Hubby took Friday off to take care of some various errands and to make our departure to the cabin happen sooner rather than later. I get off work several hours earlier than he does. I asked if on our way out of town we could stop by the barn so that I could turn each boy out for a few minutes and give Sydney his SmartCalm pellets. I’d had an appointment on Thursday that kept me away from the barn, and I wasn’t happy asking the boys to remain stall bound for another two days.
Hubby agreed and even volunteered to do the turn out for me. As sweet as that offer was, I knew that it wasn’t a safe idea. Hubby knows where the barn is, and he knows which horses are mine, but that’s about the limit of his involvement. And frankly, as good as my boys are for me, they’re not exactly mellow enough for a well-intentioned greenie.
And then I thought about it some more. Hubby’s pretty big, 6’3”, and very fit and trim. He’s gentle with animals, and while not exactly confident with the horses, he’s not afraid of them. He has loads of common sense and has heard me complain frequently about the idiotic things people do with their horses so he knows a lot about what not to do. I decided that he could probably manage to get Speedy G, who has really started to wear his big-boy pants well, turned out safely.
The plan was that Hubby would get to the barn first and get Speedy turned out. I would meet him there after work to turn Sydney out and dole out supplements. I explained which halter was Speedy’s and reminded him how to put it on. I cautioned him about how to take the halter off once Speedy was in the arena (please don’t get kicked, Hubby). And as a last piece of advice, I suggested he give Speedy some carrots before he tried to put the halter on. Speedy is highly food motivated, and I knew he’d be much easier to halter if he’d had a treat first. Speedy’s the kid who would take candy from a guy in a van!
When I pulled into the barn, Hubby was just walking out to the arena to halter Speedy and bring him back in. Speedy stood quietly for him and then politely followed him all the back into his stall. What I didn’t know was that they had had (... ahem ...) words on the way out to the arena.
Hubby had grabbed a bag of sliced apples from the ‘fridge on his way to the barn. He split the snack between both horses and shoved the empty baggie into his back pocket. Hubby haltered Speedy and led him out to the arena. He slipped the halter off and waited. When Speedy made no move to go anywhere, Hubby started walking toward the other end of the arena hoping Speedy would get the message and follow. He did. Apparently, Speedy sensed, or spotted, the baggie in Hubby’s pocket. He started reaching for it. Slyly at first, because he knows he’s not supposed to grab stuff. When Hubby let that gesture slip, Speedy got more bold and began crowding Hubby and thumping him on the back with his rather obnoxiously large nose.
Speedy G, naughty boy that he is, got just a little bit too close, and thumped Hubby just a little too firmly. Hubby turned around, and using his solid, 6’3” frame to his full advantage, SHOVED Speedy G with both hands. Problem solved!
With that attitude, Hubby might get promoted to be Sydney’s turn out person!