“Horse” is Latin for “Pig”

March 16th, 2006

Fred and Jackie bought a nice big 4-horse trailer a couple of weeks back. I rode with Fred to a farm up north of Nacogdoches to pick up the trailer two weekends ago; it’s about a three hour trip up there from here. It was weird riding through Nacogdoches. I had never been through that part of Texas before and all I could think of was that that’s where we lost Columbia just over three years ago.

The big thing I’ve learned about horses is that they’re the most food-obsessed critters ever. They’re constantly hungry, even more so than dogs. This can work for you or against you. Wendy and I have both been assaulted by the horses just trying to carry a bucket of feed or flake of hay from point A to point B. If the horses are at point C, between A and B, they’re not going to let you get to B until they’ve got their faces into whatever you’re carrying.

We’d heard about how horses can be scared of trailers, and difficult to get into trailers. Fred and I decided we’d use food psychology to get the horses into their trailer – not to take them anywhere, but just to get them used to stepping into the trailer. We tried the horses one at a time, because one Laredo is extremely aggressive around food, even though he is normally the more passive of the two.

First we tried Captain Nemo. We threw some hay in the back of the trailer, a couple of feet in past the back door. Ol’ Nemo looked suspiciously at the trailer, looked suspiciously at the door, looked suspiciously at the inside of the trailer, looked curiously at the hay, sniffed suspiciously at everything, inspected the grass around the back of the trailer to see if it might look tastier than the hay, then finally stepped up to the back of the trailer and began to munch. Then Fred put a bucket of feed up about eight feet into the back of the trailer. Nemo munched his hay while eyeing that bucket: munch, look, munch, look, munch, look, as he tried to work up the nerve to step up into the trailer to get to that tasty feed. It wasn’t long before he went in there after it.

The next night it was Laredo’s turn. I expected him to be just as worried about that trailer and getting into it, even though he’d had a whole day to see it sitting in his pasture, and to get used to the sight of it. We went through the same ritual as before: we threw some hay into the back of the trailer, and Laredo walked right up and started eating. It went so well that I decided I’d try the bucket of feed before he finished with the hay. I took the bucket, stepped up into the trailer, and then I heard a noise. I looked back and that darn horse had abandoned his hay and was getting into the trailer with me. Real quick like, I mean real quick, I put that bucket down and got out of there. I didn’t want to get trapped between an 800-pound pig and his supper.

Lately the horses have been breaking into the feed room. Either that or someone has been leaving the gate unlatched. Wendy goes out first thing every morning to feed the horses, so naturally she’s the first suspect. The first time it happened, she said she was pretty sure she had latched the gate, although not 100% certain. It happened again today, and this time Wendy said she and Summer both checked to make sure the gate was latched before walking away. So either someone else has been coming along behind Wendy and leaving the gate unlatched, or those horses have somehow learned to open the gate for themselves. It’s a mystery.

2 Responses to ““Horse” is Latin for “Pig””

  1. Leigh Ann Says:

    Maybe Laredo should have been named ‘Wilson’. Or maybe they are long lost relatives? That is too funny!

  2. Sue Says:

    That is funny.