It was 10:00 P.M., time for night check. I opened the barn door and sensed something warm, large and soft near me. There is a night light in the barn, to the right of the door, but two winter blankets are hanging between me and the light. I moved a tiny bit to the right and turned on the lights. Ah…mystery solved. The warm, large, soft thing was Zeloso. He stood beside me, blinking as he became accustomed to the light. He’d brought one bale of hay (hadn’t started nibbling on it, yet) from near Kye’s stall to the front door. The bale travelled at least 44 feet.
Pax’s stall is to the left of the barn door. The hay net in front of Pax’s stall, once filled and ready for night feed, was only half full. Zeloso had moved it about ten feet and busied himself with emptying it. The rest of the barn didn’t look all that bad which led me to believe Zeloso hadn’t been loose too long.
I had the night feed containers in my hand. Zeloso zeroed in on them and politely followed me the length of the barn to his stall. No lead line or halter was necessary. He followed happily. There’s nothing like liberty training to help a horse follow you willingly! Zeloso was greatly relieved to be back in his stall. I thought about this and wondered if he was too proud to return to his stall on his own, no matter how much he wanted to! Once in his stall I placed his dinner in his feed tub. I closed his stall door and placed the special bolt in the slot. This is the system Bill put in place the day after Zeloso’s last break out.
As I was feeding the remaining four horses I went over the evening’s activities. I brought the horses into the barn around 4:00. Allen Kalpin was preparing Blue for a ride and we started talking about bubble blowing. I showed him how Blue excelled at this activity and he took some photos…lots of photos…most were of “air”. It’s very difficult to take a photo of the horse and the bubble with a phone camera. We needed a video because you never quite knew when the blow might happen and the bubble appear. After Blue and Allen left for the arena I played with the remaining four horses blowing bubbles. Everyone improved. I left the barn at 5:50. Bill had a lesson on Zeloso from 5:30 to 6:00. Usually he returns to the house well after 6:30. Today he’d returned at 6:08. (Hmmm…unusual…and, I was wondering if this quick exit allowed Bill the time he needed to take care of his horse. When I found the warm, large, soft Zeloso he did not have anything on him, neither the cooler or his stable blanket.)
I started tidying up the barn aisle. I noticed my grooming kit on the side of the aisle. The bubble blowing wand was not where I’d left it (in the box). The wand was lying on the floor. The bubble bottle was knocked over beside it. Hmmm….perhaps Zeloso was trying to get in some extra bubble blowing practice!