There are days – like these hot, humid summer ones where I wonder why I own a horse. I don’t do well in this weather and neither does my horse. But then he is so interactive with me, loves to see me coming, would like me to just hang out in his paddock all day long. He has a great mind, he is always thinking and can be very funny at times. We call him the fun horse here at our barn.
The other day I decided to bug spray him a third time as he sweats it off in this humidity. I was climbing into his paddock between the strands of electric tape, being careful to balance myself so I don’t touch the tape and get a shock. Levi reached over to check out the bug spray bottle in my hand, because he is terribly bored and who knows it might be food! He caused me to lose my balance. My left leg touched the tape giving me a good quick shock and shocking Levi in the nose at the same time. Being a level headed guy and quite intelligent, Levi, just took one step sideways and shook his nose. He lowered his head in submission, eyes avoiding mine. He knew it was his fault we both got shocked – he was embarrassed and a little worried he might be in trouble. I laughed and pointed at my leg where the fence got me, his eyes slowly followed my hand then went back to looking down.
I love these moments where we connect, we both know what the other is thinking. It’s what makes owning a horse worth all the hard work, money, time and worry.
He has been zapped before by the fence but it’s been about 2 years. He was quite indignant about it that day, jumped backwards a step or two and gave me a dirty look. He clearly thought I did it to him.
When I first got him I spent time with him every day in his paddock doing all sorts of things with him without a halter on, so he had free choice to participate or walk away. I groomed him, put things on him, handled him everywhere, taught him to lift his feet and leave them up. During these sessions he would migrate towards the tape and I would be constantly telling him “no, it’s on” and pushing him back. I was nervous if he did get a good zap he might spin around and knock into me. He’s big so I could easily get hurt. He was only 2.5 years old so he would not know any better. Apparently he found this amusing as it became a thing he does. He stares directly into your eyes while he puts his nose close to the tape waiting for the reaction, which he always gets. He still does this to me and to anyone that goes in his paddock to groom him, bug spray him, etc. Although he is 5 now, it’s still a concern because he is even bigger and although his reaction to the tape is mild, he is a horse and he can step on you or into you and really hurt you. So everyone tells him no and pushes him away. Much to his amusement.
Sometimes we all wonder if he thinks it must be off for us to climb in like we do. Now he knows – nope it’s on. LOL Next day when I climbed in to bug spray he gave me a wide berth! He remembered. 😊 We’ll see how long that will last!
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, or mechanical, including photocopy, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from Marianne E. McCarthy.