Today I was out working with the yearlings for a few minutes in between thunderstorms. This is a delicate balancing act: you have to time it so that it’s nice and cloudy from the previous thunderstorm, but the next thunderstorm is looming on the horizon and keeping it cloudy as the other one passes. As it nears you get progressively more and more lightning that is entirely too close, and also bursts of cold wind that really gets up a colt’s butt! And then of course there’s the downpour, should you push it too far.
See, this is working horses in Central Florida. 95 and humid at eleven a.m. Storming and dangerous at one p.m. Good luck getting any work done. I certainly don’t.
Today we were working on getting into the trailer, as they’ll be headed up the road to Ocala next week to finish prepping for the sale at the end of August. (Selling babies? Advantage: racehorse. At least in America.)
Both babies are completely Giddyap Girls Cookie-motivated. I have never had such good luck with a cookie in my life. Carrots, apples, Doritos, forget it. These horses would go up my front steps, into my house, and do the dishes for a shot at these little cookies.
Now, there are certain basic things you should never, ever do, (like work horses during a thunderstorm) and one of them is feed yearlings cookies. Yearlings are mouthy anyway, and giving them delicious treats just sort of cements that. I’m not sure why or when I started giving them cookies. Maybe it was because I felt bad that I never gave last years’ yearlings any treats. Maybe it was because they were watching me spoil Final Call. Either way, I’ve made the Bad Colt even more bad, and the filly whinnies whenever I walk up to the barn. It’s not that they bite, per se, but they’re definitely more motivated in finding my fingers than they used to be.
Anyway, I had the front half of the colt in the trailer, and I was pretty happy with that, giving him cookies, all the good stuff. And the rain hit with a whoosh of cold air and massive drops. It was a monsoon. It only lasted a few seconds and then settled to a more steady monotonous rainfall, but I was convinced. I backed him out and we started back for the barn at a very fast walk.
He was rollicking along, swinging his head, and suddenly decided to check out my raised hand as I went to brush hair out of my eyes. He swung his open mouth towards me, I flung out my hand defensively, and his open mouth landed upon my arm. I felt his teeth on either side of my arm. He had my whole arm in his mouth. Only for the barest of seconds, and he never closed his jaw – he leapt backwards – Mommy’s going to kill me!
He would’ve been right, too. Mommy would have killed him. Luckily, brains stepped in and saved him!
I gave him a cookie.