When I open the cupboard in the morning, bleary eyed as I wait for my coffee to brew, I don’t just grab the first mug in front of me… I always scan the available prospects and pick my favorite.
I bet you do, too.
In fact in our household, Hubby and I both favor the same mug – which isn’t really a problem since he lives in Paso Robles all week – but if he didn’t, I’d make him toss a coin for it every Sunday morning.
I like what I like… So does Hubby.
And I think horses are the same.
HORSES HAVE PREFERENCES. OR, AT LEAST MAMA TESS DOES…
We all know that our horses prefer to eat in their eating place and drink out of a preferred trough and do both of these at specific times.
But what about ‘things’? Do they have favorite objects like we have our favorite mugs…?
Well, I’m not sure why my horse has favorite objects but I know she does.
For example, Mama Tess loves to ride her Theraplate. I find her on it all the time, whether it is running or not… I think she either associates it with food or pleasure – or both.
Why she would stand on her Theraplate when I’m not around baffles me. Perhaps she hopes that somehow she will get some food and someone will turn on the motor. Dunno…but I find her on it all the time when she has no idea that I can see her and she hasn’t heard me approach.
She also prefers one particular, beat up, torn, shapeless fly mask. The black one, please, and none other.
DON’T MESS WITH HER STUFF!
Although MT will allow me to put another flymask on her – if I haaaaave to – in order to wash it or something… but I am absolutely not allowed to use the wrong bowl at feeding time.
If I don’t use the large rubber bowl, she will toss whatever bowl I did use.
Why? I have no idea. The alternate bowl is clean. It is rubber. But, it isn’t large and I guess she likes a big bowl – just like I prefer a large mug.
I also cannot shut the gate to her favorite stall. If I do, she bangs on it until I open it. However, it doesn’t mean she wishes to go through the gate, she just wants it open – the way she wants it.
Same with her favorite stall window. I am not allowed to shut that window unless she says it is OK – like on a really stormy night. Otherwise, MT will kick the wall below the window until I open it again. Trust me, this has been a big issue with some horse feeders who cannot remember which window to leave open…
Oh and don’t even think about using a nylon halter on her precious head. Nope. Leather or nothing. MT will raise her nose to the rafters if she even suspects nylon is approaching. Now, I think she is smart because nylon won’t break under pressure – but it could be that she prefers natural products.
DON’T DO IT OUT OF ORDER!
Getting back to making my coffee in the morning, I always do it the same way. I put just the right amount of coffee and the right amount of cream (off white – Hubby says I drink coffee in my cream instead of the other way around…).
Tess is the same way. I must allow her to get onto her Theraplate and feed her first. The meal has to have Renew Gold (no affiliation) in it and it has to be mixed in appropriate proportions so she cannot taste her medicines.
After that, I can feed the others. However, when she finishes her first ration, I am to notice that her bowl is empty and therefore feed her the beet pulp – or else she kicks the wall and dismounts the Theraplate, threatening to take off her boots and unwrap her feet.
Tess: I’M READY FOR MY SECOND COURSE NOW, WAITER HUMAN!
ME: Just a minute, I’m feeding the ponies.
Tess: WHAT?!! DID YOU DENY ME, LITTLE HUMAN?
ME: Huh? I’m feeding the ponies. I’ll be right there. Just hang onto your forelock, eh?
Tess: THE NERVE OF YOU, LITTLE HUMAN! FINE, MY BOOTS ARE COMING OFF AND THEN I’LL WRECK YOUR WRAP AND YOU WILL HAVE TO REDO THEM AND I WILL BE INSUFFERABLE THE WHOLE TIME AND…
ME: Fine. Here’s your stuff, Queen. Sheesh. It is a good thing I love you because you are almost intolerable.
Tess: I love you, tiny human.
MORAL OF THE STORY
Well, next time you grab your favorite mug and sit in your favorite chair and open up your computer to your favorite pages while you wake up – or do whatever routine you do… just ponder that your horses find peace in the same sort of comfortable routines as you do.
And, my horse is spoiled. For sure.