A few weeks ago, I wrote about how I had indulged Remi by letting her take poll position in the barn (story linked here). You see, after Mama Tess passed, Remi and Gwen both wanted to be treated specially, too, and take up residence in the barn. Both of them made it abundantly clear that THEY were the next MT.
Gwen, being the heir apparent (since she is actually the heir, being MT’s first born) wanted the position merely to be able to roam the property and eat grass willy-nilly.
Remi wanted the job because she truly wants to be treated specially. She wants the extra attention. She wants to be doted upon.
I’ve had Gwen since she was born (20 years ago) and she gets out regularly. I totally trust her and know her motivations, habits and sensibilities.
But with Remi, it was different…
After several plaintive stare-downs and droopy-eyed beggings, I finally broke down and let Remi spend two nights and 3 days – free. Free to roam the property, free to use the barn whenever she wanted and free to be fed first and have all the special attention that goes with living in the barn.
She was in HEAVEN. The answer to her prayers. The girl was revitalized!
The issue was that once the genie was out of the bottle, it was tough to put her back in. Remi did not, did not, DID NOT want to go back to the herd when I needed her to go back to the herd.
Eventually, she did… but she was reluctant and sad.
I did tell her that the opportunity would happen again but for now, she had to go back into the general population.
THE NEXT OPPORTUNITY…
OK, so, a few days went by and I again let the ‘Stang Gang out to help mow down all the nice grass.
When it was time to go back in, I gave my usual cry, “Muuussta-angys!” They all know that this is just like Mom hanging out the window and calling everyone in for dinner. Time to go back to the pasture.
Usually, they all meander back, hanging their heads and trying to avoid me… but eventually they all fall into place behind the gates.
However, today it was surprising that Remi was the first one back in! Usually, she asks to stay out… But tonight, she didn’t mope. She didn’t beg. She didn’t stare and plead. She simply walked right back into her pasture.
What was up with Remi? It was if she had another plan for that evening and it involved her being in the pasture – fast.
But what was her plan?
THE PLOT THICKENS
Anyway, to continue the story, tonight, when I was done feeding everyone else, I noted that Sam, Remi’s best friend, was not back into the Mustang pasture after everyone else had let themselves back into place. Huh? This is totally not like Sam. Sam always does what is asked. She is nearly perfect. She would never think to disobey… what (or who) got to her?
And where was she?
Quickly, I scanning the property.
There… just out of range but circling the perimeter of my eyesight she stood. Head down. She could see me and she was looking at me, but she didn’t raise her head when I called.
??? This was so unlike her!
So, I walked up to Sam – and she walked away, slowly, as if testing the waters.
This behavior was unheardof!
Me (surprised): Sammy, what are you doing? I called you to dinner. I know you heard me.
SAM (looking at me with only the corner of her left eye): Uhhh, I thought that maybe I could stay out tonight.
Me: Why did you think that?
SAM: Well, you let Remi stay out and she is below me. She and I were chatting today while we were grazing and she said I should stay out tonight.
Me: Yes, I did let Remi out all-night for a few nights. But, I cannot just let anyone out when they want out.
SAM: Well, you seem to let Gwen and Remi out a lot. Why can’t I go out?
Me: Well, um, well… I can’t just let you out alone.
SAM: Why not? I don’t understand why Remi can go out alone and I can’t. Why did Bodhi get to go out alone? Why did the Boss Mare get to go out alone at night? Why can’t I? I’ve been here a long time and I’m always good.
SAM (pleadingly): It isn’t fair.
Me: Well, I can’t have you stay out tonight because I don’t know how you will be and if I need to catch you, well, you don’t like to be caught – what if you hurt yourself?!
SAM (shuffling back into her pasture): This is not fair.
And she was right…
I will plan a night when Sam, and only Sam, can feel special.