To Be Just One of The Herd

Equines are a huge commitment.   Day after day, you feed them, care for them, clean up after them... always putting their best interest at the top of your list.  You worry when they have a malady.  You fret over their weight... always trying to keep them as healthy as possible.  You work your schedule around making sure they have enough exercise and diversion.  You brush them, bathe them, shave them, shed them, clean their unmentionables,  and keep their feet in tip-top shape.

When all is said and done,  there is no doubt that I work for a herd of pasture ornaments.  Yes, I am their own personal servant... but, I wouldn't have it any other way.

Over the years, I have developed a special relationship with my herd.  I have suspected that they view me as just one of the herd.  Yesterday, that suspicion was confirmed.  I have reached the most wonderful point in our relationship.  I'm sure that it has been this way for a long time, but, for some reason, yesterday it occurred to me just how much my herd trusts me.

I had gone to the barn to bring everyone in from their morning of grazing in the front pasture.  Their hard feed (breakfast) was served and eaten, so I decided to enjoy the warm morning sun by grooming everyone.  It's been a long, hard winter.  Thick coats are being shed and everyone is showing signs of winter neglect. (Grooming neglect, only.)

One by one I brushed each of their bodies, manes and tails.  Bridal paths were cut out of their manes, and tails were trimmed so as not to drag on the ground.

This is an activity that everyone enjoys.  So much, that they line up waiting for their turn.  Whatever one enjoys, they all want to enjoy.

I found myself surrounded by my herd.  There I was kneeling on the ground surrounded by curious equines.  It was nothing short of heavenly.

Eventually, everyone was finished except for Ollie, who was napping in the donkey stall with Moonie and Red.  I sat outside the stall, and Ollie came out to see what I was up to.  I seized the opportunity to brush through his mane and tail; and he eagerly soaked up the attention.  

As I worked, the rest of the herd began to lay down on the ground for their morning nap.  Within five feet of me, Donnie and Scarlet fell asleep.  

Horses only sleep lying down for a short period each day.  It is only at this time that they get their necessary REM sleep.  The rest of the time, they nap while standing... but do not enjoy deep sleep like they do when lying down.

This was the first time that the herd has laid down to sleep so close to where I was working.

Next, Red laid down a few feet to my left.  

When I finished Ollie, I decided I would try to sit down next to Red and see what his reaction would be.  Amazingly, he stayed right where he was as I leaned against his back.  We sat there, like that, for quite some time... just enjoying the closeness and the peace of the moment.

It was truly one of the most magical moments I have enjoyed with my herd.

And, it was then that the thought floated into my head... "I am just one of the herd."  It's an honor I don't take lightly!

Yesterday was a delightful day with temperatures approaching 70 degrees.  

I spent the entire day outside doing some much needed spring clean up. We cleaned the pasture. 

The pigs were out grazing at the time and Griz had his first close encounter with Ginger. 


(Curious... but thankfully, not afraid.)  See what a love sponge this little guy is.  He is always happiest when he is on someone's lap.

I began cleaning up the gardens and porches at the house.   A rather large accumulation of leaves had gathered on our lower front porch, so I raked and swept and carted those leaves off to the woods.

Much better!

I am planning on adding some plants to this area as well as painting the porch furniture.  I'd like to add an outdoor rug and make this lower space a bit homier.  More to come on that...

Even better - with ferns hung and flower boxes planted with pansies.

  Spring has sprung!

Blossoms are popping up all over...

It's so good to be back outside again!  (This one is Moll, one of the barn kitties.)


I don't for one second think that since the horses have accepted me as they do, that they are completely loyal to me.  Case in point:  I inadvertently left a gate unlocked yesterday afternoon.  If they were loyal, they would respect the closed gate and stay the heck home.  Did they?  Of course not.  While finishing up our supper, we received a text:  "Hey, your horses are out!"  from our friends Jim and Kathy across the street.  The next half hour was spent in a neighborhood rodeo... trying to round up 7 equines who mutinied!  Unfortunately, at times like this, it is impossible to chase down horses and take photos, as it's an "all hands on deck" situation.  Luckily, everyone was quickly escorted back to the barn and no one was injured in the mayhem.  Thank you Kathy, Jim, and Scott for the extra hands!!


daisy g said…
What a beautiful tribute. Horses are magical beings. What a blessing to be part of the herd.

Why would they ever want to leave the farm? ;0D
Marcia LaRue said…
What a lovely post this morning!
Horses ... cats ... a pig or two ... what's not to love?
Beautiful blooms ... the forsythia yellow as the sunshine!
Your little herd of equines are like a group of teens on Spring Break!! LOL Glad you were able to get them all rounded up and back where they belong ... thank goodness for good and helpful neighbors!
jaz@octoberfarm said…
thought you might like this:
This N That said…
Animals are the best and their love and acceptance a treasure indeed..They all express it in their own ways...or not..LOL
I love the term "pasture ornaments" perfect
"One of the herd" honor for sure..Enjoy this beautiful day..
Yes, you are a very special part of your horses lives and they are a very special part of yours.....even if they do escape from time to time. Things are looking shipshape for Spring at your the crocuses popping up between the stones. Love your kitties all over the farm. Hope Tom turkey is doing well! Thanks for a great blog!
Katmom said…
I would have gladly paid admission and bought a soda and bag of pop corn too! to watch the "BH Rodeo"... lol!
It is still to cold here,, and the sun hides behind the clouds more then it shines...
My Daffies are just starting to open up... everything is kind of slow and cold around here for now...
Have a lovely Spring ... miss ya mucho my friend.
Anonymous said…
Will the equines come for graham crackers? peppermints? I had a mental picture fo you all running down the road crinkling wrappers to entice them! I had a dog that would take off and we had to get in the car and shake a Milkbone box out the window. Yes, we were crazy but it worked!