It was saturday and I was in bed contemplating staying that way for at least another half hour. I closed my eyes and snuggled under the covers. I never got the chance to stay there.
After a frantic call from mother I go down to see that Sonny is indeed on the wrong side of the fence. He is happily munching on clover while Chick looks at him through the fence with a thoroughly disgusted look on her face. Sonny won’t go far. He’s too attached to Chick. Chick on the other hand seems to be in a love / hate relationship.
My mother was on the deck yelling out “Don’t call him!”. She didn’t want him to get into the fresh dirt and grass seed that they had just put out. Not to worry! Her screeching effectively kept him from coming up to the house…
Crazy Man was still at work. So it was Me, the greenhorn, and a horse too smart for his own good. Plus 10 acres of open ground all around us. Yeah, you just though the same thing I did – lots of area for him to run.
Sonny knows I feed them every morning. He sees me and his ears perk up. Feed Time! I walk into the garden shed, reach for the feed bucket and stop. Visions of a horrific incident involving me, a food bucket, and a hungry horse invade my imagination. It plays out like a slow motion silent film.
“I walk down with the food bucket and call him. Sonny comes running at full speed knowing he will get all of it. I get knocked to the ground and the food bucket goes flying. Grain is scattered across the ground. Sonny is happy as can be, grinding grain as fast as he can.”
That’s not so bad is it? Well add in the knowledge from the back of my mind that Sonny DOES NOT like to be bothered while eating. Well, needless to say, after that knowledge popped to the front, I set the bucket down. I did not want to start my Saturday with the possibility of a trampling or a kick. I grabbed his halter, lead rope and put two apple and oat treats in my pocket. The apple and oat treats are these magical little things shaped like apple slices that he goes crazy for. They smell like a fresh cut apple. Sonny can smell them a mile away.
Sonny started wandering down the fence line as I got closer. The smart guy that he is, he knew what I was going to do and he was not done with the clover yet. I walked a few feet from him and stopped, dipping my hand in my pocket. The smell hit him and he shivered as he turned to me. I could see him arguing with himself – treat, clover, treat, clover. At first I didn’t think it was going to work. Time felt like it stretched on and on, but in the end, he couldn’t resist. He came to take the offering and now I had a horse right in front of me.
Did I mention that this was the first time I have ever put a halter on a horse? I am a quick study. I have seen what Crazy Man does. Sonny was patient with me, though nosing my pocket repeatedly for the other treat he smelled. Chick not so much. Lovie was twining himself between my legs and feet, tryng to help his buddy by throwing me off balance. Dad was totally distracting everyone by yelling up at mom about the dirt being fine.
In the end, Dad opened the gate. I led Sonny through. Lovie ran off to the garden to get high on catnip. Chick, well, she got her point across. Sonny received a kick to put him in his place. They went running across the field together. The halter is still on. Just in case.