I've mentioned before just how smart Cookie is. Just how smart is always a surprise.
Children learn by watching their parents. They learn their demeanors, attitudes and perspective.
Some horses are not much different. They can and will learn by watching how you do things. They don't "reason" things out, however they do "work" things out.
Some horses bulldoze their way through things when the grass is greener. When you go out to get your horse, you may find they are on the other side of the fence and you're scratching your head trying to figure out how they got there. Did you spread the fence and shimmy through it while they were watching you? Aha! So you showed your horse how to get through the fence without tearing it down.
Are your trees missing leaves on lower limbs? Did you use the lopers to cut some and they were watching you? So that's why there are no leaves there.
When you went out to feed and opened the door, unlatched a gate or unhooked the chain while your horse was watching you? Yep, that's how they got into the hay shed.
Your horse is standing there watching how you turn on the water hose. Yes that's why the lot looks like a pond now because they have turned the water on, but didn't turn it off when they were finished.
Here's another good one: You have fruit trees in your yard and you have turned your horse out to graze for a while. Do you A: Show your horse where the fruit is? B: leave the fruit alone and do not bring attention to it? B would be the correct answer if you have a smart horse. They will graze on grass until there isn't any left and then they will strip the trees of the leaves. If they manage to find the fruit before the leaves, it's nearly a guarantee you won't have any fruit left and quite possibly that is the reason you have a colicky horse.
Anytime you find your horse in an unusual predicament, think back to what you were doing that may have shown them what to do. It's a good idea to pay attention to how you do things in the future that you may NOT want your horse to do, because just like children they will figure it out and can get into some serious trouble.
Cookie hasn't figured out there are pears and apples on the trees and I don't plan on pointing them out any time soon. Though she has become a giraffe and stripped some of the leaves off of the pear tree, I'm hoping she can't reach the pears. We'll know in a few months.
Cookie hasn't figured out how to remove her fly mask, halter, or bareback pad, although she does often try to rub them off. lol
*Note* The lump I found has gone down and now is the size of a small pea. I can only assume it was a bug bite of some kind and thankfully it went away on its own. She grazed in the front yard for about an hour, then I hosed her down to remove the sweat and dew off of her face and took her back to her paddock for lunch. She is getting spooky again, which could just be that she hasn't spent much time in the front or she's just jumpy today. Either way she'll overcome it in time.
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