Mothers become very protective of their calves after birth and this usually disappears after a couple of days. I understand this and always make sure not to place myself in danger and have always remained aware of my surroundings. I tread lightly and am careful, trusting my instincts after years of experience. I thought there may be a rogue Coyote around at night making the cows just a little more anxious.

I spent most of that day taking care of another Mom and her calf which was having some problems, later in the afternoon I took time to feed Annie her second feeding, and while Annie was draining the bottle I was watching ”Crazy Mom” and “Cute Calf” on the far side of the herd. Cute Calf was eating and her tail was wagging and Mom was calm, she was staring at me but I never had another problem, I chalked it up as an isolated incident. I did have to call My Hero to come home to help me deal with that other cow which turned out well and things were apparently back to normal. Exhausted after that busy day I put the chasing incident out of my head.

Friday morning I rushed back to feed Annie early in the morning, as usual I walked around the cows and calves, Annie became distracted and I continued on to go and check the new Mom with her bull calf that had that problem on Thursday, both were doing well. I watched out of the corner of my eye as “Crazy Cow” and “Cute Calf” ignored me and everything appeared to be back to normal. I rushed back to the house to head to town. I had lunch with My Hero and had a visit with my sister Lizzy and my Mom and then headed back to the farm to go feed Annie her second feeding.

I drove the tractor down the icy lane and drove right up to Annie, shut the tractor off and hopped down and watched Annie drain the bottle. I threw the bottle in the tractor. Annie followed me around while I checked the other cows. I looked over the hill and saw yet another new Mom with a little newborn calf. I went to check and make sure everything was all right; Mom and newborn bull were doing fine. I watched as the calf started eating and Mom was licking her and mooing. I noticed “Crazy Mom” over on the other side of the field but I could not see her calf. I figured it was with all the other calves that were jumping and running around and never thought anymore about it. I walked back towards the tractor with Annie close behind. I heard something behind me and turned around to see “Crazy Mom” snorting with her head down right behind me and running, instinct had me start running too. I tripped and fell.

I lay there on the snow and covered my head and prayed she would stop, I screamed as loud as I could. I then turned to peek behind me and seen all the cows running in the other direction including “Crazy Cow” and Annie. Thank Goodness. I was shaking and I could feel my heart beating so hard I thought it would come through my chest. I pulled myself up on my weak shaking legs and brushed off the snow. I limped quickly over to the tractor, terrified that she would come back; I pulled myself into the seat. I drove to the barnyard made my way to the house and then I fell apart. I could not stop shaking nor crying.

Thoughts of what could have happened race in my mind. I have no idea why she stopped or for that matter why she started chasing me in the first place. I am OK but I will not be out snowshoeing for a little bit  while my knees, arms and hands heal, it was quite a jolt to my joints but I am OK. I am upset about that but I am OK.  

I am more afraid that I have “lost my nerve” and gained a whole lot of fear. In farming with livestock you need to have your wits about you, the job can be dangerous and you have to have some “nerve” to function, fear will get in the way. You need a little fear but a lot can make it difficult or impossible to do your job.

I am still having a little trouble thinking about getting back on that proverbial horse but I have to do it. “Crazy Cow” and “Cute Calf” will be going down the road as soon as the ice is off the lane way and we can load them up, I'm afraid I cannot trust her now. I am still afraid and nervous about Monday morning and going back out there but I will do it.

My thoughts are jumping between why, and what I could have done differently, I am pretty sure that this was an isolated incident; it may be as simple as “Crazy Cow” had mistaken Annie for her calf when hers was out of her sight. Or maybe she does not like my pink Cadillac Boots. I may never know but I will be making sure that it does not happen again.


Now I just have to get back on that proverbial horse. I will not be wandering too far from the tractor; Annie will be coming to me.

(I wrote this on Sunday while sitting at the kitchen table wondering what will happen when My Hero goes back to work in the morning) I know I can do this. My Hero compares it to being in a car accident and getting over that fear; who knows he may be right. I hope he is right. Face the fear. I am OK.

Later.

49 comments:

  1. What a terrifying experience! Yep, when out with the cows and calves, stay near the tractor as much as you can!

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  2. Please take care B...I am such a worrier.

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  3. Now I'm going to worry about you! I know you'll be careful...maybe that bear whistle will work to scare the cows away too!

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  4. That is a frightening experience but I'm glad you're (basically) okay.

    Fear is a tool, a reminder to pay attention...you, I know, are too strong to let fear rule you. My Pa used to carry a duck whistle or kazoo with him; he swore the noise would make them shy away. Maybe if you get something that makes a loud, weird noise?

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  5. Sorry B. Not what you needed for sure. Would the cow respond to a loud whistle as stated above? Be careful and keep us posted.

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  6. The reality of almost being trampled would leave me shaking for many days!
    Ouch to the sore knees and elbows, etc!
    I would have cried from both.

