David Freeze: Junior the Horse always amazes

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Junior is the nickname for the only male horse I have.
He is a registered Arabian, and is surrounded by four females. Maybe that is why he feels the need to stand out.
Junior’s real name is Fine Galaxy. I believe I’d go for a good nickname, too. Nobody knows why he affectionately is called Junior. Maybe another reason to do things to stand out.
When Junior was born, he was immediately open to me and others who wanted to touch him. Sometimes little foals don’t like people, but Junior did from the start.
During the first few days, when foals are their cutest, he really liked being around people. I started a bad habit, playing as if we were wrestling.
I put my arms around Junior’s neck, and would act like I was wrestling him. That was really cute when he was small, but now that he is almost fully grown, it isn’t quite so cute.
It seems like Junior is just like me, he still doesn’t want to admit that he is almost grown.
When my daughters were young and my stepkids (from one of my many marriages) were here, we raised baby Holsteins. Once they (the calves, not the kids) were big enough to eat grass, we turned them out in the barnyard.
One calf in particular liked to play with the kids and ran around with them. They started playing soccer in the barnyard, and the calf ran among them as they kicked the ball.
Occasionally, the calf would push the ball with his head. We all thought that was great fun.
Finally, I had to sell the small cow to the place where some cows become hamburger, and the kids were mad at me for a long time.
Junior is only a little over 2 years old. He is always playful, but sometimes gets into some serious trouble.
Twice now, when lacking a better stage for his shenanigans, Junior has eaten part of my tractor seat.
Once he bites through the upholstery, the cushioning looks like something good to eat. Junior finds out that it really doesn’t taste good, but by then he is having fun.
I have to take the seat to Doby’s Upholstery to get it fixed again.
Here are some more of his tricks. If a woman comes into the barnyard, he waits until she is petting the other horses. Then he walks up behind her and starts snoodling her neck.
Junior is persistent, too. He doesn’t quit easily. Another trait he probably learned from me.
No latch on any of the barn stall doors is safe with him around.
He figures out how to open them, and I find the door standing open on my next trip to the barn.
Junior will be standing at a safe distance, watching me with a twinkle in his eye. Then he will walk over and want to wrestle.
I climb a ladder to get to the barn loft to give the horse hay. Most times, Junior waits until I have started up the ladder and then comes along and bumps my bottom with his nose. He waits until I have started to push the hay out of the loft and he stands under it as it falls. Not really useful tricks, but fun for him.
Junior has one special trick, and previous to today it had never been witnessed by another human being.
Laura Kerr was here and took his picture as he twirled a halter around and around while holding it in his teeth.
A halter is made of heavy nylon and usually fits around a horse’s head. I’ve seen Junior swing one round and round for 20 minutes before, but this time he spun it really fast and raised his head to make different angles.
The other horses stand around and watch, then get bored and walk away. They know he’s a ham.
All this impresses me, and I hope you enjoyed it to. Then again, maybe it was just a slow day on the farm.