Once again Slim Randles is here as today’s Wednesday’s Guest, with a little horse-training tip from Steve. I’ve never heard it called “boogering” a horse before, but I’ve had to get my horse, Banjo, accustomed to noises and fast movements. One does not want a horse to shy when you least expect it. That’s how we end up in a ditch, and that’s not the best place to be on a trail ride.
I am heading out on a different kind of ride. A friend and I are taking a road trip to Montana. I’ve always wanted to go there, so I decided to just do it. Posts will be sparse while I’m gone, and I will resume my normal routine early in May.
Since today is Earth Day, Untreed Reads is having a huge sale on all their titles – 50% off. All of my titles, including One Small Victory and Play It Again, Sam will be discounted, so this is a good time to grab a copy if you have not already.
And now, grab a cup of coffee and help me welcome Slim Randles.
Steve, the tall cowboy of us philosophy types, was riding a young horse through town the other day to get him used to “boogers.”
To gentle a horse, he explained, you give them something to booger at, and then talk them out of it. You keep coming up with new boogers and calming the horse until screaming fire engines and jet exhaust are no problem at all.
He rode up to the Campbell house and saw Anita, Dud’s wife, shaking out a throw rug. The young horse began blowing nuclear snot all over the front yard and his eyes bugged out.
“Anita,” Steve said, “would you mind coming over here with that rug for a minute?”
She walked slowly up to the young horse, who was crouched in the starting blocks preparing for an elliptical orbit around the sun. “I don’t want to frighten him,” Anita said.
“That’s why I’m here, actually,” Steve said. “Would you let him smell the rug?”
She carefully and slowly held the rug up to where the colt could sniff it. He sniffed and snorted, sniffed and snorted … then sniffed, and sniffed. Then he eyed it carefully and touched it with his nose.
“If you wouldn’t mind,” Steve said, running his hand along the horse’s neck, “could you back up about three steps and then start wiggling it?”
She backed up and gently wiggled the rug. Snort, snort, legs in starting blocks. Ready to booger.
“That’s it,” Steve said, calmly, rubbing the horse’s neck. “Now shake it a little harder.”
More snorts. More rubbing.
“Now shake it really hard.”
It took the best part of a minute before the horse calmed down and just watched Anita with curiosity instead of fear.
“Thanks, Anita,” Steve said. “You’ve helped a lot.”
She looked up at him. “But why did you want me to shake a rug at him, Steve?”
“I’m thinking about getting him a job in a carpet cleaning business and wanted him to learn the ropes.”
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