My husband was up for some exercise today. He was going to walk to the Post Office. Now really, when there's a barn to go to and two dogs who need a run, it's a no-brainer. Go with your wife to visit the horses, and drop the letters in the mail en route.
So off we went to the barn, where he set off round the fields with the dogs and I spent a short time with the horses.
When the time came to return Bridget and Chloe to their pasture, Chloe stayed behind, but I think she sensed the Presence of Husband (who had meanwhile returned and was getting anxious to leave) as having a chilling effect on our togetherness. So, after a little one-on-one time, she agreed to go back into the pasture without demur.
Before taking Chloe and Bridget out, I spent a little time with George. The difference between him and the girls today seemed very clear. Bridget and Chloe are overflowing with opinions and suggestions (although I'm far from understanding all they're saying), while George remains very reserved. He continues to strike me as having a duality in his character - one part of him is a hard, self-sufficient guy, and the other is a floppy-eared little sweetie. He is calm and unreactive,yet sensitive. We don't know anything of his background prior to about four years of age. I wonder if his reserve is due to his having, at some point in his former life, been "shut down". Today I felt that if he shows signs of irritation, rather than trying to shut him down, I should respect what he is saying. If he pins his ears at a certain approach, I should give him space - not in fear, but out of consideration - trying to keep a connection to him even as I back off. If he paws his feet when he's impatient, I should sympathize, not criticize. I need to spend some patient time with him, learning to listen. Chloe and I have come such a long way in our mutual understanding in such a short time, that I should be optimistic about George too.
We heard some sad news today too - Chloe and Bridget's pasture mate, a 22-year old Arabian mare belonging to a little 11-year old girl, died at a vet's office on the way to a polocrosse tournament. A post-mortem revealed multiple tumors in her intestine. They'd stopped at the vet's because she showed signs of colic in the truck, and they left her overnight; she bounced back somewhat but was dead in the morning. With hindsight, she's not been looking quite happy for a long time. I guess it's better that she went quickly in the end. She and her little girl seemed very fond of each other. Things seemed rather flat at the barn today without her, even though I never much to do with her. I wonder if the other horses know.
Next time I go to the barn - I keep promising myself - I will go for the whole day. We'll see.