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.
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...