Bob, our farrier, was here yesterday. As I stood there holding each horse my mind easily drifted back to when they first arrived here as weanlings. Trimming then was very entertaining! Nowadays Zelador and Zeloso are pleasantly boring.
Except six-year-old Zeloso had a surprise for us. He was excellent until Bob and I started talking. At that point Zeloso figured he was no longer the centre of attention and he did something I’ve never seen a horse do. He moved his left front foot an inch to the left, moving a teeny bit closer to Kye’s door and the accompanying hay. Bob had the right hind off the ground making this left front hoof lift a bit tricky. Then Zeloso moved the right front an inch to the left. He proceeded to alternate left and right front feet, INCHING towards Kye’s stall…
After Bob finished trimming Zeloso I returned him to his stall and brought out Zelador. For the first time ever Zelador stood like a statue. He didn’t move his head, didn’t try to chew on the leadline, didn’t shift his weight. I was pondering this “perfection” and finally figured out what was going on. Zelador had a front row seat to Zeloso’s clowning around. I’ve noticed in the past that each Lusitano is extremely interested in his brother’s behavior and invariably has a comment to make. Zelador’s statement was, “I can’t believe that Zeloso was so impolite! I’ll show him how a GOOD horse stands still for Bob.”
Another example of this brotherly competition comes to mind. There was an audience watching Zelador perform at liberty. Meanwhile Zeloso was in the arena being held by Bill, so Zeloso had a clear view of Zelador, me and the crowd. At one point I asked Zelador if he could lay down. He chose to bow. He performed a lovely bow. I asked again for the lay down. Zelador kneeled. I moved on to other things.
Later in the “show” Zeloso had his turn to impress the people with his work at liberty. Early in the session he looked me in the eye and did a lay down. I had to smile. Zeloso was making a comment, “I’m so surprised that Zelador couldn’t figure out what you were asking for. I, on the other hand, know exactly what you wanted and here it is.”
Yesterday, a few hours after Bob left I was working with Zeloso. He was at liberty in the arena when Ann Clifford came in to say, “Hi.” Zeloso was trying to be the centre of attention, but we weren’t cooperating. He did various things. He picked up toys, brought things to me, etc. Finally he walked (more like “bee-lined”) to the radio. THAT stopped our conversation and we instantly focused on HIM. We headed Zeloso off, put on his halter and led the juvenile delinquent back to his stall. Ann commented as we were scurrying to the radio, “He knows exactly how to get our attention!”