We walked into the indoor arena tonight, the lead hanging loose in my hand, him with no name swinging his head softly from side to side. Another chance to inspect the corners, sniff the barrels, wonder about rolling.
Summer fell out of the sky overnight, leaving in its void wet wind and chill. The heavy mesh fly curtains heaved high in the doorways, lifting and slapping back: danger. He clenched his body, stiffening and staring. One step, another, and then another. He measured me and I measured him as we walked toward the wide doorway. A gust filled the fly curtain like a sail. He set his hooves and lifted in a single tremor, ears tipped, eyes wide, but he didn't leave the ground. I lost my breath for a second, seeing the drawn-up height of him in a flash: Can I really do this? We walked on, visiting each doorway, circling, stepping away, returning. Enough. Loose, big figure eights for ten minutes, a sigh, and back to the cross ties. Good boy.
It never occurred to him to wonder where the other horses were. That's a joy to me.