Every once in a while Zelador does something that amazes me. Two such incidents happened this week.
1. Saturday: Ron (who owns the Canadian horse, Pax) and I were in the barn discussing a game Jutta Wiemers does with her horses. She places at least six tires (two abreast) and teaches the horses to slowly walk through them without stepping on a tire. The horse can place a hoof in the middle of a tire or in the opening between tires. Personally, I do not want to be lugging tires all over the place so we were brainstorming about what could be used instead. We decided to try feed tubs. They have about the same opening as a tire and are about six inches high. Ron will cut a circle out of the bottom of each tub. Why? Because the day before our talk I’d tried using one of our plastic/rubberish buckets that are eighteen inches high. I asked Zelador to put a foot “in the middle” and he did. However, if his hoof rested on the edge of the bottom of the bucket then the bucket’s top pressed against the front of his leg. I wanted to eliminate the pressing bit. A side note: Zelador is familiar with the phrase: in the middle. I use it when asking him to step in the middle of a hula-hoop. Well, the morning after Ron and I talked about the feedtubs I went into Zelador’s stall to give him hay. He was standing quietly. He looked at me, looked at his left front foot and looked at me again. I “listened” to him and looked at that foot. It was placed in the middle of his feed tub. He kept it there while eating his hay and while I groomed him AND while I tacked him up.

2. Sunday: Eight horses and riders attended the Square Dancing on Horseback practice. It was the first time that all of the participants were able to get together!!!! As you can imagine, the horses are familiar with the routine. I lead the group and call out the movements. At one point the riders were at home base (each couple side by side with the ladies on the right). I said, “What’s the next movement?” Zelador backed up a step, turned to the left and walked forward a step. He had positioned himself perfectly for “swing your partner”. That’s when I said, “Oh, that’s it! Swing your partner…thanks, Zelador!

The photo shows Zelador checking out the toys on the arena wall. It would be interesting to know what he’s thinking!

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