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Our Miss Pepper is a character in horse clothing.

She definitely has her likes and dislikes, and lets us know exactly what she wants. In other words, she has trained us well. I don’t think that’s necessarily how it’s supposed to go in the “horse world,” but in our little slice of the pasture, that’s how it is.

Lately Pepper has decided she likes to mix her grain with nibbles of snow. Sort of like a grain snow cone or slushie. She’ll dump the pan by flipping it with her nose, so she can mix grain with snow.

I’ve wondered if she’s thirsty.

Or if she likes the taste of cold grain.

Or if she’s simply bored and ready to mix things up.

Who knows for sure?

Chickadee powers through her grain like an out-of-control freight train racing downhill. That girl gets right to business and doesn’t raise her head until she’s finished.

Pepper, on the other hand, dawdles.

She’s the stereotypical Sunday driver as she takes tiny little mouthfuls and carefully chews them. Then she looks around, enjoying the scenery and behavior of the other horses, before slurping up another tiny bite. On these frigid days, we’d like nothing more than for her to hurry a little.

But hurrying is not in her plan.

Pepper is practicing mindful eating-something most of us could probably do more of.

As usual, she challenges me take stock of my own life. What a sneaky little teacher she is!

If a grain-infused snow cone sounds good to you, you’ll find us around noon in the pasture. I think Pepper will share.

There are some people who just can’t abide messes. They spend their lives straightening, sorting, picking things up, and cleaning. No one has ever attributed those actions to me, but I know plenty of folks who fit the bill.

You may remember my blog post about the differences in car neatness between my sister and me. Here’s a link if you’d like a refresher. The gist of it is that she’s much neater than I am. In fairness to me, she doesn’t feed horses from her car. But maybe that’s me being defensive.

Well, it turns out that my own dear sweet Miss Pepper is a cleaner.

Or is it gleaner?

We’ve taken to calling her Pepperella or Cinderpepper.

She takes it upon herself to nibble up the stray bits of grain that have been dropped on the tailgate or back of the car. She does this even when her own pan still holds grain.

I think it’s a neatness thing. Really I do.

Pepper doesn’t like messes. She’s an orderly, put together kind of mare.

Bud on the other hand is kind of a slob. It’s usually his grain that she’s cleaning up.

My husband’s theory is that Pepper is stalling for time. The more she fiddles around the truck, the more time she has out of the pasture.

I disagree. I am totally convinced that she has taken it on herself to be the cleaning lady. She doesn’t like all those bits of grain lying about.

It’s messy.

If horses could make a tsk-tsking sound, Pepper would do just that.

Instead she busies herself cleaning, gleaning, whatever.

Sometimes she even licks out the feed pans.

What a girl!

I’ve tried to figure out how to get her to my house, but honestly, I don’t think it would work. So I’m settling for taking cleaning lessons from my mare.

Hey, when the student is ready, the teacher appears.



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