Figuring that, since the end times were to occur today, or some such hoohah, there was no place I'd rather be than with the horses and the person of my life, H.G. and I drove through the rain to the barn.
Among things I'll have to adjust to there, protocol at the new barn keeps horses indoors during heavy rain. I'm not yet comfortable with that, but nevertheless, it meant Saxony and Scout were loitering in their stalls, dry and ready for a diversion. It's been a long time since I gave Scout an epic grooming, and I've really missed it. So has H.G., or perhaps I should say that Scout has really missed him. He's very tall and early on formed the habit of placing one hand on her back, withers, neck, wherever, while brushing her with the other. Scout loves this; she relaxes completely into her inner horse. I have the notion that H.G.'s resting hand, coupled with his height, takes her back to a body memory of being a foal kept close by her mother, bumping along her side, ducking under her neck. I never see Scout so peaceful as when H.G. and I groom her together. We polished her dusty red up to a fiery auburn.
H.G. does not know Saxony well yet. I told him how she loves to have her face groomed. He spent a lot of time shedding her whole head with a soft rubber curry, whisking the loosened hairs away with a soft body brush, and this was magical to her. She stretched her neck long and low, extending her face flat beneath his long hands. I heard him talking to her softly, murmuring praise. Saxony shifts in cross ties, always wanting to be in direct visual contact with her person, but eventually she surrendered completely to the face massage and forgot about me. In time, we had her burnished to a dark liquid chocolate.
I wonder if they know how good it feels to me to groom them. I wonder if it matters to them to be put away clean and cared for, contented; I wonder if such concepts can exist somewhere in their awareness. Maybe it's just the time and attention that matters, for all of us. I owe them.