A battle of wits!

There is a battle being waged on our property – and we may be on the losing side!  Call it a battle of wits … or perhaps a battle of wills.  Either way, it’s proof that horses are not the simple, non-thinking, reactive creatures that some would have you believe!

They look so innocent, don't they?
They look so innocent, don’t they?

It started innocently enough.  Noble and Java decided one night that they hadn’t been out quite long enough, thank you very much!  So, we went in to do chores.  They heard the activity in the barn, and when we returned to the back they were ready to come in.  A couple of nights of that, and they upped the ante a bit.  Thank you, but it’s nicer out here in the tall grass.

It was getting late, and cold, so we pulled out the tub of oats.  Yummy!  The sounds of thundering hooves in the night.  Success!  The next night, we got away with no oats.  Fool me once, shame on you … the following night, no sign of horses.  Sigh, back to chores and return with oats.  Now you’re talking!

From then on, Noble comes up every time to check.  Bit of carrot?  Thank you.  Now I’m going back to grass.  Java often follows him up, when we first arrive.  No grain?  Oh, am I too far away to put a halter on?  How inconvenient!  Oh well, back to grass.  Come back when you have some grain.

That brings us to tonight.  Noble comes to greet us.  Carrot?  Thank you.  Halter?  Oh, no thank you!  Up comes Java.  Good old Java, head over the fence.  Thank you for the carrot – I’ll see you when you have grain!  Who is supposed to be the intellectual being in this scenario?  I’m no longer sure.

Fine.  In to do the chores.  Out we go with grain.  Lurking just on the edge of shadows is a dark silhouette.  One shake of the grain, and it materializes into my big redheaded boy.  Now you’re talking mom!  Thank you!  Oh, the halter … no, just give me the grain, please.  Grandma shovels grain while I slip on a halter, between bites.  Java is now looming, happy to take the grain but disappearing into the shadows when the halter is produced.  Fortunately, a rope is easy to slip around the neck while it’s stretched to reach for the grain.  For Java, that’s as good as caught … this time!

No telling what their demands will be next!  As bad as any computer hacker – for every solution we come up with, they’re already plotting for the next way around it!  No telling what their next demands will be.  Maybe those trainers who want absolute obedience are on to something … only kidding!  Where’s the fun in that?!

Be good to your horses … well, maybe not too good!


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