There’s an addition to the four horses at the barn on the hill. It’s Teddy, a Dutch Warmblood, owned by Marcus’ people. Yesterday was his third day with the gang. He’s very interested in everything. His head is always hanging out the opening in the top half of his stall door. He’s soaking in what every other horse is doing.

He’s my best sleigh bell ringer. The first day, he wouldn’t eat any of the treats. The second day I brought carrot pieces and he joined right in.

I’ve shown the group the carpet on several occasions, so I decided it was high time that the sweeties actually rolled it. I started with the old pro, Lulu, who’s been to my arena (a.k.a. horse playground) twice.

Lulu rolled out the carpet three times. I started at her door and sent the carpet diagonally to the wash stall. She was very polite. Her approach is “I’m a chipmunk.” She kept hoovering treats until she was forced to chew. I did the same thing with Teddy. I set the carpet at his door and sent it diagonally across the aisle to the wash stall. He did the carpet twice. He is not a chipmunk. He picks up a few treats and eats them. He does keep his head down (doesn’t believe in wasting energy by raising and lowering his head).

The other three rolled out a smaller portion of the carpet in their stalls. Duke’s owner commented several weeks ago that he is very wary of different surfaces under foot. I was interested in seeing what he thought of the carpet. I’m happy to report that Duke had no problem putting his hoof on this new surface. He had ample opportunity to put his foot to the side, but chose to place it on the carpet. Georgie figured out the game and did not place a foot on the carpet. Tilley enjoyed this activity. I was thinking that she’d go stand near the back of her stall, but no, she was very inquisitive and not the least bit worried.

Of course, all of them got to watch Lulu, then Teddy. They made it pretty obvious that they expected to have a turn, too. I chose to do the three in their stalls because I didn’t want to have the carpet outside their stalls with the problem of the horses poking their heads out to help.

I almost forgot to mention Marcus and the blue tarp. He hasn’t seen it for a few weeks because it’s been in my vehicle along with other toys for the barn on the hill. I took it to the arena yesterday morning and had it spread out when I brought Marcus in. He did a very light version of a “snort” as he inspected it. I placed lots of tiny carrot pieces all over it…including the middle. In a matter of minutes he had all four feet on the tarp as he ate the treats in the middle. He did not back off of it. He wandered on, munching the treats.

For one of our fundraisers I had a curtain of strips of long ribbons. I’ll recreate that and see if he can go through it. Zelador carefully positioned himself so that a ribbon went between his eyes, rested on his face and went past his nose. He did this while moving! There’s a photo of it in one of the past blog posts.