Here there be dragons...

"I'm telling you stories. Trust me." - Winterson

A random moment at the barn

Jack Saurus was amusing me yesterday - I really wish I'd had a camera :)

So there are two background pieces to this story. The first is that about 2 wks ago, Jack had a meltdown when I walked past his stall carrying an empty feedbag. Not like I don't do this almost every day, but apparently now feedbags are very scary. So I opened the door holding it and he smooshed himself as far as he could into the corner of the stall, every nerve on high alert, shaking and genuinely terrified. Ummmm not so good. So I chilled him out and got him to realize the feedbag wouldn't hurt him. And the next day went into the stall with one again, and he was concerned but not panicked. And by the end I could run it all over him, wrinkle it around, and hide his food underneath it (he just shoved it out of the way - priorities people!)

The second thing is that thanks to this wonderful weather we've been having, Jack has cracked heels on one foot and so is not allowed outside. Jack who despises being inside and is thoroughly unhappy at being stuck in his stall - esp with the rest of the barn outside (I have been keeping a buddy in for him of course, but apparently one isn't enough :)

So through no fault of his own, and feeling fit and fine, Jack is grounded. He's inside, bored out of his little mind, and thoroughly annoyed at this whole process. And understandably so. The novelty of his ball has long since worn off. And yesterday I was trying to think of what else we can do to amuse Jack (I can only ride him for so long!). So I grabbed one of the feedbags (one of the ones where the string came off clean so nothing to accidentally eat :) and took one of his favourite treats (stud muffins). Showed him the treat, dropped the treat in the bag, and tossed the bag in the stall. (side note - for those who don't know, feedbags usually hold 25kg of grain -- they tend to be a bit over 2.5' tall and 1' wide (see for a pic). Essentially the height of your household garbage bag but much skinnier and made of a waxy-thin-cardboard type material so they hold their shape reasonably well).

Now Jack WANTS that treat. And has clearly *no* fear of scary bags left as he promptly finds the top and sticks as much of his head as will fit in and shakes the bag around. hahaha omg I laughed and wished I had my camera :) But you see, our friend Jack is a fairly smart horse and figured out within a second or two that his head wouldn't reach the bottom. So he dropped the bag, turned it around and started kicking it with his front leg. Then went and carefully tipped his head in without lifting the bag to see if the treat had moved. Seriously. But sadly his plan had failed - evidently the treat was still out of reach. So he tried brute force - pawing a hole in the middle. Fail. He played with it a little while longer, generally beating up the bag and eventually lifted up the closed end with his teeth and let gravity help him out :) Treat earned. And when I went in to take the feedbag back he had one foot standing right on the middle of it holding it down. He was pretty proud of himself after that one.

So my little game, while not exactly traditional and probably a very bad idea *g* DID manage to keep our friend Jack amused for at least a few minutes (down side to smart horses!) AND got him entirely over his feedbag issues. Not half bad :)


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