His name is Icelandic for the God of Mischief and he lives up to this name. We first met Loki when we travelled to the Icelandic farm in BC to check out a few horses that they felt would be right for us beginner riders.
The farm separates the mares from the geldings into two large pastures, the first group of horses we would go see were the geldings. As we entered the pasture one could see the group of horses way in the distance so we walked towards them. One horse in the group came towards us and settled himself right next to Zaia and he stayed with us the whole time. This horse was Loki.
The next morning when we returned to see the horses, there was Loki waiting right at the gate, alone, looking quite ready to be loaded onto a trailer and driven to our place. He had decided that Zaia was the owner for him and who were we to resist this?!
When Loki did arrive at our place, he was clearly pleased with himself. When we spent time with him in BC, he was ever so polite and on his best behavior. But now he was “home” and he could let his mane down. His eyes brightened up and he looked less docile and more in charge of himself.
A few days after he arrived, Zaia and I went out to the pasture to visit with our new horses, Loki came galloping down the field with such love in his eyes that it brought a tear to our eyes. He was meant to be with us and he was meant to be Zaia’s horse. In time it became apparent that Loki was a very clever horse and was evolving from being a mere horse into another type of being. We watched as our neighbor would simply string a rope between two posts, 15’ apart, to keep her two horses from crossing into the road. The rope hung so slack that it was only 2’ above the ground in the middle, but those two horses looked and went we can’t possibly cross that rope!
We had to be way more creative in our ways to keep Loki out of where we didn’t want him to go. Latches meant nothing to him, all he had to do was see us open them once and he simply used his very dexterous mouth to replicate our hands and poof, the gate was open. We had to add additional measures to keep him from opening them, as for ropes that was never an impediment to Loki.
When we began our landscaping, the horses were not going to have access to all of those lovely and expensive plants but we did still want them to be able to graze the grass beyond their set pastures. So we knew we had to set up more than a post with a single line of rope to keep Loki out. The posts were set close together and three lines of rope were strung. Loki simply looked and laughed and stepped on the bottom rope, slid his head between that and the middle rope and through he went as if it wasn’t there.
Not to be outwitted by our horse, we then strung ropes on the diagonals thinking for sure he would never be able to weave himself through this, think again! He looked like Catherine Zeta-Jones in that movie where she is a thief weaving her body through all of those crisscrossing sensor lines. If I didn’t see it with my own eyes, I would have thought he jumped over.
One time he found the weak post and simply pushed it over and walked into the forbidden zone. We ushered him out and reset the post only for Zaia to feel a soft nose against the back of his neck. Loki had found another way in! You know Loki was more interested in the pleasure of getting past our defenses, because he would always make sure to come up to a window were he knew we were and look in with a grin of satisfaction on his face, a couple of nibbles from some delicious plant as his reward.
The door to the barn had to be always locked to keep him from getting in and every day Loki would check to make sure we had done so. Even after over a year, he would still try. One morning coming out to feed them breakfast, I noticed that I could see light coming in under the door to the barn and I thought that Zaia had forgotten to turn the light off the night before. I opened the door and there was Loki! The one day that the door was unlocked he took full advantage. There is a cabinet in the barn that the horses’ grooming tools, medical supplies, shampoos, etc. are kept and Loki has always been curious to see what was all in there. This too had a lock on it, but Loki would simply turn the key and unlock it.
There he was in front of this cabinet, the door, easily opened and Loki looking at me with the saddle pad in his mouth. Around his feet were the contents of the bottom two shelves, neatly placed at his feet. He was at the third shelf doing what could only be described as “inventory”, I just burst out laughing. That he had to satisfy this enormous curiosity but doing so ever so delicately, nothing was broken. He gently placed the saddle pad down onto the ground and smiled at me, very pleased with himself.
Another time I was watering bushes above where their water trough is and I noticed that it needed filling so I did. The sound of me being there and the sound of water brought both Loki and Hausta there to investigate. Loki loves drinking water from a hose so I directed it towards him, however, I had the nozzle set to a very sharp spray and I thought it would sting his mouth but I let him try it anyways. He did and then he unfurled his upper lip to show me his teeth. I thought to myself, wouldn’t it be neat if I could use this as a water-pick to clean his teeth, especially the gum line that was always so dirty. Well Loki can read minds or he picked up some late night infomercial on his back molars, but it became clear that he thought the same thing. So I changed the angle at which the water was being sprayed and Loki angled his mouth to insert the stream of water up under his lips and proceeded to move his head from side to side. He then rinsed his mouth out and spit out the contents. He seemed to run his tongue over his teeth and felt that it needed another go, which he did, rinsing as before, only this time he went back and felt one particular tooth needed another cleaning and that’s what he did. Rinsed and satisfied he left me to continue with my watering.