Does anyone else ever find themselves wondering just how annoying your horses think you are, or is it just me?
Not that I really have to wonder that much, considering both of my boys have expressive faces. I’m relatively certain that Henry is 9 out of 10 annoyed with me on pretty much a daily basis, he’s had almost 7 years to become permanently pre-donewithmyshit. The only thing keeping me from a 10 out of 10 is my steady supply of Oatmeal Cream Pies (“A cream pie a day keeps the grumpies at bay!” is something I like to tell Henry every time I give him one, so it’s really no wonder I’m always sitting at a 9). Presto isn’t nearly as donewithmyshit yet, but he does run out of patience for some of my schemes. Especially if they require him to stand still for any length of time. He’s not into that.
Like yesterday, when I had to dress him up to get a picture for an Insta giveaway (going live this morning!) that I’m one of the hosts for. He didn’t mind the sticker, or me setting up the Pivo and tripod, or the hat (I mean this kid has been wearing hats since he was a year old, he’s pro by now), or the fact that I had stuffed the hat with those air packets they put in boxes as packing material in order to get it to stand up and the plastic made a horrible crinkly screeching noise right next to his ears. All of that was fine. The whole “be still” thing though? DUMB. ANNOYING. HATE IT. MOM SUCKS. Five minutes and he was mega-annoyed with me. I wouldn’t even let him knock the Pivo over with his nose. I’m a tyrant.
We also experimented with a (loose) drop noseband this weekend, which I quite like so far but he thinks is real dumb. Makes it much harder for him to gape his mouth, cross his jaw, and try to yank the reins out of my hands (his version of a tantrum) and we have differing opinions on whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing. Presto is easy to appease when he’s annoyed though…. you just give him something to put in his mouth and all sins have been forgotten.
I mean, Presto and Henry both still come up to me in the pasture to be caught, and Presto still DEMANDS my attention at least twice a week. He’ll stand at the corner of his pasture staring at me in the barn, alternating between knocking on the fence with his foot or resting his foot on the bottom board. This is both a cute and terrible habit. I’ve hollered “GET YOUR FEET OFF THE FENCE” more times than any one person should. But still… he can’t find me that annoying if he wants my attention that badly.
I think Presto’s still got the innocence and optimism of youth working in his favor. Henry, however, does not, and I managed to annoy the crap out of him yesterday too. How, you ask? Body clipping. He’s very well-behaved for it (as long as you don’t do his ears or his legs, we came to that agreement years ago) but he hates it. First of all, he hates baths. I rode him, bathed him, and then turned him back out in his pasture to dry while I got Presto out. Henry’s pasture is really grassy so I didn’t think he’d be able to get very dirty again even if he rolled, but I was wrong. Super wrong. I don’t even know where he found that much dirt but he was dirtier when I went to go get him than he’d been before his bath. It was very thorough too, he coated both sides and really ground it into the top of his butt. I’m 100% convinced he did it on purpose, because he’s petty like that when he’s been annoyed.
I was done in less than an hour and considering it was almost 90 degrees he sure seemed to feel better when I turned him back out, so really it can’t have been that bad. He didn’t make a beeline for the shade like he usually does, so clearly body clipping helped. Still, he was very annoyed with me and wanted to make sure I knew it, giving me one last whack in the face with his tail as he marched away. He’s never shy about letting you know when you’ve erred against him.
And that’s how, by the time I finished with the horses yesterday, I’d managed to thoroughly annoy the shit out of both of them. The true mark of a good day at the barn.