I’ve been trying to get some new posts rolling, but time is once again a premium. However, a small but rather remarkable thing happened today that I just have to share.
Noble and Java were out for several hours this afternoon. By the time we went out for evening chores, they were milling around the gate, ready to come in. We went in to get things ready in the barn, checking waters and distributing hay. By the time we went out to get the boys, Noble had given up and wandered well down the field – but Java was still waiting and watching at the gate.
Now, typically one would expect Java to be happy standing alone and getting his chance to come in. For one thing, the boy has been giving him a hard time, even reaching over and nipping him as we put halters on. With Noble off, unaware we were there, Java would also be first in line for carrot bites. But apparently “uncle” Java takes his custodial duties seriously!
As soon as he was sure that we were headed for the gate, Java wheeled around. He took off in a light gallop, headed right up the center of the field. As soon as he passed into Noble’s line of vision, he looped back to the right and galloped back down to the gate – Noble coming right up behind him!
Now, you can judge for yourself just what that little maneuver was all about. For me, it seems perfectly obvious that it was his way of saying “Hey, kid, it’s time to go in!” Logic might say that it would be easier to call to Noble – but Java has never been a vocal horse. Clearly he was a horse with a mission, and he was going to leave nothing to chance.
I have never doubted that horses communicate with each other, and do their best to communicate with us. But I will admit to still being impressed when such a clear example of purpose-driven communication is manifested. Noble clearly has a good friend in his “uncle” Java!
Be good to your horses!