I decided to open the gate and let one of them out into the yard for a while. But something (the CIA wishes it had this kind of power) made me say, "Oh, what the heck - I'm just going to let them all out." So I did.
Yee haw! They dashed through the gate and proceeded to rampage around the yard like a band of naughty children tearing through the neighborhood. Around and around, back and forth, bucking, kicking, galloping, skidding to a halt, pivoting, leaping like gazelles over upturned buckets. I opened the gate to the front pasture, which leads into the back pasture, and I opened the gate from the back pasture into the yard - so they had unprecedented access to all three pastures plus the yard. And they made full use of it - going in one gate, coming out the other, one horse separating from the group to explore, and then figuring out how to get back together.
Finally, puffing and hot, Bridget and George came up to me as if to say, "Well, that was fun - what's next?" They then continued with a slower-paced, albeit potentially more destructive, exploration of the house environs. Chloe took advantage of the others' distraction to come over for a scratch and then demurely continued with her normal day's routine, while the other three stalked around the house. I stayed outside to be playground monitor, as horses are not like other people. Other people do not sit on top of shrubs in order to scratch their tummies.
|Mmm, that feels good.|
|Is there another horse in there?|
|Bridget wonders the same thing.|
|Bridget is the Queen of opening lids.|
|Look I got the lid off dinner too!|
|Now if I could just get into the mother lode ...|
|She couldn't, so she tried main force.|
|As she'd been clever enough to open the cooler,|
I thought I'd take out a Sprite and offer her some.
She didn't like it. (n.b. We do not usually have
soda in the house. It was left over from a church picnic.)
|She didn't like the coffee either. (Why yes - that is whipped|
cream in my coffee! And yes, I did drink it after Bridget
had stuck her nose in it.)
|Those kids are ker-azy.|
Nevertheless, as along with St. Augustine, I tend to believe in both a literal as well as allegorical interpretation, and as we were in a festive and frisky mood, I decided to play a little game with Bridget. After returning George to his pasture when I couldn't take any more of his shrub devastation, I put Bridget's halter on and led her up to the kitchen steps. I said, "Right, this is where you stand - oops, you don't move your butt away, just keep it there, right, here's a carrot. And then, see, I lean over your back like this, and - oh look - this is a good way to scratch your other side. And then here's another carrot." We repeated this three or four times, stepping away in between. I think it went pretty well; it didn't seem like we were really doing anything much - either from her point of view or from mine - which is what I was hoping.
Bridget and Rose stayed out a bit longer than the others to keep me company while I sat and drank my morning coffee. I'm liking this "sharing space" when the space we're sharing is my own habitat!
I had set aside this morning to clean up bedrooms for two of my college students arriving home tomorrow for the summer. However, when your parish priest and your horses gang up on you, what can you do, right?