The scene- I had just let four of the horses (two ponies) out into a foot of fresh snow and fifteen degrees. Normally I put hay out the night before so it's waiting for them in the morning, unless, as in this situation, the weather made that impractical. I hate leaving horses in their stalls while I put hay out because the stalls get messier. So there they were, romping in the cold fresh snow, galloping about looking for their hay piles. My husband offered to put a bale on the sled and drag it out to the far side of the field where we like to put it to encourage the horses to move and spread the manure more evenly in the field. I gratefully accepted and I went out the other door to take hay to the other ponies in the shed.
When I was done, I saw that we had a problem.
Instead of going around the field and tossing or carrying hay in, Ed had struck out across the middle of the field. Four horses were grabbing at the hay bale as they chased it and him across the field, yanking the bale off the sled every step of the way. My husband can swear a blue streak when he's in a good mood- he was not presently in a good mood. They were all about 100 yards from me but I took a chance. I ducked into the field, stepped into the run- in shed and yelled Percy's and Ande's names. I couldn't believe they could hear me over the wind and Ed's expletives, but they did. When they turned to look, I stuck my arm out to the side- heavily gloved hand in a fist.
And they came. At a gallop, kicking snow up all around them, they came right to me, leaving a full bale of hay and the fun of yanking it out of its strings, when they hadn't eaten since 10: PM. I had one handful of hay stretcher pellets in my pockets. They each got two on arrival. I then rationed them out, one at a time, for pulling their noses away from me. Mariah and Stowaway had returned at a more sedate pace, and then I had four horses giving me polite "Grownups" positions, in exchange for one hay stretcher pellet at a time, taking turns with each other. Fortunately the hay pellets lasted until the hay was distributed and even though I didn't have leftovers to put on the ground when I left, they seemed happy to wheel and race each other back out across the field to their waiting hay piles.