You know this old saying, right?

 “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make her drink.”


Last week Pepper very ably demonstrated it for us.

One moment she was eating her grain, like always.

There were no changes.

Absolutely none.

Exact same grain.

No additions.

No rain or wind or horse antics to distract her.

Same as every other day.


But on this particular evening something happened.

She clamped her mouth shut, raised her head and refused to take another bite.

And most disturbing to us, she was making an odd gurgling sound in her throat.

We freaked out, thinking she could be heading toward colic – which for a horse is a very bad thing.


Rick put his ear to her neck and listened. He  stroked her beautiful neck and then decided maybe she needed a drink of water.

He haltered her up and led her to water.

Where she stood motionless, lips clamped tight.

No way was she taking a drink of that water.


We coaxed, cajoled, encouraged, and begged,  but soon realized it was futile.

We tried to walk her a little, but eventually gave up on that as well and  let her back into the pasture.

And then we watched.

After a few moments, she and Chickadee walked away from the gate, and Pepper put her head into the grass and began to nibble the fresh green shoots.

Big sigh from us.


And the next day she was totally fine. Back to eating.

No gurgling neck noises either.


For me this was a striking reminder that I know exactly what I need.

No one else can decide for me, even when they may make quite a convincing argument. Or love me a lot.

I must be in charge of me, because no one else knows me as well.

Here’s Pepper’s nugget of wisdom:

Only drink the water if you know it’s right for you.