Today Chloe was off by herself in the pasture. She caught my attention, and we both had the same idea - pony liberation. The others didn't notice as we nonchalantly walked down to the gate, each on our respective sides of the fence. After she'd been loose for a while, I fetched the halter. When she saw me approach with it, she walked right up to me. (Did she know about the carrots in my pocket?) We practiced a couple of tricks. I wanted her to follow me over toward the kitchen steps to work on putting her foot up, but she flatly refused. Well, let the mountain come to Mohammed - I knelt down on one knee, made a flat surface with the other, and we used that instead of the step. After the halter came off, she had no interest in leaving, so I guess she quite liked it. And when I went to fetch Bridget's halter later, Chloe came over and expressed an interest.
The horses currently have the run of the front pasture and back pasture, which suits them. Everyone likes the front pasture best (including me - I think it's a feng shui thing), but they like to have the extra space to roam and forage. There's been so much rain lately that there's no need to be fussy about husbanding the grass. Having this extra lebensraum means that when I let them loose onto the lawn and open the other gates, they don't immediately set off on a stampede.
After I let them out today to join Chloe, they quietly meandered out onto the lawn to graze and mill about near the house.
I sat in the kitchen door to peel apples and have a drink. And eat wasabi peanuts. George planted himself by the steps as usual. I offered him apple peel, but he thought it infra dig. The wasabi peanuts were another matter. I wasn't too sure if horses are supposed to eat peanuts, so I bit them in half, ate the peanut side myself, and gave George the other side. He thought they were just yummy. I let him try my gin and tonic too. He very daintily stuck his tongue in and lapped up a little. He had two sips and decided that was enough.
I've been told in the past not to give George treats as it made him grabby and disrespectful. That was not the George who was sharing cocktail hour with me this evening. He stood quietly, looking meek and hopeful, his little elephant-trunk upper lip crawling over my knees and arms, searching for more wasabi - all very gentle and gentlemanly.
At one point, my son, who doesn't really like horses, noticed George standing in the kitchen door and couldn't resist coming over to pat him. Later, he readily walked out with some apple scraps I gave him to feed George. Having the horses spend time in such close proximity to the human habitat really encourages interaction.
Next on the agenda - napping with the equines! Too bad the hammock has finally given out. But no worries! Father's Day is coming, and there's a certain paterfamilias known to me who would like to be presented with a nice new hammock to hang between the trees. And if I happen to use it when he's not around and the horses are in the yard, what's the harm in that?