Saturday, October 5, 2013

Give Up The Goat

Last month, my daughter turned sixteen. (A little stunned by that one; where oh where did time go?) Our dining room mantle is still covered with cards, and one of the cutest came from my mother. It has a drawing of a horse and the message:

It's time to ask for a pony again.

The joke, of course, is that my daughter doesn't need to ask for a pony. She has one. You would think said animal would be the key to living happily ever after, right? I mean, isn't that what every girl dreams of? (Well, maybe not every girl, as this amusing ad points out.)

Now, however, she wants a goat.

Say, what?

A goat. Yes, that's right. I've finally gotten used to writing enormous checks each month to pay for the stable and hay and horse shows and vet bills and hoof trimming and trailering and tack. And now, she wants a goat.

Don't get me wrong. The goat is by no means replacing the pony. No, no, no. The goat is supposed to be a friend for it. It's called, "a companion animal." The concept, I guess, is that horses are naturally social. Having a goat (or, in some cases, a pig) in the stall with the horse is supposed to make them happier and less rambunctious. 

We happen to own a rather rambunctious equine.

The owner of the stable where we board my daughter's horse calls him, "a punk." This is said with affection but also with conviction. He's a purebred Connemara and has a lot of attitude. His very first week with us, he reached over his stall and tore the collar off of someone's coat. With his teeth. He's been known to bite my husband, my daughter and a few weeks ago ... moi. 

Have you ever had a horse hickey? Try to avoid it.

Last year, our pony broke out of his stall. (We still don't know how he did it. After that collar episode, he had a metal gate as well as the usual wooden one.) He ran amuck all night, eating any and everything in his path, and cleverly removing all the blankets from hooks in the tack room and strewing them about. Since then, he's lived in what we call "the stall of shame." A truly escape-proof jail of sorts, with stone walls and iron bars, down in the pony barn. Apparently he isn't mature enough to hang with the other grownups.

Is this really a horse who deserves a companion animal? I think not.

My daughter disagrees.

What else is new?

Here's a text conversation we had yesterday (while she was allegedly in school) ...

Her: We need a goat look at how well they get along with the horse

Me: That's not your horse

Her: But its a horse and those are goats

Me: Duh

Her: I want a goat

Me: What next? An elephant?

Her: No just a goat :) 

Me: You do the re$earch, plan how YOU pay for it and get straight A's.

Then we'll see.

Oh, and clean your room.

Ahhhh. The digital sound of silence.

If you enjoyed this post, order a copy of my new book Lovin' the Alien at

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