Or, in Duncan’s case, the call of the modest fenced pasture.
He. Wants. It.
Duncan loves his pasture. Doesn’t matter how scarce those grass blades or how studded with prickly pear. He has a south flat shared with agility equipment and junipers and one gorgeous piñon, a north flat of yucca and prickly pear in which we sometimes ride, and a rugged, offset connection corridor curving around behind the house–the little arroyo, full of piñon, juniper, snags, and cactus.
Beyond that fence line, he can only gaze upon the plunging deep true arroyo, which is really just as well.
The paddock itself is plenty generous–different shade choices, flats and slopes and the barn. Zones for winter hang-out, zones for summer hang-out. Room to cut loose now and then.
Say, when he has a serious case of Pasture Wannit.
Because it doesn’t matter how dry, it doesn’t matter how sparse. He loves his pasture.
Unfortunately for him, although this land is meant to be grazed–by antelope, deer, elk, and bunnies–it isn’t meant for heavy use. It’s meant for animals who wander through, nibbling along the way. So that means while he’s good for this land, he’s also bad for it. (If he wasn’t a barefoot horse, he’d be even worse for it.) And in this dry, pre-monsoon season, that means he has only a few hours out, every other day or so.
This is, he says, not nearly enough. So he has a procedure through which to satisfy his Wannit.
First up: The determined and steely stare over the gate.
DuncanHorse: You. Will. OPEN.
When this fails, a quick circle around to glare with stare part 2:
DuncanHorse: Feel my wrath building! SNORT!
I have to say the gate is seldom impressed. Even the universe seems to have other things to do.
Next? Pawing at the gate. He doesn’t do this for any other reason, and he’s not pawing the ground. He lifts his front leg remarkably high and scrapes his hoove along the metal.
DuncanHorse: Must. Develop. Opposable. Digits.
Sadly, he does not.
And so the fun begins.
DuncanHorse: Wrath! SNORT! FLING MY HEELS! SPURT AWAY WITH AMAZING POWER! STOMP! STAMPEDE! LEVITAAAAATE!
Somewhere in that process, I often amble out to enjoy the show. Somewhere in this process, he becomes bored with himself, but doesn’t want to admit it. There follows a great spate of snort! Snorty snort!
And then suddenly, it’s…
Flirt. Flirt flirt flirt.
DuncanHorse: Am I handsome?
DuncanHorse: See my eyelashes?
DuncanHorse: See my curvy neck?
DuncanHorse: The gate is right there beside you…
Nice try, Duncan. Here’s a hug, a pat, and a cookie.
DuncanHorse: Kiss my nose?