Horses are so goofy! One little thing that's new in their surroundings and you have a circus on your hands. Being Halloween, I played a little game of Trick or Treat with the girls! While they were hanging out in the box stall, I took two wire tomato cages, two big black plastic bags and some treats out to their pasture. After setting up the cages I put the bags over the support and put a horse treat on top. It was just windy enough to create a spooky billowing and blowing of the plastic.
Sure enough, they got curious and came around the side of the barn. Proceed with ** SNORT ** STOMP ** BOLT ** WHAT'S GOING ON HERE?! DANGER!!! ** It would be funny if it wasn't so potentially dangerous -- not to them, but if one was riding a horse that was this reactive in this situation on the trail there could be trouble. This little simulation is the beginning of future plans to have this same test out on the trail--- for real.
Cerra turned out to be the leader this time. How interesting! A skitterish Cheyenne was on her heels and jumped back at the slightest movement of the plastic. It didn't take long after a little circling for Cerra to home in on the fact that it wasn't going to attack and--gee, I smell treats! She stuck her nose in the plastic bag and came out with the surprise. Chy came over, too, and she got fed a treat by hand. Then they knocked the whole thing over and ground the plastic into the dirt. Mission accomplished?!
Cerra spotted the other spooky object and headed over to it cautiously. She's smart--didn't take as long to find the next treat while I was setting up the first display in a new spot. We did this at five or six different places and when I ran out of treats it was game over. They were the only trick or treaters we had at our house!