Today I took Ljufur for a grazing walk around the neighborhood. He got to
meet some of the new neighbors, a handful of neighborhood dogs, and to graze
every few steps of the way.
Then I went to the ranch, deciding to take another couple of horses for
grazing walks. It's sort of a neat thing to do, just take some time out and
"be" with the horses, not asking much of them.
Cookie and Hlynur went along together. We walked down to a shady grove
where the grass was still moist with dew. Then over to a meadow where I sat
in the grass and just watched the horses eat.
Heading back around to the corral area, we (me and the horses) decided to
stop in the round pen where they could meander around without their halters
and lead ropes for a while. Upon entering the round pen, Cookie strolls in
and turns to have her halter removed. After taking it off, I notice that
Hlynur has not turned, but is standing still as a statue, staring at something.
Boy, that stocky little pony all of a sudden has a neck! He has raised
himself up, from the inside and looks big, proud, elegant.
But.... what is he looking at? what's making him that way? It seemed as
tho he was looking past the round pen into the grove of trees. Maybe one of
the dogs was poking around.... no, they were all there with us.
listened... and looked.... couldn't see anything, so went over to the far
side of the pen. When I got over there, still not seeing anything that
might be of concern, I looked back at him to check again to see where he was
focused, and lo and behold, what a dummy, I see what he sees..... a small
tarp laying on the ground inside the pen.
I take it that he's never seen one in there before.
No camera, but I had my clicker. He was bold enough to take a few steps
towards where I was standing near the tarp.
Oh, gosh, this is a good photo op! Hold everything, I gotta run down to the
car and get the camera!
OK, get back to the round pen, take up the same position near the tarp and
click Hlynur for walking towards me. He comes right along and sniffs the
tarp. Click and treat!
Well, Cookie decides she can't be left out of any clicker training session,
so she comes over and says to Hlynur, " Whuzup, Doc?!?! Dontcha know how to
tackle this thing? You're supposed to stomp it, like this!"
"And then you squish it up, again and again, into a small little package
"You mean like this?", says Hlynur, half-heartedly pawing at the tarp.
"Yes! Maybe try a little more body english and with more gusto!" replies
Cookie, "Wrap yourself around it!"
Ol' Hlynur pauses to think... "Body english? gusto? That sounds like too
"Besides, I think I have an itch..... and anyway, it's just an old tarp....