This is a strange tale, but when King is involved, I have learned that anything is possible.
So, the Yankee and I got back from our honeymoon (2 weeks), and then I rushed off for a business conference (5 days). The horses love the Yankee, but he is a bit of a push-over, and while I was gone they started playing a few tricks on him. Around here, we call it foofaray. There was a bit of foofaray going on in the barn. Yankee would let King out, King would slip back back in while Chester was on his way out and somehow there would be three horses laughing at the Yankee inside the barn.
When I got back, however, the foofaray was not nearly as funny. I let King out and went to get Chester. King slipped past the Yankee and back into the barn. Chester got excited and -- because he is not as well-trained or well-mannered as King and Eli -- he gave a little bolt and pulled me off my feet.
Holy moly. King stopped dead in his tracks. Didn't move a muscle. I hollered at Chester and scolded him all the way out the door about how humans can get hurt when you don't behave. (Elijah was standing smugly in his stall saying "I was no part of THAT foofaray!)
I went back to get King, who still had not moved, except to hang his head. I walked him to the barn door and very quietly, but very sternly, engaged him in a CONVERSATION. I told him, "You cannot pull that crap around Chester! He does not know how to behave and it's up to YOU to be the leader. You could have got me killed back there, you know. No more foofaray!"
King went skulking out the door, his head hanging.
That was about five days ago ... and there has not been one bit of foofaray in the barn since. All three horses have been INCREDIBLY well-behaved, walking single-file right into their stalls at feeding time, and just as well-behaved and quiet on their way back out.
I just imagine the talking-to that Chester got that afternoon about how he could have killed The Kid and how now all their fun is ruined and everyone must behave because SOMEBODY cannot safely execute a JOKE.
At any rate, it is very nice to have three well-mannered gentlemen!
heeheh and now I can imagine it all cause I have a real picture. Hope your honeymoon was all you dreamt of.
The second I leave the barn, my silly horses all act like kids with a substitute teacher. No one goes to the right stall, they lie about where they live and what they eat. They go silly too. And when I come back, all order is restored. Tell me they dont know.
Our horses are not seen as the old and disabled they may have become, but rather as the mighty steeds they once believed themselves to be.
The horses actually behave pretty darn well for the Yankee. He always says "they are perfect gentlemen, they look out for me."
And, it's true. King and Elijah have truly impeccable ground manners (unless King instigates foofaray), and even when they are having a laugh on him, they are soooo careful. Someone taught them very well to respect the human space and they have never ever bumped into him or stepped on him (I suspect they have never ever bumped into or stepped on anyone, they really are soooo good).
Chester is another story. I sort of suspect he was backyard-raised and got away with entirely too much as a youngster. Though he fell on hard times, I think that in a former life he was much-loved-on. Too much. He does not have the same understanding of human space. Though he is very kind and affectionate, I have to warn the Yankee that he is the dangerous one. He would never hurt anyone on purpose, but he is clumsy and he invades your space. We are working on it, though. He was very very sad to get into trouble when he pulled me off my feet. We have work to do with him -- but just getting him well was the first step!