You know, I'm not always the brightest bulb on the porch (a fact I freely admit), but this morning when that bulb came on, it was so darn interesting that I just had to post it.
Rina has always been the most difficult of The Girls to groom, she is the leader of her little herd and it's a role she takes quite seriously. She's not so much uncooperative as she is somewhat ADHD (or so I thought).
I have a superquick grooming routine with The Girls just about every day. We have an agreement that anything that is done "for me" is rewarded with a treat, and anything I do for them is not; it is all done at liberty and good manners are mandatory. Brushing manes and spraying with conditioner is done every morning to keep the tangles out (but since they could care less about tangles, these would fall under the "for me" category :o) The "pink brush" is a body brush, and everyone (with the exception of Bella) just loves it, making it a reward in and of itself.
Now most of the time, Rina stands nice and still for me as I brush and spray her mane (which I expect her to do). I usually keep a lighthearted running coversation going during grooming, which the horses seem to enjoy - sort of like your basic hairdresser, I suppose. The girls will often "talk" back with little nickers and noises; Bella puncuates hers with kisses and long drawn out mmmmmmmmmmm's that always make me laugh :o)
This morning, however, was one of those mornings with Rina. She did not wish to stand still, moving from one side of her stall to the other, and was just being a total pill. It wasn't until she turned all the way around and bumped me off balance with her hip (which she never does) that the bulb finally came on, making me feel like a nitwit for not having figured it out more quickly.
Deciding to test my theory, I walked over to Rina who was now standing on the opposite side of her stall and started brushing her mane again, this time without speaking. She stood perfectly still the entire time; seems she was trying to tell me to be quiet as best she knew how so she could listen for or to something. In retrospect, I think the hip bump was merely Rina's way of showing her exasperation with my cluelessness.
Horses are amazingly self-aware when it comes to their bodies, and the only reasons a horse will bump you are: 1. to see if he can (a.k.a. a sign of disrespect); 2. they were focused intently on something else and did not see you; or 3. are in a state of panic. Since none of the aforementioned apply here, I guess I'll go with my enlightened thought. Anyway, I guess that's my story and I'm sticking to it... (and thank you for reading it :o)