I prudently begin my rigorous regime with polite-guy-Traveler. He stands obligingly as I comb the snarls from his mane, but when I pull out the dreaded fly spray with the weird spritzer, he arcs his muscular neck and snaps at the air. Working at liberty without a halter, my companions possess voice and choice and this is a direct warning. Only a dunce would misread such a signal.
In endless patience with their human prodigy they deliver clear communication via body language, yet I plow forward in determined persistence to take care of things on my own terms. A boorish human void of equus etiquette, invading their quiet tune-in and tune-down space with my efficient agenda. I lack manners.
Something inside me withers and deflates. My shoulders hunch and collapse in defeat. Traveler, the nice one, is giving me the big put down. Moving away from my friends, I sit cross-legged on the hard ground and close my tearing eyes.