I think Hudson and Dinero know I am in trouble, and are deliberately providing me with humorous entertainment.
First, you need to understand the difference in personality between Dinero and Hudson.
- Hudson: Mr. Spock. He studies the Human Condition, and the potential role of Horses. We will never make total sense to him? But we’re interesting case studies.
- Dinero: Surf’s Up. Always ready for a Chai latte or a run on the Big Kahuna, maybe he’ll roast a couple of marshmallows for breakfast. He’ll invite you to come, and give you the best roasting stick. He’s intensely serious about his passion though, and has instant razor focus. Total. Surfer.
Dinero would wear a flip-flops, swim trunks, and a Hawaiian shirt…he’s chill. Hudson would wear expensive suits or ranch gear. Dinero is not capable of hiding his feelings. He lights up if he likes you. Hudson would rather die a slow death from carrot withdrawal than let you know how he feels about anything, one way or the other.
*Exception: He has no problem letting you know how he feels about The Girth.
Okay, now you have background…
I was riding Hudson, warming up on the access road while ponying Dinero. The access road winds around the arena, past paddocks and between barns. I’ve pulled us over for trailers to pass, the tractor clanking by on its way to groom the arena, farrier rigs, etc.
This is why I wasn’t worried when I saw the barn manager coming toward us, pushing a plastic cart full of hay. (She’s the lunch wagon.) There was a shiny silver trash can lying on top of the hay. A new boarder must have arrived. Janet was balancing the empty grain can with one hand, and pushing the cart with the other. Both horses prick their ears at the scent of alfalfa.
I pulled up The Boys when we got closer, and waited, so we could say good morning.
Problem. (For Hudson.) Oblivious, Dinero began yawning: a nice, big, wide-open, happy, satisfied sort of yawn. The sun was shining, the scent of alfalfa was in the air, he was warm and a little sleepy. Life was good.
Hudson is a horse you can ride next to an idling double tractor-trailer. Daisy claims he’s the most ‘broke’ horse on the planet. The only thing that scares Hudson is a new loud sound. Which the trash can conveniently made when Janet waved. It rolled off the hay, BONGing against the side of the cart.
Hudson did a futurity spin and bolted. Dinero, still yawning, spun with him, calmly bolting at my knee, molars glistening.
I don’t think I’ve ever seen a horse yawn and bolt at the same time.
He came with us like he was coasting along on a skateboard, still yawning and sleepy-eyed.
A few strides later, Hudson bravely made his way back to the Loud Thing. About a dozen people were shouting variations of “HUDSON SPOOKED?!?” pause “HUDSON????”. I was congratulated for staying on through such a big spook. It must have looked a lot worse from the ground. It was a NBD, “Huh? And we’re doing this, why?” bolt to sit.
We stop in front of the cart. Hudson is a twenty foot tall war-horse: arched neck, huge stance, flared nostrils; he’s snorting, blowing, and quivering with tension.
Dinero, at my knee, is finishing another yawn. He smacks his lips, cocks a hoof. His ears flop out, his eyelids drift down, his lower lip begins to quiver.
He’s falling asleep. Next to Mr. Terminator.
This strikes me as hilarious. I laugh so hard that I get a kind of breath-snatching guffaw going on. It’s now entirely possible I could fall off because I’m unbalanced and doubled over. This makes me laugh even more. Seriously? The only real danger from The Big Spook came because I can’t stop laughing?
Hudson’s ears flick back and forth:
Great. The horrible sound happened, and now you’re going to choke to death on me? LOUDLY? This is so not my day.