I may have jinxed myself with yesterday’s post about rule followers and rule breakers. The next day at feeding time, Bud decided to give me even more of a challenge.

Let me just say that I was not a happy camper.

As soon as I opened the gate, Bud was out like a shot. He literally ran past the car and the carefully laid out feed pans, giving me “the look” as he trotted past me.  He went straight for the lovely green grass.

Pepper (good girl that she is) went to the feed pan and started eating her grain, though every couple of minutes she would crane her neck around the back of the car to look at Bud.

But she stayed and ate, like she always does.

Just sayin’.

I decided to let the old boy graze for a few minutes. I figured he’d notice that he was alone and eventually head back to the car and Pepper and his feed.

In hindsight, my only reaction to that erroneous line of thinking is, “Ha!”

After a few minutes, I grabbed a halter and lead rope and walked toward Bud, making sure to walk around him in a wide circle, so that when I approached him it was in front and not behind. I’ve learned the hard way that coming up on Bud from behind just encourages his flight response.

Well it didn’t matter what direction I approached from. He’d let me get close and then he’d trot away. Always farther into the pasture, I might add.

Then I’d walk back to the car. I wasn’t in the mood for a chase me game. And I could still see him, so I was holding on to my crazy notion that he’d come back on his own.

Again I say, “Ha!”

On one of my walkabouts, the idea briefly slid through my mind that maybe I should close off the gate between the two pastures.

I ignored it. Do you hear ominous movie music?

You should!

The short version of this painful saga is that Bud ran me all over that pasture. And then for good measure, he went into the adjoining pasture. The one where I’d had the fleeting thought of closing the gate.

Yes, that one.

Now I did wise up. Just a bit. I walked to the end of the road and closed the other gate.

This was a good hour into the Appaloosa Boot Camp and I was getting really tired of the game. Bud was obviously still having a high old time.

As a writer, I spend a goodly portion of my day sitting at the computer. It’s not that great for my overall physical fitness. I think Bud decided to help me out. “I’m going to get her moving,” he said to Pepper. Well I don’t know that for a fact, but it sure seemed that way. I wish I’d had my pedometer on because I’m pretty sure I logged close to the 10,000 steps I’m supposed to get every day.

I was tired and frustrated. And I felt foolish chasing this horse across the pasture(s). Then, out of pure desperation and exhaustion, my ability to solve problems finally kicked in.

I got strategic.

Some of you may be thinking, “about darn time.” You’d be right.

I started to act like a herd dog. I positioned myself behind Bud, so that he’d run through the gate instead of away from it. I twirled the lead rope to keep him going.

I was a little surprised when my plan actually worked!

I twirled and he walked right down the lane to the car. I slipped the halter over his head and led him through the gate to join his pals.

All told, I was there an extra hour.

And I was moving most of the time.

I’d had a good workout, albeit not one of my own choosing.

Come to think of it, don’t most workouts feel that way?

Gee thanks Bud! Just so you know, I’m going to get back to the gym so you don’t feel compelled to put me through another two hours of Appaloosa Boot Camp.

It would make an interesting reality program though…