I wrote the story that follows on a horse forum I am on during a bad spell of below zero weather. I have taken out my horse's names in respect of their privacy and also because they are under 18 years of age. The Deal In temps like these, I really appreciate having a time-saving, efficient, routine when I care for my horses. The one thing that holds things up some mornings is, A, my dappled grey gelding. He's beautiful to look at for sure, but he's a squirrely dunderhead at times. Here's a for instance... The other day, during the morning feeding, I made something A considered to be a mindblowing mistake. After I filled up a small coffee can with pellets, I did not follow protocol. I opened the stall door before His Royal Highness was at his feed tub. This caused him to stop dead in his tracks after stepping into the stall and just like that, I had a 3-horse pileup on my hands! M, my tiny cremello pony gelding, was on A's side tighter than a tick and had to slam on the brakes. I heard a little thud as his nose hit the doorframe. Poor little fool. R, my chestnut gelding, must have been hot on M's tail because all of a sudden it got darker in the stall. His bulk blocked the sun like a friggin' eclipse, I swear! I tried to coax A. into the barn, but his wittle bwain was confused and he was convinced I was there to beat him, not feed him. After being as patient as below zero weather permits, I said, "Ya know, horse, I'm in no mood for this kind of shit, GET OUT OF MY BARN!" I chased him out and let the other two in. A minute later, A tried to bully his way back into the barn and I was all "boss mare" in his face. I then removed his feedtub from the stall. I kept him out of the barn until the others were done and safely out in the barnyard, and then I left the stall. The evening feed rolled around, I went into the barn, R and M were waiting at their tubs. A's tub was still sitting on a tack trunk, so he stood in the corner with his nose down at the level of where the feed tub would be. He looked so much like an ostrasized child I laughed out loud. After I gave him his feed, I scratched and rubbed his face. Soon, I heard "the sigh". (For those not familiar with horses, when a horse lets out a really big sigh, it is a sign they are relaxed.) With that, I knew we had forgiven each other our moods and had moved on. We chatted for a bit, and settled on an agreement. He wasn't going to show up late for feed on frigid cold days, and I wasn't going to kill him. So far, the deal has been working splendidly.