Whenever I read stories, like the ones of Elmo and Cheyenne, I am reminded that there is a lot more that goes on between those fuzzy ears than most give them credit for. Cheyenne sounds like an amazing horse - not only a good nurse and compassionate, but also a problem solver: The fact she figured out how to help Elmo when he was having problems with the farrier is pretty amazing.
My young horse Yankee is also pretty bright. I missed this, but my barn owner passed on this story that happened early this spring (Yk is of course Yankee):
"as I left this evening, I had an apple and decided to give it to Sunshine and Yk over the fence by my car. I held it out to Sunshine for the first bite as Yk watched avidly for his share. Sunshine nuzzled it around and knocked it out of my hand. I was outside the fence and it fell inside the fence, and it had been a long day so I just decided, well, too bad, either they find it or they don't but I'm heading home for supper. I watched as Sunshine looked at me, then shrugged her shoulders and started grazing again, deciding I must have decided not to give it to her after all.
Yk meanwhile never took his eyes off the prize, watching the apple land on the ground. He stretched his neck over, but the apple had landed right under Sunshine's feet, and as she stepped forward grazing, it was under her belly. Yk circled around to the other side and stretched his neck out again, but decided it was too risky to put his head under her belly, so he went around behind her and contemplated reaching between her hind feet to get that apple -- no, not a good idea either. So suddenly he dashed over to the fence closest to where I was standing, which made Sunshine look up and step forward to see if he was getting something she was missing - and he dashed back around behind her, snatched the apple and charged away towards the run-in to eat it, Sunshine all oblivious to how she had been outwitted. Crafty li'l guy.
We also have stories of his mischievous side. Because he gets so little feed, he was fed in a little space between two runins so he would not pester the other horses... in that space there is a wire that I believe is to a grounding rod. It isn't a real danger but does run slightly away from the wall...
Yankee would get bored waiting for the old man to finish his dinner, so he'd take to plucking that wire, making an annoying sound. We'd stick our head around and tell him to quit it, and he'd be looking at us, all innocent like. It became a game... he'd pluck... I'd stick my head around and he'd be, like, "what? I wasn't doin' nothing!" Never did catch him in the act!
My current amusement is Yankee's acting abilities. He is quite the Drama Queen! Due to an alarming gain in weight on the spring grass, he has been fitted with a grazing muzzle. He, not surprisingly, hates the thing. He's finally resigned to it, but in the beginning he would put on quite the act... standing close, poking me with it (Get It OFF!), giving me this pretty good rendition of "puppy dog eyes"... Once he did this "I Can't BREATHE!!! act, breathing noisily and making a big deal about it, but as soon as my back was turned, he started breathing normally. He has also pretended that he can't graze in the thing and then going over to the fence to pout... I know he was pretending 'cause one day after all these histronics, I left, then had to come back just a couple minutes later, and there he was, grazing alongside his buddy.
Horses are amazing critters!