10:00 p.m., time to check on the horses, give them their dinner, top up the water buckets, fill the hay nets and muck out…again. (Third muck out of the day.)

As I walked to the barn I noticed that when I inhaled the February night’s air the inside of my nose got very cold. I thought, “Now, that’s unusual.”

I entered the barn and the six horses said, “Hi!”. I start with Spring Song, the youngster. She’s learned that if she pounds her hoof on the stall wall the food doesn’t appear. She stood politely and received her dinner.

Pax is the next horse. He, too, would prefer to make tons of noise with his hoof, but managed to control this impulse.

The third horse is Blue, but for some unknown reason I walked by him to the fourth horse. This is the first time in many years that I’ve changed my routine.

As I headed down the aisle to the fifth horse I heard a strange noise from the vicinity of Blue’s stall. I looked up and saw that Blue’s BIG feed tub had been pushed into the aisle. His feed tub is the size of a muck out bucket. It’s a “Pre-vent” feeder which has scooped out circles in the bottom. The feeder claims to prevent fast eating, prevent spillage, help prevent colic and prevent choking. I went down to Blue’s stall to inspect things. Why would Blue push his food OUT of his stall. I got to the tub and saw that it was empty. I was amazed and couldn’t help but think, “Wow! Blue really is smart!” Who would have thought that he’d reason out and execute the perfect “trick” to get my attention and his dinner! Usually his feed tub is two or three feet inside his stall. That horse had to deftly push it under his stall gate. This is not easy to do. There is a mere inch or two clearance between the top of the tub and the bottom of the stall gate. Now that’s impressive!

When I got back to the house I checked the outdoor thermometer: -18 C. I’ll chalk up my “Blue brain freeze” on fatigue brought on by yet another cold February day. I’ll bet Blue’s praying for a heat wave.