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Thursday, March 15 2012

   This creature has caused a great deal of trouble recently.  It would appear that Montoya has discovered the red bobber of the float valve in the pasture and has pulled the float valve off the trough. This has resulted in a flooded pasture, (not once, but TWICE), a dangerously overheated well motor, and an enraged husband.

Please keep in mind that all this water is in ADDITION to the 4 inches of rain we received last week.  Yeah, the calves are gonna need arm floaties if this continues.

I have had this horse since he was a baby. Montoya is easily bored and clever - a great combination in a trick horse, but a dangerous combination in the average pasture beast. When he was a weanling, I taught him quite a few tricks both as entertainment, and a way for us to bond before he was old enough to ride.  This begs a question. Which came first? A clever beast? Or teaching a clever beast problem-solving?

Montoya's favorite, his DEFAULT trick, is a modified bow. This is his "go-to" trick, the one he loves to perform and is his equine version of saying "please."  When he wants something, he bows. When he was little, I would bow to him, he would bow to me, and then I'd feed him. A monster is born.

Soon he was bowing whenever he wanted to ask me for a treat. He took this to an absurd extreme one day in the summer of 2008. I'll share this with you so you can understand why bobbing for apples with a float valve is simply par for the course with this animal:


Montoya has developed a nasty habit of raiding the feed bin.  Grain is stored in a chest freezer inside the feed room. Clever Beast has managed to cram his fat ass into the room and use his lips to open the chest freezer. Multiple attempts to block his entrance into the feed room have failed. A stall-barrier cable stretched across the doorway has proved futile. He merely bumped it gently long enough that he bent the bolts and worked them out, thus rewarding his belief that if one works at a puzzle long enough, the secret will be revealed. 

Since attempts to keep him out of the room have failed, I will try to keep him out of the
freezer by securing it with a bungie cord. The cord will stretch enough to barely allow the freezer to open, but will slam it back in place immediately.  Test run works perfectly.

Release Clever Beast. Go hide and observe Eistein at work.

Clever Beast makes a bee-line to feedroom and using a shoe horn, crams his ample backside into tiny room. Makes a three-point turn to set himself up in front of freezer feed bin. Reaches for freezer and opens lid with his lips. Bungee cord slams it back in place. Note confusion on Einstein's face.  Stifle Mad Scientist laugh and observe. Clever Beast lifts lid again. Lid slams back in place - again. Einstein is annoyed. Begins to lift lid in rhythm but cannot get his head underneath it before bungee cord slams it back into place.  Note that he has a greater attention span than the average 12 year old child as he tries repeated variations of the lift.  Resist urge to laugh like a Mad Scientist.

Clever Beast is clearly beside himself with frustration. Finally backs up and BOWS to the freezer. In mid-bow, he catches himself and bolts upright.  Yes, he is clever enough to realize he was about to bow to an inanimate object and abandoned it. Can no longer contain laughter.  He sees me outside feed room and after much manuevering on his part, exits room with outstretched lips, "Give us a kiss, Mommy!"

Such is life with a clever horse.  Other Half says he is Trouble and wants me to sell him. From his point of view the horse is a $7000 Pasture Flooder/Well-Breaker. From my point of view, the horse is an 1100 pound Border Collie. 


 A Border Collie . . .

. . . with big lips.


Update:  Other Half just received a call at work from the rancher next door. He has had to crawl over the fence and save us yet again, for while OH and I are at work, Montoya has just figured out how to turn on the water spigot.  Oh dear!  Other Half is beside himself with frustration. I am equally annoyed, but am also somewhat intrigued by his clever games. Apparently the Word For The Day is "WATER."


Posted by: forensicfarmgirl AT 02:53 pm   |  Permalink   |  6 Comments  |  Email
Ha ha ha! You know what they say about pets (esp. border collies and animals as clever as BCs) - you have to be smarter than the animal. So, are you two humans smarter than a horse? Or do you have to give in to his cleverness? Or do you know somebody who is smarter than a horse -- perhaps somebody with an engineering degree who can rearrange pasture technology to defeat horse smarts? Ha ha - give that big Montoya a hug from me.
Posted by Terri's Pal on 03/16/2012 - 01:53 AM
I feel your pain....LOL. I have an evil pygmy goat that has above average the point of problem solving. I love her to death, but she has been a total trip to keep confined. Someone asked me why I keep her, and I said she gives the GREATEST little snuffly kisses...LOL.... I daily check to see if she is growing thumbs.
Posted by Diane I. on 03/16/2012 - 09:12 AM
Have you tried bitter apple on anything he can get his lovely lips teeth around? Smart boy, maybe keep him in electrified pen? water with bucket? I had smart cow who could get water to run by slobbering in basin, but not that bright. He is so beautiful.
Posted by Libby on 03/16/2012 - 10:44 AM
That story made my day ... Had a good Laugh just when I needed it... Thank you
Posted by Maharia on 03/16/2012 - 04:19 PM
How funny - and challenging!! Should this be named "Einstein IS trouble"? Thanks for sharing. I'm pretty sure I couldn't handle a 1100 lb BC - still trying to find the right time and energy to get a 35 lb one.
Posted by Michigan Sister on 03/16/2012 - 08:00 PM
I hope Einstein hasn't created anymore mud lately and . One question I had is can you put a timer on the pump, so that if he does get it to run it will only run 5 minutes (or whatever number you choose) out each hour or just an hour each day? Just want to help keep him safe from Other Half. :-)
Posted by Sharon on 03/21/2012 - 10:09 PM

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