    Can you keep Crazy and baby in another pen until they go down the road? If such a possibility exists, maybe then you can feel safe in the regular area, knowing crazy is kept elsewhere?

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  7. Animals can be so unpredictable. You could maybe carry something that makes a loud noise like those things they take to the hockey games. This cow has done this twice now so please keep an eye out.

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  8. Of course you're nervous! That was a very scary incident and I am so glad you are, overall, ok. There if one thing I have come to know about you and that is that you learn from everything and I know you have learned from this. Keep your eyes open, my friend. I pray for your safety always.

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  9. I can imagine the fear that gripped you at that moment. You poor thing. Hopefully the crazy one will be gone soon so you can get your confidence back. Jeepers! Be safe out there!

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  10. That sounds like a really scary incident. Worse than a horse bolting and being on it's back.
    I know you can stare that Crazy Cow..they all have different personalities like we humans. You take care my friend - best of luck - M xoxoxox

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  11. I am having trouble commenting on this, so I hope it goes through this time. I am so glad you are OK. I have been in that exact situation. I know you can do this, but please be careful.

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  12. I know exactly how terrifying this is. The same thing happened to me when I was 7, and I was saved by our family dog - a lab. Any chance you could get a big scary dog to go on rounds with you?

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  13. that was quite a scare! i think crazy cow needs a sedative in her hay! glad you came out of this with nothing but few scrapes, hon.

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  14. I certainly know the meaning of "getting back on the horse", a few times throughout my life. Thank you for dropping by North of Wiarton & leaving your comments. Should you like to be "linked" in on my Ontario Bloggers post of today, please email me at justnorthofwiarton@live.ca
    "Just Me"
    Cindy

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  15. Hey you all...she carries a whistle...it's for bears! Whoda thunk you'd need it for cows too. Oh my gosh Buttons. You are scaring me again. I am just sitting here at the kitchen table reading this, just like the 'bush' stories, knowing you are ok or you wouldn't be writing it, yet still sitting on the edge of my seat wondering if all is ok.

    So, how are you doing now?

    Cindy Bee

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  16. Egads! How scary! I am so glad that you are ok but for some bumps.

    I have recently had to come to terms with my own sweet Lizzie-cow in that she is all grown up now and can be a danger to me.....even if she doesn't mean it.

    Glad you are ok! That saddle will be waiting when you're ready! ;)

    *huggies*

    Mimi
    The Goat Borrower

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  17. I am so glad you are OK, Miss B. I would be shaken too. J is always telling me to be careful and pay more attention.

    I was run over on 2 different accounts when I was in High School and tend to take the safe road.

    Hang in there!

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  18. Oh that's nasty Buttons. I am glad you are okay.

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  19. First- I'm glad you didn't get trompled- maybe your scream did the trick. Likely the cow thought Annie was her calf.
    I used to work the alleys at a cattle auction, the first thing to be run through was the bulls. The first bull was usually ok- but when the buyer bought his next bulls, and they all had to go in the same pen which was very stout, and about 20'X20', the bulls would all be hooking each other and charging the gate... which I had to open to let the next bull in.... nothing like an adrenalin rush to start the day! The cows were just as bad too, the only injury I sustained working there was from a cow charging the gate before I could close it. Banged my eyebrow, which of course bled profusely, but I put on a bandage and kept working.Fear is healthy- it keeps us from doing foolish things, and spurs us on to find ways to do things better. A good start is shipping that cow!

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  20. i totally understand. i am so glad she did not trample you. and i hope you can sell her and her calf soon so you can trust the others again.

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  21. I am glad you are OK Buttons. That was quite a fright you had.

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  22. Glad you are okay!!!

    Many people do not realize the danger of working cattle. When a beast weighs so much even a misjudged step from said beast causes much damage.

    Maybe carrying a cattle prod would be a wise investment...but you still have to keep your eyes open.

    I would say farewell to Crazy Cow and Annie with no tears. Remember my bottle calf? Even they can knock you for a loop.

    Not to scare that horse out from under you but please be careful. A neighbor we had for years was killed by a cow she had raised on a bottle!

    Maybe for while view the herd from the tractor seat.

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  23. Buttons, I know this is your line of work...but girl, worry about you. Stay close to your tractor if can....hugs

    Auntie M

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  24. Your Hero is right. Who knows maybe Crazy Mom had a scare earlier and was just spooked. We both know cows are docile except for their calves.

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  25. You might want to carry a can of bear spray. That will stop almost anything.

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  26. we are so glad you are alive...you are smart. you are brave. and determined.

    :)

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  27. I'm so glad you are okay. I know what you mean about being so aware of what is going on...Our neighbor got rid of one of his bulls because he could see there was something different about him. He always was aware and always had a escape route when in with the bulls and never turned his back on them, only this one was character was different.
    Stay safe!

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  28. I had a scary start to riding my horse after having the baby,she kept rearing up on me when I tried to saddle her,I'm now, almost a year later, starting to get over it.
    Animals can be strange.
    Glad your ok and glad you are shipping her!

