Picky Horses

Stoney has four different reasons for stopping: a spook, to eat, to poop and to pee. Each stop has it’s own distinct parameters. When he wants to eat, it’s more like a lunge than a stop. The spook is sudden. When his bowels move, he stops with the back of his body, but when he has to urinate he just stands really still. You can feel it all through the lead rope, particularly if Stoney is in back, as he was today. With Cowgirl walking ahead and Chavali right beside me, I didn’t see Stoney stop, but felt the distinct and peculiar motion telescope down the lead rope trailing out behind me that told me he needed to pee.
We all stopped and waited. He cocked one hoof, stood there for a while, but then evidently changed his mind. He did this first walking down Westwind Way. Then again walking up Golden Hills Court. Finally we got to the portion of our route that takes us through deep redwood duff. Here he stopped again, but this time he didn’t hesitate to relieve himself.
It’s very good for the ponies to have the long walks to and from the arena. For me it’s a hardship. But it has given me the opportunity to observe some interesting equine behavior.
It took Stoney and Cowgirl about six months to figure out that there were much nicer spots to relieve themselves than in their paddock. Cowgirl has a distinct preference for oak leaves. Stoney, or so it would seem, has become, like Goldilocks, down right picky. He knows there are lots of good spots to pee, but he’s got to pick the perfect one.

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