Toddlers

Living with my horses this week has been pretty fun. More fun yesterday when it was 90 degrees, rather than the other days when it was 110 degrees, but you know… pretty fun anyway. I love being the one taking care of my boys, and being able to look out and spy on them like a total stalker whenever I want.

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creeping on the boys from the bedroom window, as one does

It has also been… entertaining. Neither Presto or Henry is lacking in personality, and while their dynamic is always really amusing to me, this week it has been Next. Freakin. Level. As I was describing some of their antics to my friend Stacy, who has two little kids, she pointed out that the behavior of my horses was not that dissimilar to that of toddlers.

I don’t have kids, nor do I want them, so I didn’t really see it until she pointed it out, but man, she’s not wrong. How do they resemble toddlers, you might ask? Well, remember Monday’s story about how the whole reason I went and got Presto was so that he could be Henry’s emotional support animal? So like… I got manipulated pretty hardcore there, let’s admit it, by Henry going on hunger strike. He was totally the kid in the toy section at Walmart having a full blown temper tantrum because I won’t buy him a toy. I eventually caved and gave him what he wanted, to stop the tantrum. That was just the beginning. Because by bring Presto in, I really just doubled up on the toddler-like behavior.

When I got home from work on Monday afternoon, Presto (who was in the paddock that Henry’s stall opens out into) had figured out how to work the door latch and oh so kindly let Henry out. He also pulled the halter down off of where I’d hung it and chewed on it/trampled it into the dirt. I mean, ok, so I don’t have direct evidence that Presto did it, but WE ALL KNOW WHO DID IT.

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Things that have PRESTO written all over them

They were both just looking at me like “oh hello… you’re home early…” when I pulled in the driveway. Turds. Henry, in true jerk-hole Big Brother form, had pinned Presto down in the corner and wouldn’t let him leave (cue me yelling: “I BROUGHT HIM HERE FOR YOU, WHY ARE YOU LIKE THIS!”). I removed Henry from his guardpost and hosed him off, since he was boiling alive from standing out in the sun like a grade A idiot, and put him back in his stall. Then proceeded to watch him just stand there sulking, not eating his hay, because clearly I had ruined his life.

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I have gotten wise to their mind games, so I decided to try an experiment. I moved his hay net from safely tucked inside of his stall, and hung it on the front wall where Presto could reach it. Henry immediately changed his stance on the hay situation. I don’t think he wanted it, but he definitely didn’t want Presto to have it, and started eating with gusto.

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Wait… he wants it?
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CANNOT HAS

He’s been eating his hay ever since I hung it there. Finally, a point for me.

I left them yesterday morning feeling pretty smug. I’d acquired a snap for the stall door, so Presto couldn’t open it again, and hanging the hay in that spot continued to work well. Pret-ty proud of myself.

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And then I got home.

Keep in mind, I had left each horse with the shared hay net, and then each of them had their own hay on their respective sides of the stall wall. Henry had two full water buckets, and Presto had a big water tub. So NATURALLY, guess who’s food and water Presto consumed?

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“I want what he’s eating” “It’s the same as yours” “No it’s not” “Yes it is” “NO IT’S NOT”
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“His water tastes better than mine.”

So when I got home Presto still had his pile of hay and totally full water tub, but Henry’s buckets were empty and he barely had any hay left. Honestly. Why. Thus began some artful re-arranging to try to keep that damn giraffe out of Henry’s food/water. I will be 0% surprised if I get home today to find that Presto has just climbed over the wall into Henry’s stall. I’m pretty sure he could if he wanted to.

After I finished re-arranging their area, I decided to go ahead and ride Henry, since the weather wasn’t so bad. And what did Presto do? Well… he helped.

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He helped me tack up
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He helped Henry consume some pre-ride forage
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He helped me hose Henry down afterward
He helped me dry and medicate Henry’s skin funk

After I was done he helped me clean the stall by turning over the completely full manure bucket while my back was turned. Henry didn’t even have the decency to hide his amusement. They were mentally high-fiving each other as I was cursing them both. They might be frienemies most of the time, but when it comes to pulling pranks on me they are 100% on the same team.

Those rare peaceful moments, when they share politely and look relatively civilized. 

We’ll see what new things they’ve come up with by the time I get home today. Lord only knows…

6 thoughts on “Toddlers

  1. I laughed so hard! They know so well how to hit our buttons.

    I had one who, when riding with another horse in the straight-load trailer, would reach across and eat the hay hung on the other side of the trailer for the other horse. While protecting his own hay net. Pill !!! The straight-load trailer I have now has a metal grid between the horse’s heads.

    Like

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