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Beau, the romancer, the stealer of mares, the young upstart, hot pants, new comer to the pasture is getting to be a royal pain. I’m sure he’s a nice enough guy, and Pepper certainly is smitten, but he’s making feeding time a problem.

For me.

And the bachelors. Especially Bud.

Beau can’t be anywhere near Bud because he’ll charge at him, running like a steam engine, ears back, nostrils flaring. Beau is a fearsome sight, and Bud is appropriately afraid.  I tell Bud the good news in all of this drama is that Beau obviously sees him as a threat. An Appaloosa that still has his mojo.

My reassurances fly over his head. He’s not convinced.

To get both of our horses fed and medicated, we’ve had to get creative.

Real creative.

We strategize, think, finagle, plan, organize, and problem-solve. Sounds like some corporate think tank instead of a horse pasture.

You see we have to figure out how to get Miss P. fed and back to the love triangle before Bud notices we’re at the gate.

Or vice-versa. Feed Bud before Pepper sees us.

We’ve been closing a gate to keep Beau away, but that doesn’t always work. He’s getting on to our tricks.

I hate it when horses are smarter than I am.

And it happens enough to make me wonder about my ability to think.

Okay that’s a topic for another post.

A few nights ago when we arrived at the pasture we saw the three bachelors in the far end of the field, away from everyone. They were close to the road grazing in the tall grass.

We drove to the regular feeding spot, and sure enough Miss Pepper saw us and ambled toward the gate with Chickadee and Beau following.

The bachelors were far enough away to not even notice.

Whew!

Drama averted.

Once Pepper finished eating, we decided to deliver room service to Bud.

He deserved a little pampering.

Rick held the feed pan up to the fence and Bud happily munched away. Amigo and Red bellied up to the fence for their share of snacks.

It was quite pleasant.

I always think ordering room service is fun.

Bud agreed.

“Is that Appy yours?”

“We just love Bud. He’s so cute.”

“How’s old Bud doin’ these days?”

These are the comments we get on a regular basis when it comes to Bud. He’s always been the star of the pasture. He is Mr. Personality, and has several things in his favor. For one, he’s easy to find. He’s often been the only appaloosa in the group.

Or one of a very select few.

And his white blanket is easy to see when you’re looking into the pasture. We can even spot him from the highway when we drive past, unlike Miss Pepper, who kind of blends in with the other dark horses.

Earlier in the week I gave you ten things about Miss. P. It’s only fitting that I share my list of ten about Bud.

  1. Bud has an innate sweetness about him. You can see it in the expression on his face. Sweet, easy going, and good- natured are words that describe the Budster.
  2. Bud is loyal. His devotion to Pepper is heart warming. Even when she chooses to be with her Mustang boyfriend, Bud remains with her.
  3. In the glory days, Bud was a leader. He worked hard to be the alpha of the herd. And he deserved it. He was a force to be reckoned with.
  4. Bud has graciously allowed any and all children to sit or ride on him. No complaints. We absolutely trust him.
  5. Bud is a good eater. He is a charter member of the “clean pan club.” There have only been a handful of times when he didn’t slick up every bit of grain in his pan.
  6. He has a sweet tooth, and is fond of Ranchway Horse Candy and sweet feed. Neither of which are very good for him with the Cushing’s Disease. But we still give him a little. His enthusiasm for snacks is quite entertaining.
  7. Bud absolutely adores Rick. When he hears Rick’s whistle, which isn’t much of a whistle at all, Bud comes running. Granted it usually also means food. (See number 5 above.) They’ve been together a long time though, and their bond is clear.
  8. Bud is solid, dependable, and predictable. He is the epitome of the Midwestern value system. (Kind of like Rick. Hmm…)
  9. Bud has a heart the size of Texas. He wants to please us and will keep going if we ask him. These days we don’t ask much, except to help him enjoy his life. But in the old days, he was a worker.
  10. Bud is an old soul. You can see it in the depth of his eyes. He knows things about how the world works. I actually think he is a mystic. And I feel blessed to know him.

Now it’s your turn. What’s on your list of ten about your animals? I’d love to hear.

Like all horses, Bud is a vegetarian. His food choices consist of grass, hay, grain and sometimes apples or carrots, though fruits and veggies aren’t high on his hit parade.

Then there’s the horse candy that he has been known to eat in mouthfuls – as much as he can get into his mouth at any one time.

I’ve often felt like I’m plugging a parking meter or playing the slots (not that I do that last one much) when I’m giving Bud treats.

Horse candy is a mixture of grain, apples and probably filler, though I’ve never read the entire ingredient list.

Our horses LOVE these treats.

That is until we had the problem with mice. We keep the grain in our garage since we are horse people without a barn. We are urban horse keepers.

The neighborhood mice found our stash of grain last winter, and let me tell you, for a while they were living the good life. They especially liked the horse candy.

I know this next confession may freak you out, but I actually liked seeing the mice.

Please don’t judge me.

I’ve probably seen too many animated films about little mice doing human-like things. I’m just not afraid of them.

But soon enough I learned that it was not a particularly good thing to have them living in your garage.

We stored the bags of grain in bins with tight, mouse-proof lids and eventually, our mouse problem was solved.

This is purposefully vague because I don’t know exactly what my husband did to get rid of the mice, and I don’t want to know. Sometimes denial is a good thing.

Back to Bud.

It seems he has an amazingly sensitive palate. Who knew? He does NOT like mouse flavoring in his food. Not in any form. A mouse could have just walked past the bag of horse candy and that would be enough for that sensitive appaloosa.

The nose knows. Every time.

Nope. Not eating it. Not even one bite. He patently refuses the candy – the same candy that he would shovel into his mouth like a contestant at a county fair pie-eating contest – if he gets even one whiff of “eau de mouse.”

That’s our Bud. The appaloosa with an educated palate.

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