Thursday, May 20, 2010

Scout, Version 2.0

The horses are being eased onto grass. Yesterday, I handled their 30-minute evening graze. The main herd went out to one of the pastures. My two went into the outdoor riding arena. I hand-walked Dar over first and quickly went back to fetch Scout, before she began freaking out at being alone in the paddock while everybody else munched eye-deep in clover and dandelions.
It's been a bewildering few days for my little Red Death. She been separated from her BFF, Keely monster (who doesn't seem terribly concerned, herself), and turned out with Dar, who seems to worry her a little bit. But it's been more bewildering for me, because I thought she would kill him.

I gave her a quick withers scratch, then led her to the arena. It seemed like a nice night for a fight. "Kick his ass," I whispered. She trotted off into the deep grass, intent on her target. Which was:

What? Her eyes are closed. You can practically hear the sigh. I got my man. I got some good eats. The sun is nice. Ahhhh... What happened to my mare, the one who drops her rump low before charging whichever unlucky horse doesn't get that she's boss? The one who took on a 16.2-hand quarter-horse gelding and gashed an ugly, deep slash across his shoulder that required some serious needlework?

Ahhhh, she said, lowering herself to the grass.

Life never felt this good. I stared at her, probably slack-jawed. She grazed near Dar, not close but near. He moved her around a little bit every now and then. She adjusted her position easily, with not so much as a flick of an ear, but still kept herself near him.

Really? Really? That's it?
Yeah. Yeah, it is. Because I'm a stelding, or a gallion, or whatever you call it, Dar said. Think she'll care if I'm shooting blanks? She's a cougar -- isn't that what you call it? And I'm jail bait.

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