Now that the snow has finally melted, we've started taking some of the horses out to pasture this week. It's not so they can graze, since the grass hasn't come up yet, but for exercise and to get them out of their corrals so we can get in with the tractors to clean out a winter's worth of manure. I took this photo of Alayne with blind Kiowa this evening when we went to get him and bring him back to the barn.
Kiowa is the only horse we have who plays "hard to get" when it's time to come in. Even his pasture buddy, Cactus Jack, will head right for us when he hears us walking towards them. We put the halter on Cactus and lead him back to his corral; he's happy to go in. Kiowa, though, just can't let himself be "caught" ... unless, of course, there's some grain involved. Then it's just a question of shaking the grain bucket and Kiowa comes right on over. While he's got his face buried in the bucket, we toss the lead rope over his neck, and when he comes up for air, we slip the halter on his head. We give him a couple more mouthfuls of grain, and off we go to the barn.
Bribery. It works.
Or, from the horse's perspective, it would appear that this scrawny blind Appaloosa has managed to train his handlers pretty well. Hmm.
(Click on photo for larger image.)