Apache and the Ants

No, that’s not the name of a new musical group. It’s about why today’s ride was rather antsy for my usually patient steed, Apache’s Smoke Signal, AKA Apache AKA Patchy.

The morning went as usual. It was hot and I dripped sweat all over myself, but Sara and I got the horses (and Fiona) ready for a ride. We want to ride as much as possible, so we’re going early on weekend mornings. She goes more than I do, thanks to all my volunteering and such.

I put up with a LOT from Suna. It’s a good thing she gives me so many treats and bushes me so nicely.

The entire time we were out in the pasture where the horses usually hang out, Apache kept turning around and heading toward the gate. I turned him back around and made him trot around, go over some logs, or up and down the “hill.” He kept turning around.

Okay, maybe he’s thirsty, I thought. So all of us went and visited the water trough, where he and Spice did indeed drink and splash a bit.

Sara went back to the exercises she was doing, while I just stopped Apache for a while and watched Fiona rolling on the ground so she’d have a good layer of burrs on her. I’d just brushed them all off.

Neither horse was having a great time, so we went back to the tack room area and dismounted. I took off Apache’s saddle and saw a puzzling sight.

There were ANTS on his back. What the heck? Thankfully, it wasn’t fire ants, but it was ants that bite (the black and red ones). I took great pleasure in drowning them with the horse washing wand. I looked and couldn’t see any big ole bites, but even just having ants crawling around under his saddle pad could have been annoying as heck. Poor horse!

Maybe I should go into hiding.

My guess is that they crawled on the pad while it was sitting where we usually put the saddles while grooming. Next time I will check more carefully for things on the pad (usually it’s just some hay).

His reward?

To add insult to injury, Apache’s “reward” after riding around so semi-patiently was a nice healthy dose of wormer. Of course, it was the kind he doesn’t like. He looked really pissed off at me and would not swallow it. Sara and I made fun of him and poked around on his lips and teeth, but he just stood there, quite stoically. He finally swallowed when I had him walk around a bit.

He got lots and lots of hugs and poor, pitiful you noises from all of us. He’ll live.

Author: Sue Ann (Suna) Kendall

The person behind The Hermits' Rest blog and many others. I'm a certified Texas Master Naturalist and love the nature of Milam County. I manage technical writers in Austin, help with Hearts Homes and Hands, a personal assistance service, in Cameron, and serve on three nonprofit boards. You may know me from La Leche League, knitting, iNaturalist, or Facebook. I'm interested in ALL of you!

2 thoughts on “Apache and the Ants”

  1. Poor Apache! I feel for him. Ants have been the bane of my existence this summer. I finally got sealed pet food containers to help keep ants out of there, but we typically feed the cats on food towers, and the ants have been relentless on the entry hall (main) feeder and Jase’s bowl all summer. I’m tearing my hair out over them.

    If Jase would eat when I feed him, all would be well, but he prefers to graze. I think I’m going to have to pull the tower for a while and feed the 9 cats that rely on the feeder some other way until the ants give up and leave.


    1. Don’t get me started on the moths that got into my chicken feed and won’t go away. At least chickens eat moths.


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