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  29. I am so glad your ok pretty scary thing to have happen ! I have been there that's for sure . I was pined up against the barn by a Ram they are no small potatoes when angry and very strong and hard heads, I was almost trampled by a herd of cattle when I was 6 years old from a neighbors field my Nana saved me from that and have been stepped on kicked and bucked off of a horse and pinned in between a workhorse and the stable wall and this is just a small fraction of what I have had happen . Isn't farming fun ? believe me it is scary at times . Mama cow seems to be either nuts or overly protective . I do hope you get your confidants back , it will take a bit I know but like you said ya got to get back up on that proverbial horse !

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  30. I felt the same way when one of my sister's bulls got out of the pasture and I had to lead him back with a bucket of corn. I had no idea what he was going to do. All ended well, but animals are unpredictable.

    Keep your wits about you -- maybe Annie shouldn't be allowed to follow you as you check on the rest -- just sayin'.

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  31. Buttons, I double what Gail stated above. Glad to hear your okay and didn't get severly hurt.

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  32. Oh my gosh!! How brave you are, and that is just the reason you will get back on your horse... You are one brave woman!! I would probably start carrying a stick though, not sure if it would help.

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  33. Yikes! I am so glad that you are okay! I'm sure your guardian angel shooed them back the other way. I hope you are doing okay, and healing up physically and emotionally. big hugs!

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  34. ooohhh b, i have no idea what to say, except that i am so happy you are o.k.

    i have no experience here and zero fear. i always go right up to animals and i know i shouldn't. you are brave b and i am going to be more cautious!!

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  35. oh Buttons, I am so glad you are ok. Sounds so scary :(

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  36. Oh my, that does sound like a scary ordeal! I'm so glad it turned out the way it did. I didn't realize how aggressive cow moms could be. But I know guinea moms are incredibly aggressive, so I guess it's just a mom thing! Still, very scary. I'm glad you're ok!

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  37. Dear Buttons, after all your years of tending cows and their calves, that experience would have been just awful.
    Thank goodness you screamed; I'm sure that's what stopped her in her tracks - it would have been an unexpected sound to them all.
    She's obviously got an overload of the protective gene in her and relocating her sounds like a plan!
    Facing your fears and getting back out there again will happen - when you're ready. Nothing wrong with taking a bit of time to think about things and let yourself work through a fright like that. Your first priority is yourself when all said and done.
    All the best and remember, it was just an isolated incident - like with humans... there are always the more challenging ones around to try us aren't there.
    Cheers for now :D) xx

    p.s. have to include this B, it'll give you a chuckle... I told my hubby your story and he said that you should go up to that cow, look her straight in the eye and say "if you do that again, I'll eat you!!"

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  38. Oh my word!! I'm sooo glad she stopped and you are pretty much okay! Working with livestock is dangerous and we sometimes become too complacent, I know I do! Selling Crazy Cow and Cute Calf sounds like the right thing to do...

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  39. I am glad you are okay....do take care.

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  40. I am glad you are safe. She and her calf certainly need to go. You cannot have a charger around. I hope the days go by quietly.

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  41. you were very lucky, sending healing thoughts your way..

    Gill

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  42. Wow, that was scary. Glad you are okay now. Just saying hi to a fellow Ontario blogger:) - Irma

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  43. Well, I knew that bulls could be ornery but I never knew that cows could also give you a run for your money (or life !). Glad your 'trip' didn't also require a trip to the doctor.

    And hello to a fellow Ontario blogger !

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  44. So glad to have found your blog! What a story - I'm glad you didn't get run over by a cow - that would not be the way I'd want to exit this world (although think of the possibilities for an epithet!!!!)

    Thanks so much for your kind comment on my blog today. Happy Ontario Bloggers Day!

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  45. I have been meaning to come back since yesterday to comment. I so know the feeling, working alone with cattle can be very dangerous, and I have been in your shoes, more so I did have a momma take me down in the barn years ago,I never crawled so fast in my life! Glad she is going on a bus, no need to keep a cow that will hurt you . Carry a rope , or a rattle paddle or a cane please ,it might give you enough time to get safe

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  46. that's scary!

    having read backwards...i already know u made it through that next step...the next morning!! =)

    when i used to live across the street from a couple that had cow pastures...i would wander through there looking for bones & stuff. one day...a BULL...a gigantic steer...started staring at me, THROUGH me...got this look in his eyes...i turned & RAN!! he followed. luckily i was closer to the fence & never thought i could LEAP over it. i did that day! no problem. i didn't get back on the proverbial horse. no more wandering over there for me...not until the cows were moved to their other field close by!

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  47. Nice to meet you Buttons (via Cindy's Ontario Blog day)...your new follower.

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The mind grows by what it feeds on. J.G. Holland

Thank you so much for your comments, they mean more to me then I could ever express. Hug B

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