The other day I decided to take Midnight for a walk, just the two of us. There are two other horses to care for and limited time, so we don’t get a chance to walk a lot. Our interaction is mostly just me feeding him, brushing him, cleaning his feet, and putting him back in the pasture.
So we started down the road. Midders wasn’t in any hurry, and we were just moseying along when he dropped back behind me.
Now, Midnight has this “game” he likes to play: drop behind whoever is leading him, and then head-butt them to see if he can knock them down. I watch out for that one, because a couple of winters ago he “won”:
I was bringing him in from across the “pasture” at his boarding barn. “Pasture” is in quotes because in reality it was a couple of acres of fetlock-deep mud and filthy puddles. I was paying way more attention to keeping my boots from being sucked off than to the mean little black horse behind me.
Bad idea. First thing I knew, Midders head-butted me hard. Down I went. Splash! Right into the muck. I was lucky that I landed on my arms and hands and not on my face! But one boot remained stuck in the mud while my foot kept moving.
Cussing, I stood up. Midnight, I swear to you, was laughing hard. He just stood there watching, with a nasty little twinkle in his eyes. I cussed some more, and then started laughing myself. “Yeah, you got me!”
And of course, there was an audience. When is there NOT an audience when something embarrassing happens?
So these days I never let Midders walk behind me. He’s mostly given up trying, so when he dropped back, I assumed he wanted to walk on the left side of me instead of on the right. OK. So I moved the rope, behind my back, from my right hand into my left.
Then Midnight moved over to the right again, so I switched to the right…and then to the left when he moved that way. It took me a couple more moves before I caught on and turned around. Yup. There was that twinkle in the old guy’s eyes—he’s got a new game.
Love that mean little black horse.