After last week's peacock incident with the Big Man I decided a bit of peacock de-sensitizing was in order.
Gabe was none to pleased with me at first. He was pretty darn sure I was the one who had lost my ever-loving mind when I forced him to stand nicely while Mr. 1,000 Eyes Horse-Eater was in full strut and screaming for his girlfriends less than 20 feet away.
At first I was horrible and terrible and wicked mean for making him stand and just watch that peacock get closer and closer. I was even more horrible when I encouraged him to take a few steps towards the peacock as Mr. Peacock has his back towards us and was strutting away. He jumped sideways, blew hard at him, showed him the whites of his eyes the tried to climb into my pocket.
I told him what a nut he is for being terrified of a stinkin' BIRD. A BIRD! He didn't believe me and tried to push me to the front so I'd be the first one devoured and he'd have time to haul ass away.
So we stood and watched the peacock strut around and scream and I fed Gabe treats every time he'd stand nicely without wiggle-worming around trying to make the mind-blowing experience as pleasant as possible. Of course, I talked to him and called him many names: Moron, Goof-ball, Chickenshit, Pansy, Nutcase, Half-Wit, Goober and Peabrain...all in my sweetest most comforting voice possible.
Half an hour or so later the peacock was No Big Thing any more. Gabe gave him a bit of an OH MY GOD! glance when the bird lowered his massive plumage and jumped up onto the fence fairly close to him, but he didn't move, just looked.
I groomed him, tacked him and took him out for a ride. And the poor guy is SORE. Not dead limping lame, but sore enough that I just walked him around for about 15 mins., worked on leg yielding a bit and called it done. The only thing I can imagine that would have made him sore was his ill-conceived leap sideways over the fence. He may have pulled or twisted something just enough to be ouchie. I could find no heat, no swelling, I palpated and got no OUCH! reactions, so, who knows.
Two bute and call me in the morning. I'll give him a couple of days to rest up and see if he's still sore. If he is, guess there will be a vet bill in my future.
The personality differences and braveness levels in my horses constantly amuse me.
Calypso, that fiesty little mare, has no fear of the peacock. Actually, I think she's pretty fed up with that bird roosting on HER run-in and violating her sensitive ears with his high-pitched screams.
So, what's a good lead mare do?
Attack the peacock of course and run him off. She has gone after my chickens from time to time when she decides she's had enough of their food-stealing ways. She's kicked a couple of them. Last night she went after that peacock, neck snaked, ears flat, teeth bared and tried to stomp him. She chased him through two paddocks and wasn't happy until he was well out of her paddock and on his merry way. I'm not quite sure what she would have done if the peacock had turned around and popped that plumage on her. Run the other way most likely!