I love this picture of Bud. See how his nostrils are flared? Notice his perked ears and alert expression?

“What in the blankety-blank are you doing here?” is written all over his face.

Sometimes when the horses are in the far pasture instead of by the gate waiting for us to feed them, Rick will drop me off so that I only have a one-way trip to bring them in.

On this particular evening, Bud and the other bachelors were enjoying the sweet new grass in the southern-most corner of the pasture. I scrambled over the fence – no small feat in itself- and approached Bud.

The look on his face says it all.

“Hey wait a minute. Where did you come from?”

Then he switched to caution.

“You aren’t supposed to be out here.”

I could practically hear the gears turning in his head as he tried to figure out why I wasn’t in my usual location. Horses are curious animals and Bud is no exception. He enjoys a good puzzle as much as the next horse. He even looked around as if trying to catch Amigo’s eye for confirmation.

“Is she really out here or is it my imagination? What was in that grass anyway?”

As near as I could tell, Amigo confirmed that I was real. At least he walked up to me and sniffed my hand, always hopeful that I’ll be holding a treat.

Sadly there were no treats.

At least not yet.

I went up to Bud, stroked his neck and invited him to come in for dinner. Then I started walking toward the gate.

That’s when he got it.

“Oh, she’s leading me to dinner. Now I understand.”

That and the fact that Miss P., ever the alert girl, had figured out what was going down. She was already moving.

Bud can’t tolerate her being first, so he got his giddy-up going.

A little trot – just enough to outpace Pepper. It’s a game they’ve played since day one of being together.

She’s the vigilant one. Nothing much gets past her. I often rely on her to see me at the gate and initiate action.

Bud follows her lead.

And then she lets him get ahead. In all the times I’ve called them in, I can scarcely remember when Pepper was first out the gate.

She orchestrates it so that Bud gets to be first.

 

Sounding a lot like an old married couple aren’t they?

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