This is Max, he is an American Quarter Horse we rescued several years ago. He is our resident "hoovenile" delinquent, walking disaster area, and all around problem child. His mane is perpetually snarled and he is usually covered with dents and dings from his latest misadventure; not to mention numerous teeth marks and hoofprints from his long-suffering pasturemates. Max has lots of personality and energy which he [unfortunately] dispenses at warp speed to irritate everyone within a six acre radius. Honestly? If there was ever a horse in need of a hefty dose of Ritalin, it would be Max. He is like that trouble making kid in class who wanted everyone's attention SO badly he would [and did] do anything that helped him get it.
You know the kid I mean? Every school has at least one. If he doesn't get yelled at and sent to the principal's office at least once during the course of a day he feels deprived, and the principal assumes he's absent. For some (stupid?) reason, I have it in my head that there is an awesome equine buried somewhere in there underneath all that reprehensible behavior. Look at the photos below for an idea of what life with Max is all about...Nuisance.
I have tried pretty much everything I could think of in an effort to help Max achieve one little success; just ONE. Something. Anything. Once a horse figures out the whole desired behavior/reward thing, it all starts clicking right along (and please don't misunderstand me, training the right way takes lots and lots of time when things go well). Unfortunately, Max's behavior was so annoying I was starting to think that we would never get there. Happily I have plenty of my own *cough* tenacity, and have finally figured out what makes that little turkey tick. Basically? I got in his face and ignored him. Although I had already tried shunning him in the past - without success - it turns out that it was the right key to unlocking Max, I just wasn't being obnoxious enough about it for it to register. Once I achieved all the subtlety of a concrete block *grin* we finally started getting somewhere.
To give you some insight into Max's pigheaded personality, here is a case in point: The hay roll in the pasture was not enough of a challenge for our little delinquent; no, he opted to start sneaking under the fence and raid the Hay Express. Oh, and the electric fence is ON. At the moment, the Hay Express is empty (time for DH to make another gun run). There is, however, plenty of hay left in both pastures for now. At least this will keep Max out of trouble for a day or two, since there's no reason to sneak under the fence (he already ate all the grass). For those of you that missed it, here's Max's mini movie from one of his little escapades...if you are a subscriber reading this via email, you'll need to pop over to the actual blog to be able to watch the video (it's quick!)
Mad Max's Micromini Movie from Jen on Vimeo.
And what was I thinking again??? I'm pretty sure Max staying out of trouble is some sort of massive oxymoron. Saturday [as in yesterday] we had a yard sale with a group from church (it was at someone else's house several miles away). I got a phone call from our neighbor at the top of the pasture, letting me know there was a big brown horse in Mr. T's vegetable patch. Oh, NO. I just checked the fence up there yesterday. *Groan*. I dispatched DD to investigate, and sure enough it was Max. Our little miscreant apparently found a weak spot in the fence down one side of the pasture, snuck through and looped back around to hit the smorgasbord jackpot. I wonder if duct taping a horse to a tree would be considered wrong...I'm thinking probably so.
I would like to point out that although Max does get into trouble on a regular basis, it's usually on the home front. He's only gotten all the way out once before (and that's been a long time ago), so maybe we've gotten a bit lax in our supervision only checking on the horses two to four times a day. I wonder if we need to just camp out in the pasture or hire a sitter. Sheesh. The last time we got a phone call from the same neighbor, it was late one afternoon (she's a very nice lady; we chat over the fence on a regular basis :o) and it was to tell us that she had seen a big red horse and smaller brown horse raiding Mr. T's vegetable patch for several nights running. Since we weren't missing any horses, I feed twice a day, we didn't actually think it was ours; particularly not with those super skinny horses down the road that are running away from home every time we turn around (story posted here). That night, however, DH decided to go up to the top of the pasture and check just in case. Surprise, surprise, Max and Champ were both out; poking around in their newly discovered all-you-can-eat buffet and having a grand ol' time. Rickey made some silly comment about fencing the two of them OUT, and started to walk back down the hill to get what he needed to fix the fence. He turned at the sound of hoofbeats, to see Max and Champ hot-footing it down the hill in case he wasn't bluffing (and now that I think about it, he may not have been :o)
Here is some typical Max thinking for you; with photos (below). It was pretty nippy out being winter and all, but Max decided it would be fun to play in the pond. He got himself nice and muddy (had a great time splashing around and wallowing) and then got out. Unfortunately, between the wind (brr) and the mud drying (itch-itch-itch) Max spent several minutes racing around madly and annoying his pasture mates trying to warm up before having a nice big roll in the grass. Of course the dead grass stuck to him everywhere, making him look like an environmentally friendly version of tarred and feathered (goober :o)
Since I posted an update on Faith, Hope and Charity last time, a friend of mine wanted to know how the rest of our fish were doing. So here is a picture of the other half, just for you Lori ;o)I have to say, that Moe is definitely the coolest looking one of those three stooges.
<-- Check him out up close and personal, isn't he neat? Believe it or not, that round thing that looks like his eyeball is actually a bubble; his eye is right underneath. Weird, isn't it? Moe is a Ryukin Goldfish; the rest of our little cleaning committee members are Fantails. Believe it or not (and I'm thinking Moe's little pot belly over there is proof enough) the Moo Crew's fish are even fatter than the girls'...Wow. Have a great week everyone!