H.G. and I went to Los Angeles for the weekend, so I was away from the horses for five days, the longest absence I've had from them in months. K and her husband took these pictures of Dar while I was gone. On Tuesday night, I went to the barn to do the PM feed, knowing I would see Scout and Dar, but I was draggy from the trip. Wednesday, I went back out. It was a surprisingly beautiful day. I could have ridden Gambler, but I wanted to get my hands on horse bodies. I shedded Gambler instead, and then went out to get Dar.
His paddock borders one of the large pastures. I turned him loose, expecting him to tear around and be breathtaking, but instead he chose to follow me like a dog. I ran out ahead of him, but he only kept pace, stopping when I did. I walked him to the cross ties out under the eave of the barn. He settled in, tipping a lazy heel in the afternoon sun. After brushing out his mane and tail, I started shedding him. Dead grey hairs sifted down over the white carpet left by Gambler.
Dar isn't tall, but he is big. Shedding him is hard work. I have to do a section, clean the shedding block and brush,and then do another. I saw him in bits and angles, a haunch here, a shoulder there. His headset has changed so much since I got him, come from a drooping, heavy palm frond to something much more upright. It was 6:30 when I stopped and stepped back to look at my work. Instead, I looked at Dar. He stared back at me, and just then, I was slayed. In an instant, he got me, the rest of me, the one bit still holding back, clinging to rationality. Something about him, about his body, about his face. I love him. I love him.