Trick Horses

In 20 degree weather I finished up hammering the insulators into the wooden posts, all ninety four of them. I locked the gates and counted the nails left in my work apron. Old fashioned sounding, it serves an important function; it handily holds a hammer and nails. I counted the nails to make sure I didn’t find one in one of my horse’s feet later.

The new residents were milling around at the end of the field towards the house. They weren’t paying much attention to me doing my chores. Pecking order was almost in order, the bay mare, little at 15.1, is much smaller than the big 16.3 white mare, but she seems to have the upper hand.

I stuffed some peppermints in my pockets and went over to the fence line and started to unwrap the mints.  I love to give horses mints. The little hellion came over with her sweet face on and daintily took the mints from my fingers.  Reminding me of a top bird dog who has the softest mouth in the world, Hellion hardly touched my fingers as she secured her treats.

While the hellion is enjoying her minties immensely, taking each one and chewing them then reaching for another, she’s still has a bead on the white mare.  I figured I better entice her over to a post while the other mare got herself in line for her mints.  Hellion came over towards me as I left a mint on the top of the fence post.  I moved quickly. I got to the third fence post and as I stretched my hand over the fence top, and before I could handily dish out the treats; I saw a dash, and whirl as Hellion was on the white one in a second. The White Queen was vanquished.  She was background noise for the moment.

Mmmm, I figured I better change my strategy. The White Queen really wanted the treats and was willing to trot over and get them and then take off as quickly as possible before the little hellion got her. We did this several times, crazy as it seemed, and it worked.  I’d leave one on the fence post, the hellion would nibble it and I would leave quickly for the third post. Meanwhile a flash of white behind the bay as she dashed with earnest towards me and I stuffed three mints in her mouth. She’d leave quickly while crunching her treats.

No one was bloodied during the process including me.