There's no picture of today, but it was the kind of day that promotes lasting growth in horse people. I didn't have to work, and a planned visit from my brother was postponed. Among dozens of things I could have done -- laundry, cleaning, junk processing, etc. -- one called most loudly. Them. Those horses. I went to the barn at 1:30 and stayed until 6:00, peaceful in a flow of time unburdened by deadlines and demands.
Like I do, I stood leaning on the Pathfinder, watching the horses browsing in their paddocks. The wind lifted and riffled their manes. I thought I'd ride Gambler, but first I dropped hay and checked the paddock water troughs. Dar, curious child that he is, stood close by while I filled his trough. That tap releases a pitiable flow of water. I dipped all the wet hay and dead leaves out of the trough with my 50-cent pasta spoon. Dar was fascinated by that. I splashed water up his nose.
After prepping Gambler's tack and grabbing my grooming box, I went into Paddock 1, shared by Scout, the Keely monster and Gambler. I had my shedding block in one hand and my excellent, stiff, floor scrub brush in the other. Keely sauntered over. "Shed my hinder at this time," she said, simply by backing into my face. The wind was just right for shedding, strong enough to carry the clumps away, not strong enough to force them into my mouth. I worked on her for half an hour or so, because she was there and because I could.
Scout watched this with some interest, lifting her nose from the hay from time to time. Keely's lower lip sagged with pleasure until the wind caught it like a sail.
I turned to go to Scout, but she was right there behind me. "Shed my entire body at this time," she said. "Start with the crest of my neck." I complied. Shed. Shed, shed. Shed. Scout's lips were vibrating, her head sinking lower and lower.
K arrived at the barn. I was happy to see her, and we talked over the fence. Scout bumped me and lifted her head between us. "My belly? My belly." Shed, shed. Shed.
There was more to this lovely free horse day. I'll write about it soon.