Sophie is 20 this year. For those that read the horse threads, you may have read my posts on her before. I bought her when she was 7 or 8 so i've had her a pretty long time. She has ALWAYS been smart and has been pretty easy to read/interpret. about 3 years ago I had 3 horses (including Sophie) but a different turnout structure. Each horse had thier OWN individual turnout with a fence between. I did this to take care of the then 20 ish full arab mare who ALWAYS got hurt!!! ANyway put that full arab mare down almost 2 years ago. Got DD a new horse so back to 3. I was turning them ALL out together as they were ALL mares. DD's 15.2h paint mare is alpha, then my mare and then bottom was sophie. So in the past month since fixing the back fenceline I went back to turnout in back during day and bringing up at nite as front pasture is more secure. In the last month I started feeding Grain as dd's paint mare is NOT as easy as the other 2 arabs. So I would call them up , and put them in the front and then give the other 2 a bit of grain and the paint mare about 3qts pellet w/corn oil to keep her in bloom. So 3 nites ago I called them up and sophie was resistant , but finally went, I locked gate and made sure they were fine for nite. Last nite I call them up and other 2 came up willingly for the grain, sophie was not so moved. I go down to about 50 ft of her and shake her grain bucket, she comes but I just KNOW she wants to eat away from other 2. SO I feed her in corridor in front of gate, then put her in. She is pleased. Tonite, I call them up for dinner. The other 2 come up easy. I call for sophie, she stands where she USED to eat all the time when each horse had its own turnout. I walk towards her and call, she doesn't move and nickers back to me. I call, she nickers. I walk more and call again, she nickers. I decide to walk to her as she once got stuck down there and I had to help her out. She is totally fine just standing in the exact place I USED to feed her in when they were each in thier own turnout. I try one last time to get her to come up and shake her grain. She again nickers but doesn't move. It dawns on me that she wants to stay down there, without the other 2. She was prepared to stay down there even without food. SO I give her the grain in her old spot, and she is clearly happier. I go up and lock the other 2 in the front. It makes me a little sad, because she wanted to be alone, and even would have forgone grain, to NOT have to deal with the other 2. The paint mare is alpha and Is a good alpha, she doesn't start trouble and isn't over the top nasty. My horse on the other hand WILL beat up on sophie if she feels like it. Sophie is smart and doesn't get cornered and always is aware of where she is so she doesn't GET cornered. She was clearly telling me she would prefer to be by herself at least some of the time. Sophie did everything she could to tell/communicate to me, she wants at least SOME alone time. This is no the first incident I have had of her trying to communicate to me, but it is the most recent. With this event everytime I would CALL TO her she would nicker back to me. Pretty sure she was thinking, DUMMY please just feed me down here, so I can have some peace please! This summer if they drank the 2 muck buckets dry (even though I filled them 2x a day), she would trot to bucket when she saw me either driving down driveway OR walking out front door. she would push the bucket over with her hoof, while making eye contact with me. She was clearly trying to tell me something then too. She has always been one of the smartest horses i've had!