My mother says Armani's name should have been "Dennis the Menace". It is hard to emphasis this enough. Armani is a serious troublemaker. Yes, I know, many people have horses who are "trouble". They haven't met Armani. Armani is "that horse" at the barn. The one the other owners refuse to lead or have their horses turned out with. The one people walk all-the-way-around when he is cross tied. And no - I'm not proud of it. I'm proud that with consistent discipline he is better than he was.
Some highlights from his past exploits:
- He escapes frequently, often more than once per day. This is still a problem. Latches, knots, tall fences and electric are no obstacle.
- His vices are mares - especially "blondes" (palomino, dun...) - and food. He is a devil at supper time.
- After escaping one day, he jumped into the much larger stallion (now a gelding) paddock and picked a fight. Armani was slammed into a telephone pole fence post. It broke. The fight continued. I had to break that fight up all alone. Oh ya, and Armani tried again days later.
- He got bored while stalled at his first show. Undid a slide latch and a kick bolt and went for a romp around the grounds.
- At another show I was in the dressing room when I felt a nose in my behind. He had untied himself from the trailer and climbed half-way into the dressing room with me.
- He was a confirmed nipper when I got him. That's now better. For the first time, I let a child pet him at a show.
- Once I had him cross tied. I turned away momentarily. I let my guard down. When I turned back he reared and socked my nose.
- He is obstinate under saddle and he can argue all day. During one long argument he nearly knocked himself out by hitting a tree head-on.
- While I was on vacation last year, he wouldn't let himself be caught. When he finally was caught, he pinned the teenage barn girl against the fence and kicked her.
So it is with considerable trepidation that I answer calls from my barn owner. "Oh, Hi... Is Armani being good?... Oh, dear... Oh, no... I'm awfully sorry."
This time he had gotten lose. He alluded three people and got into her vegetable garden. He ate the lettuce but worse - he ate the tomatoes and broccoli too, she told me. Who knew horses ate broccoli?
My vacation is coming up next week. I dread the calls I'll get while I'm supposed to be relaxing on the beach...
14 hours ago