Today a most unusual thing happened.
The horses totally understand coming in from the paddock in the afternoon. Sherlock (age 27) and Kye (age 18) come to the gate when I call. I take both of them to the barn, side by side. We walk over 110 metres.
When I return to the gate Zeloso (the younger Lusitano) is waiting at the gate. I reach over the fence, place the halter on his head and snap on the lead line. I open the gate and he walks through. Zelador is at least twenty metres away, eating.
I take Zeloso to the barn, return to the gate and Zelador is standing, waiting. Of course he gives me a â€œbig smileâ€!
However, at least twice this scenario has been rudely changed. Zeloso has hesitated at the gate, Zelador has come to the gate and Iâ€™ve placed halters on both of them. I shoo Zelador to the side, let Zeloso through the gate and the little devil hesitates. Within a heartbeat Zelador is through the gate (always on the far side of Zeloso). Zeloso then goes through the gate. Zelador is standing quietly or eating (still very close to me, no lead line, totally free to do whatever heâ€™d like to do and go where he wants).
The other two times I successfully maneuvered Zeloso (who was attached to the lead line) back into the paddock, then led each, one by one, to the barn.
Today Zelador and Zeloso were, once again, outside the gate. I had Zeloso on the lead line and he did not let me lead him back into the paddock. He stood there and looked at me. I abandoned that plan and decided to take hold of Zeladorâ€™s halter (before he stopped eating and started moving in some totally unacceptable direction) and see if I could lead the two together the 110 plus metres back to the barn.
As I sit here typing I still have trouble believing how polite and kind those two were. They walked on each side of me like theyâ€™d done it all their lives. Hmmmâ€¦.
I got to thinking and realized that the boys had been trying to tell me, â€œHey, we can walk together!!! Just like the big guys!â€ Thatâ€™s when I remembered Allen Pogue saying that he always tries to have other horses watching while heâ€™s schooling horses. Horses learn by watching and when you teach the â€œwatchersâ€ they grasp things quickly.
Wonder what the boys want me to learn tomorrow.