Today I determined that even though it was very, very windy, and very cold, to take one horse for a walk. The horse that came to mind, and the horse that accompanied me around the loop, was Mr. Tinni. We did the loop walk, and along the way, we had the following chat.
Alys: Mr. T. watch your step. It’s icy here.
Tinni: No worries.
A: I worry.
T: You needn’t worry.
A: The going is treacherous. Watch out for that ice patch.
T: I have ice shoes.
A: So what? I have cleats, and I’m still finding this road to be slippery in places.
T: Just take it a hoof at a time.
A: I see.
T: Got a treat?
A: Got a pocketful.
T: Got a treat for me?
A: Got several.
T: I would like a treat right now.
A: There you go. How’s that?
T: (Chewing thoughtfully) It’s quite good. Packer pellets have good mouth feel.
A: How do you know about mouth feel?
T: I know a lot about food.
A: Packer pellets better than carrots?
T: Way better.
A: Packer pellets better than apples?
T: Nothing beats a fresh, juicy apple.
T: Two apples.
A: Do you ever think about anything else besides eating?
T: I often think about where I put my feet.
A: Is this an Icelandic horse breed characteristic?
T: Yes it is.
A: How come you and Signy are so balanced going down hills, while Raudi rushes them.
T: There are two reasons.
A: What’s the first?
T: Raudi is always in a hurry.
A: And the second?
T: I spent my first nine years in Iceland, and got a lot of trail experience. And Signy spent her first nine years in Ireland, where she got a lot of trail experience.
A: And Raudi?
T: Riding in this country does not compare. Here it’s a cakewalk.
A: So Mr. T, how are you feeling these days about being here at Squalor Holler?
T: This place is home. I have spent the past three summers in other places – and while I was well taken care of in all of them, I much prefer to be here. This is because here, unlike the other places, I am considered by you to be the Number One riding horse. Is this correct?
A: Yes, it is correct.
T: Are you sending me away this summer, too?
A: Nope. We are staying put this summer.
T: Raudi and Signy have told me numerous stories about your long rides. What you, Pete, and the other horses did is very impressive. I wish I could have been there.
A: We considered taking you.
T: You were right – I would not have done well at the higher altitudes.
A: This is what we suspected.
T: I was saddened to hear about Mr. Siggi.
A: But you and he didn’t get along very well.
T: There were many reasons for this. Suffice to say, I harbored no ill will towards him. He was, and still is a fine fellow.
A: Still is a fine fellow?
T: Sure – he lives on in all our memories. And when we die, we’ll live on in other’s memories. It’s rather nifty how this works.
A: Do you miss him?
T: The others do, but I don’t. There are now four of us here – me and my gals – and we all get along quite well. Signy stays out of Raudi’s space, and I stay out of Signy’s space.
A: And how does Hrimmi figure into all of this?
T: This past summer you left her behind, and she got worried, thought you’d never come back. She was as happy as I to be home.
A: I see sometimes that you all are deep in conversation. What are you all talking about these days?
T: Mostly about the hay. The quality of the hay. How this hay compared to last year’s hay. What the hay next year might be like. This stuff you are feeding us now, it is a bit stringy. We all prefer the short, grassy hay.
T: That’s it! Brome!
A: But it’s not moldy.
T: No, it’s not. I got CPOD you know.
A: Yes, I know. Notice how you haven’t coughed in years?
T: Yep. Appreciate this. The spells are rather nasty.
A: Everything else here okay?
T: Oh yes. Been enjoying the winter trail outings. Short and sweet, that’s my motto.
A: Do you ever wish you were back living with the Barnetts?
T: I used to. But I’ve now put that part of my life behind me. Really, things are fine here. I don’t have to work too hard, I have good company, and I get my share of the hay and supplements.
A: Anything else to say?
T: Got any more treats?
Next: 42. 2/11/2014: Great Women Artists