Oh yes, it’s that time again. It’s time to worm the horses, which is easily one of my least favorite barn chores.

When I worm Sophie:

Her ears are perked forward and I’m sure she is thinking, “Treat? Yes! Yes! Treat” as I approach her with the bulky white tube.

I hold her halter with soft hands and slip the tip of the tube into the side of her mouth and squirt. It is at this moment that she knows it is not a treat and she begins slapping her lips together in an attempt to rid her mouth of the offending paste. Alas, the deed is done and she looks at me as though I’ve just eaten the last cookie she had been waiting to enjoy all day long. She then flips me the “horse bird” as she curls her lips up displaying her teeth and gums. I set a peace offering of grain at her hooves and she accepts it. All offenses forgotten until the next worming time.

When I worm Smokey:

Smokey watches my every move with subdued suspicion. He may look like a shaggy, harmless Welsh/Arab, 13.2 hand pony, but ohhhh he sees all. Should I even place my hand on a spray bottle he snorts in alarm. If I dip a rag in a bucket of water to cool him off he is appalled and throws his hooves in every direction to escape the water.

To Smokey, everything wants to kill him. Except for llamas…. He has no issues with llamas.

White tube in hand, I approach Smokey. He already knows what is coming.

The. Tube. Of. Death.

The whites of his eyes glisten in the barn light as I’m sure he hears the Pyscho theme song. I grasp his halter with confidence hoping that this time it might be different. I slip the tip of the tube into the side of his mouth and squeeze.

Smokey jerks forward trying to run away, and I hold him back with a sharp jerk of his head. Smokey thrashes his head around trying to avoid what he believes to be poison. In a deep voice I tell him to “Hoah” and “Calm Down”, but he won’t listen to reason. As I push the paste into his mouth, Smokey hops, skips, attempts to rear, and jostles all around while I fantasize about punching him in the face.

Finally the last bit is in his mouth and he’s rolling his tongue around in desperate attempt to spit out all the disgusting medicine.

I offer him grain. He sniffs and pushes the sweet feed around with his lips, not biting.

He is not fooled by the grain offering, he knows it could be poison, especially since the paste didn’t kill him, the grain must be the final blow.

I leave him be to think about his bad behavior and skepticism.

When I return, the bucket is empty and he is half asleep with one eye watching me.

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