Lighter Side


This occured a few yea rs ago, but haven't we all had that experience.

I remember, as a child , reading a book called Alexander the Horse by Harold Littledale ~ Tom Vroman.It starts out with a little boy at bedtime telling his father about his day. He tells his father about how bad Alexander had been all day. He had gotten into trouble all day he explained. He tells his father how his Mom got mad at the horse for being so bad all day. Of course it wasn’t the imaginary horse, but the little boy who had done all the bad things. I’ve always wondered why the author chose an imaginary horse? Was the author a horse owner ? Some people refer to them as “ a bad horse day,”, but I like to call them “Alexander” days. It just seems no matter how good or how old a horse may be there is always that one day they go “Alexander” on you. I had a day like that recently and it wasn’t one horse, it was the whole herd. It was one of those lovely warm days when the tempature was in the 70’s and I had spring fever so I left the office early to go horse around. I was really looking forward to it, since I been really busy and stressed out the last few days. I was looking for some stress relief by riding or even just being around my horses. Apparently I hit an “ Alexander” day. I got home, changed my clothes and head out to the barn. It was a little after three so I had plenty of time and it was warm so it didn’t matter that it was late in the afternoon. I grabbed the halters and grooming tools and went out to get a horse. I was really looking forward to a relaxing afternoon. Relaxing wasn’t what I got, however. I got five horses that were acting like the “Alexander” horse. I have no idea what they had been doing all day, but whatever it was, all five of them were in a mood. I started with one of the mares. I led her up to groom and saddle her. I guess she had Spring fever too, but her fever involved a stallion, that she could smell, somewhere in a twenty mile radius . She wasn’t the usual sweet, loving mare, wanting to please you. All she wanted was that stallion, wherever he was. After 15 or so minutes of grooming her I realized that maybe riding her wasn’t such a good idea. No problem I thought she wasn’t the only horse on the place so I put her up. There was always my Welsh cross gelding. I bought him last fall. I really felt like we were beginning to bond. I guess he wasn’t in a bonding mood that afternoon, since all he wanted was to steer clear of cranky mares and graze. Again I spent all my grooming time disciplining him like a spoiled child. I always say if you’re tired and the horse is cranky that’s a bad combo, so after grooming him I opted to put him up too. Next was my other gelding, who I thought should be worked, well maybe I would just do some longing with him. This gelding is always full of youthful exuberance and it seemed , on that warm spring day, that he was feeling like a 2 year old again. I thought I’m too tired for that today, so I moved on. Okay, well the 20 year old mare how much trouble could she be? You wouldn’t think a 20 year old horse could have so much energy and so much interest in a stallion, but she did. I could see riding that afternoon wasn’t in the cards, but certainly she wouldn’t mind a nice relaxing grooming session. Of course she wasn’t interested in that at all. I couldn’t undertand what was going. That was on Tuesday and the Sunday before they all had been so good. I had a really nice ride on my Welsh cross gelding and they were all so sweet that day. It didn’t make any sense to me at all. After putting the 20 year old up I glanced over at the Paso Fino gelding. They say Paso Finos have Brio (controlled spirit) which translates into - they love to go, but they are easy to stop. Well I didn’t have that kind of energy either and besides why would he be any different than the his four stable mates were? I gave up. This wasn’t de-stressing me at all, so I filled the water buckets and gave them their evening feed. As I walked by each one, after I had feed them, they looked up at me with the same expression that little boy in the book gave his dad, as if to say, “ I’m sorry. I don’t what got into Alexander today, but he will be a good boy tomorrow.”