The following conversation took place as the horses, Pete, and I were in the process of taking a late afternoon walk around the neighborhood loop. It was 5 p.m. The road surface was icy. The snow on the distant mountains appeared pink in color.
Alys: Hello Hrimmi, we’re going for a walk.
Hrimmi: Who is we?
Alys: Me, Pete, you, Raudi, and Tinni.
Hrimmi: What fun.
Alys: Hmm, didn’t know such a young horse could be so sarcastic.
Hrimmi: Got hay here, need to finish it.
Alys: Head up. Gotta put your halter on.
Hrimmi: Here, let me chew on it a bit.
Alys: On it goes.
Hrimmi: Hey, who’s walking me today?
Alys: Pete is. I’m walking Raudi and Tinni.
Hrimmi: I beg to differ. Pete never gives me any treats.
Alys: I don’t want you to pester me, that’s why I’m having him walk you.
Raudi: Coming to the gate. Everyone get out of my way. Coming through! Look out kid, I’m going to show you how it’s done.
Hrimmi: How what’s done?
Raudi: Ice walking. Look at me. Aren’t I incredible?
Alys: Raudi, whoa, whoa whoa.
Raudi: And now watch this!
Hrimmi: Look Tinni, she just yanked the line out of Alys’s hands.
Tinni: I wonder what’s gotten into that mare. She hasn’t done anything like that in years.
Hrimmi: I want ice shoes. Then I can run off with Raudi. Look at her go. Wow, trotting on the icy road.
Pete (to Alys): Let’s go back home. Raudi’s going to go up into Chris and Kelly’s yard.
Tinni: And they are going to be pissed. They don’t like Alys, not since she blew the whistle on Melinda who wasn’t feeding her horses. Kelly didn’t appreciate having to defend her friend in court.
Pete: Alys, let’s go back.
Alys: Naah, you go on ahead. Raudi will follow the others.
Raudi: Hmm, icy here, icy there. Hey Tinni, ya wanna check out the woods trail with me?
Tinni: Nope. Don’t feel like it.
Hrimmi: Tinni, Alys calls you the old duffer. What’s that mean?
Tinni: Means that I’m an old horse. She took it back yesterday out on the trail. I showed her. I moved like the wind.
Alys: Raudi, whoa, whoa, whoa.
Pete: Let’s head back home.
Alys: I got her. Let’s keep going.
Hrimmi: Do humans have a herd order?
Tinni: Yes they do. As you can see, Pete tells Alys what to do and she ignores him.
Raudi: And a lot of the time I ignore her too.
Hrimmi: Yesterday Dick and Alys had a disagreement. Alys said that you can’t spoil a horse and Dick said that you can spoil a horse. What does spoiled mean?
Raudi: You become spoiled if you die and are left in the hot sun to rot.
Tinni: Raudi, that’s a terrible thing to tell a young horse. Hrimmi, to be spoiled means to be treated in an inconsistent fashion. For instance, a spoiled horse is one that’s given treats without having to work for them.
Raudi: Treats? Did someone say treats?
Hrimmi: Tinni, am I spoiled?
Raudi: Most certainly, you are.
Tinni: Hrimmi, you are not spoiled.
Hrimmi: I’m Pete’s Hoochie Coochie girl, right?
Tinni: That’s right.
Raudi: Alys is going to back you and Pete’s going to ride you.
Hrimmi: How come it’s not going to be the other way around?
Raudi: Because Alys want to be the first one to ride you.
Hrimmi: What’s it like to be ridden?
Tinni: It depends on how much the rider weighs, how experienced they are, and how often they ride. Too much weight, too little experience, and too little riding can be hard on the back.
Raudi: Hrimmi, we have good riders. Alys still gets a bit nervous, but she’s getting better.
Tinni: And Pete has a very good seat.
Hrimmi: I want to be ridden. I’m getting so bored with being ponied.
Raudi: Be careful as to what you ask for.
Tinni: Really, enjoy being the Hoochie Coochie girl because it won’t last forever.
Raudi: I want a baby.
Tinni: All things in their time.
Raudi: How come we’re being walked today? Anyone venture a guess?
Tinni: Yes, I know. Pete and Alys had to sand the driveway so that Hrimmi wouldn’t fall down when they took her out.
Raudi: And after they went and got firewood. They don’t have winter coats to keep them warm. Poor things.
Hrimmi: And they took Ryder with them. I do not like that dog. She gets to run free on the trails and I do not.
Tinni: When you’re a riding horse you’ll see that having dogs along on the trail is a really good thing. They let us know if there are predators in the area, and most of the time chase them away.
Hrimmi: Predator, smedator. I’ll take them all on.
Raudi: A bear would tear you to shreds.
Hrimmi: How do you know?
Raudi: Once Alys and I went for a ride and one of those things stepped right out onto the road and reared up on its hind legs. I don’t know who was more scared, me or Alys. It finally disappeared into the brush. It was huge. I about pissed all over myself.
Tinni: We’re almost home. It’s nearly hay time. I like it that Alys feeds us several times a day.
Raudi: Several times a day is not enough.
Hrimmi: She forgot to give us our supplements today.
Raudi: I’ll remind her.
Raudi: She left a food container in the driveway. I’ll pick it up on the way in and toss it at her.
Tinni: You’re on!
Hrimmi: I don’t know what I’d do without you two.
Raudi: I do. You’d eat my share of the hay.
Tinni: Raudi, Raudi, Raudi, what are we going to do with you?
Next: 17. 1/17/15: A Warm Reception