Our big boy, Dollar “The Scholar”, can charm a carrot out of most people’s hands. He’s always (almost) been calm and mild-mannered. However, a few years back, we had a summer of unusual behavior. I’ll write it off as a midlife crisis, only he didn’t have the chance to go out and buy a fancy new automatic feed dispensing unit (he’s not into cars).
We were boarding him at another barn and his stall window was looking out at the mare’s pasture. It had looked out at the mares pasture for a number of years, but something that spring had set him off and one day, he just went crazy in his stall: constantly calling out to the mares, pacing, and generally trying to get out any way he could. You would have thought he was a stallion by the way he was acting. However, his original owners gelded him many years earlier because he showed no interest in the mares.
Well, we closed the windows and took steps to keep him separate from the mares, but unfortunately for the barn owner, he didn’t listen to our request and Dollar plowed his way through two sets of live electric fences to get from the pasture he was turned out in to the mares. (Yes, I’ve touched electric fences before, ouch, and no, I’ve not peed on one, though for some reason, people always seem to suggest it as something fun to try…)
After having to replace the fences, the barn owner decided to do as we asked and moved him to where he couldn’t see the mares. Once that spring/summer was over, Dollar went back to his mild-mannered self and he’s not lost his mind over the mares like that since, though he’s kept a fondness for them.
Fast forward a few years and a new barn, one spring, he was turned out in the mares pasture, since he was deemed “safe” to be with he mares. He instantly became one giddy pony: he had all the grass he could eat and his own personal herd of mares (who were not entirely interested in him). Of course, when we tried to bring him in, he’d let us walk up to him with a load of carrots, bucket of grain, or any other list of treats and he’d eat them right out of our hand. But make a move to lift a lead rope and his cow cutting days came right back to him and he’d dodge away as if he was a two-year old. You could see the laughter in his eyes: “Ya, right, stupid human, you’re not going to catch me.”
Many days later, they were forced to bring in all the mares in order to get him out of the pasture.
So I guess Dollar’s message is:
No matter how old you are, to be young again, go out and find something you enjoy and don’t let anyone try to stop you.