Near Death Experiences

Lest anyone get the impression from this blog that Henry is a perfect angel unicorn, let me ruin that for you right now. While it’s true that yes, he is pretty much always good when it matters, he is also a cheeky little shit, always planning and timing his naughtiness very deliberately. It’s devious and clever, which shows intelligence, and I respect that. To be honest it’s one of the reasons I love him, he always keeps me laughing, but don’t tell him that.

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Probably thinking about what naughty thing he’s gonna try next

Whether it’s because of Henry or just mere coincidence, Presto is starting to show the same quality. He’s certainly less sophisticated about it, and nowhere near as sure of himself, but I do find him doing little things he knows he’s not supposed to, peeking at me out of the corner of his eye and doing the horse equivalent of cackling evilly to himself. I have one Cheeky Shit and one Cheeky Shit In Training. And their combined Cheeky Shittiness has almost landed me in the dirt twice in the past week.

Last week I wanted to give Henry an easy day before foxhunting, so I hopped on him bareback, grabbed Presto, and we went out for a pony in the fields. I do this all the time. This day, though, it was SUPER windy. The wind was howling and crap was blowing all over the place. Henry is always a little extra spooky in weather like that. Maybe it wasn’t the best day for a bareback pony, but, ya know… I ain’t got no sense.

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y’all should definitely be taking bets on when I hit the dirt, because it’s totally a matter of “when” and not “if”.

Butting up to the back fence line of our barn’s property, they’ve been building a big gross new subdivision. It’s loud, it’s noisy, I hate every inch of it, but the horses are used to all the commotion by now. What I hate most about it, though, is the trash. The construction workers seem to think that walking a few feet to the dumpster is impossible, and instead they just leave their trash out, or, even better, throw it over the fence into our field. Rarely a day goes by without drink containers, paper bags, and plastic bags full of some kind of trash slowly rolling across our otherwise beautiful fields in the wind, or stuck in the fence and fluttering loudly. I have yelled at the construction workers before. I will probably yell at them again. At this point I just want them to be finished so that I can be annoyed about something else besides all their damn trash.

Anyway, on that day it was no different. There was a big, split open bag of Whataburger trash sitting just across the fence line. Since I’m big into horse torture (according to Presto) I marched the boys right up to it so they could face the scary flapping thing. Henry was a bit skeptical, but Presto didn’t even seem to notice. I nudged them closer, and Presto finally seemed to realize it was there, reaching down with his nose to sniff it.

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oooo what dis?

And then… HE. PICKED. IT. UP.

Presto, greatly amused with his newly acquired toy, came right at Henry’s face with the flapping plastic bag.

Poor already-spooky-because-of-the-wind Henry just about had a damn heart attack. A foot splayed out in each direction for a split second before he spun and took off, which only made the bag-wielding baby follow behind him, of course. I came millimeters from going off the side, clinging to Henry with everything I had, while also trying to hold on to the idiot bag flailer. Luckily in his confusion about what was wrong with Henry, Presto quickly lost his grip on the bag, looking very sad as it plopped back down to the ground. After a few seconds I was able to convince Henry that he was safe again. Of course, he spent the entire rest of the ride jigging with his eyes bugging out the sides of his head, clearly traumatized.

You’d have thought I learned my lesson that day, but nah.

Do not believe this innocent face, it is full of deception and lies

On Sunday, we headed out for another easy ponying hack, bareback and in a sidepull, since Henry had foxhunted the day before. I figured he might be a little tired and stiff and enjoy a nice long walk, but hahahahahahahahahaha that’s funny. He had that devious look in his eye before I even got on, I think seeking some kind of retribution for the bag incident. He was walking in that very deliberate way where I knew he was just WAITING for something to spook at (a trick he employs sometimes just for funsies), and it wasn’t long before a rabbit popped out of the bushes up ahead, giving him the perfect excuse. He spun with no warning, scaring the crap out of half-asleep Inca and Presto, setting off a chain reaction of scattering baby horses. I had to let go of Presto lest I get dragged right off the side of Henry as they went opposite directions, and I swear I could hear Henry laughing at all of the glorious chaos he had caused. For the second time in a matter of days I almost went flying off the side of a spooking Henry, but this time it was all Henry’s doing. Retribution achieved.

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As soon as he got that out of system he was magically cured of his spookiness (omg it’s a freakin’ Christmas miracle), and I made him trot Presto around a little bit in the other field since CLEARLY he wasn’t tired at all.

Pretty sure Henry has no regrets and says it was all totally worth it, although I’m sporting sore muscles in some really strange places right about now.

28 thoughts on “Near Death Experiences

  1. Oh my, I am DYING over here at Presto’s antics. I love it. LOVE. IT.

    I also get trash because the wind by me always blows west to east and there is a high school football field right across the street from me. I get all their stupid trash from football games and I hate it with a passion. Hate. IT. My pastures get McDonald’s bags, chip bags and styrofoam cups.

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  2. Ohhh the old spook-and-spin. That’s Juice and Dutch’s (my bff’s horse) favorite tactic on winter trail rides when they’re just dying to flip out about something. Always amusing depending who’s leading if they get to the point they’re both turned around running in the opposite direction, since Dutch is twice Juice’s size. Good job staying on!

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  3. Oh man, I’ve had a horse pick up a sheepskin and wave it at all the other horses *just to spook them*. They were all verrrrry skeptical of it, except Reddums, and the little shit knew exactly what he was doing when he grabbed it and waved it around. I swear I will never forget the gleam in his eyes as he watched 10 horses scatter to the winds…

    Horses, man. Some of them are wayyyyy too smart for their own good.

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  4. At my barn, I swear they pick straws or something to determine who’s going to be the cheeky bastard of the day. Then the rest of the horses play it cool waiting for CB (cheeky bastard) to make their move. They’re all in on it, have to be!

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  5. LOL oh Henry, being more spooky than your little brother ought to make you feel slightly ashamed. Or at least a bit embarrassed haha. Glad you haven’t fallen off yet! I figured when you said you had to let go of Presto there would have been subsequent shenanigans haha.

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  6. OMG. I just laughed out loud at work. And now everyone knows I’m a horrible slacker.
    I give you credit for even attempting to pony a baby horse whilst riding bareback with a sidepull through large open fields. I just fell off my chair thinking what that would be like…

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  7. I know that very deliberate “Looking-For-A-Monster” walk oh so well. That’s HILARIOUS. I can’t wait for Presto to be undersaddle. You will legit never have an easy day again.

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