I had a strange encounter with Pie today. When I went to move him from one paddock to another - this is a usual noontime event, he started snorting and blowing as I put his halter on. As I led him out of the paddock, he gave a little grunt - this for him is a sign of excitement. I led him up to the far end of the new paddock to hang his hay bag, and as I turned him back around towards the gate, he started snorting and blowing again, and backing away from me, and then he launched himself into the air and bucked, twice, still snorting. It was pretty clear he was spooked by something about me. When I would approach, he would snort and arch his neck and back away. Now this was very odd - I wasn't wearing my barn coat, but was wearing a coat he's seen many times before, and there was nothing odd about any of my clothing that I could see. The only thing at all different was a pale brown scarf that I'm not sure he's seen before. When I held it out to him, he arched his neck at it and snorted some more. I was able to reassure him somewhat that it was in fact me and not a creature from outer space holding his lead.
Now, to be fair, it was quite chilly and very windy and the mares were acting up - Sugar was running and bucking and striking at the fence - she may be coming into heat. When I left the paddock, Pie did a run and buck. Poor fellow has no herd right now and nowhere to run as all the big pastures are too muddy - he's been stuck in paddocks that aren't tiny but he can't really get a good run in.
After all the shenanigans by the mares and Pie, Drifter was pretty excited when I went to get him. But he managed to be a very good boy on the lead - he stayed behind me on a loose lead and there were no aerial maneuvers. I was proud of him - it was clear he was also full of energy as he got up from a nice roll with a short gallop and buck.
I'm still not sure what was up with Pie - he wasn't his usual crabby self but just spooked by me as if I were someone pretty darn scary. I was glad I was able to reassure him - silly boy!