Monday, May 4, 2009

And all along I thought he had e.s.p.

Alan and I have always shared a special connection, probably because it took so long to develop it. He was here five months before he trusted me to wrap my arms around him, and bury my face in his neck...and come up with a big mouthful of dirt. And he's the littlest of the equines, which makes him the resident underdog, not that any of the coyotes around here are buying into that.

Over the last year, Alan has developed an amazing sixth sense. He knows when I'm almost ready to come out of the house and lets out a great big HEE HAW. I absolutely love that sound. I like to think he's shouting out HEY MOM.

While I follow a pretty regular feeding routine, I'm not too precise. For example, lunch is served around 11:30 - it may be 11:42 one day and 11:27 another. Regardless, about a minute before I put my shoes on and walk out the door, I hear Alan, "HEE HAW HEY MOM HEE HAW." We are so connected, he just knows when I'm coming. It's like he has e.s.p.

So imagine my disappointment when I finally realized what was really going on. Like everybody else around here, I am a creature of habit. Before I go outside, I make a pit stop and flush the toilet, wherein the well pump runs for a few minutes and a certain little burro with very big ears can hear it. He has made the connection that hearing the well pump around feeding time means mom will appear in about a minute. What a smart little guy, and what an extra stupid person I am to have not figured this out months ago.


As further evidence that New Mexico cowboys who train 50-1 longshot racehorses that can win the Kentucky Derby are cool, here's a story that appeared this morning on

Derby-Winning Connections Give Roses to Fans

Visitors to Churchill Downs and the Kentucky Derby Museum May 3, the day after the 135th "Run for the Roses," got a surprise gift from the team behind Mine That Bird, the 50-1 longshot who won the Kentucky Derby.

Trainer Chip Woolley Jr. suggested Sunday morning that the mantle of roses worn by Mine That Bird in the Kentucky Derby winner's circle after his victory be placed on the new sculpture of 2006 Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro located at Churchill Downs' Gate 1 entrance. After consulting with co-owners Mark Allen with Double Eagle Ranch and Dr. Leonard Blach of Buena Suerte Equine, the trio decided to give the nearly 400 "Freedom Roses" that make up the garland to Derby fans who were visiting the Barbaro Memorial and the Kentucky Derby Museum on the day after the race.

The garland had been stored in refrigeration overnight in the museum, and at noon was briefly placed over the rail of the Barbaro sculpture in tribute to the ill-fated 2006 winner of the Kentucky Derby. The garland was then removed and Woolley and Allen began handing out the roses, one-by-one, to fans who happened by the larger-than-life sculpture as they visited the museum and Churchill Downs.

"This is a tribute to a great horse," Woolley said. "I wanted everyone to have a little piece of the Derby. We wanted to give something back to the game. We just want to show how important horses really are. That's what this is all about. We want people to know just how important these horses really are to us. They're not just animals, they're a part of us."

A line of fans formed in front of the Barbaro sculpture as they awaited their opportunity for a Derby rose won by Mine That Bird, and Woolley and Allen also posed for photos and signed autographs until each rose had been distributed. The two men greeted fans in front of the Barbaro Memorial for more than an hour and a half until each rose from the garland had been handed out.


  1. Being that little Alan is named after singer Alan Jackson, his Hee Haw is probably also quoting Big Alan's greatest hit (to paraphrase in burro terms) "It's feeding time somewhere".

  2. Alan may not have esp but he's pretty bright!

  3. Well, I think he has ESP *AND* he is one smart donkey! :)

    I admit I too love hearing those brays when I come out the back door. When both of them get going, it is quite the symphony!

  4. Well, I think he relates the well pump kicking on to you coming out. It has nothing to do with the feed! He's just happy to see you. :)

  5. Alan is sooo cute! What a great story.

  6. I just LOVED that story and have laughed to myself several times while working outside this afternoon. I'd say that's pretty smart how Alan puts 2 + 2 together.

    I love the story of the Derby roses.

  7. Heh,'re the one who is trained ya know! He honks and you provide the grub! Smart, smart Linda.

  8. LOVE your pit stop story! Or course, you could test it out if you didn't have that third cup of coffee, that is, by not flushing before you head out...

  9. My schnauzers try to read my mind..sometimes they actually do...I can be thinking about bathing them...not say a word and it is like they know what is going to happen

  10. He is a smart little fella to have put that together, then again he's probably just excited he's going to see his mom.

    I'm still loving the whole Derby story and this piece of it is really nice. It's good to see some people actually care about their horses in the racing industry.

  11. Ha! I laughed out loud at the story of Alan's ESP - so loud that I woke up poor snoozing Roxy, who was lying here beside me. Lazy dog. Funny Alan!! I love it.

  12. Great story...a little Pavlov conditioning come to life, eh? Who knew it'd be a toilet flush instead of a bell?
    Thanks for sharing the Derby story link....I'm so interested in this!

  13. I love this story. Alan is very bright and you are smart for figuring it out.

  14. Alan is way too smart of this own good! I used to say that our donkey was "scary smart". He could figure things out that a horse would never get.

    I love that story about the roses from the Derby! So nice to see people that aren't greedy and caught up in the hype.

  15. That's still pretty smart, figuring out the whole bathroom routine thingy with your appearance at the door. I mean, no offence, you don't hear George or any of the other herd members announcing your imminent arrival like the Town Crier, do you?

    I love that those guys gave away the winning roses and that they made a point of raising the horses up and giving them the honour and dignity they deserve. It's about time.


  16. HeeHee...Alan is just a smarty pants isn't he? Cute...

    Great story about the roses too...thanks for sharing that one!

  17. That is such a funny story! LOL he is very smart.