Thursday, June 17, 2010

A Horse at Rest

Tonight I went out to the barn straight from work to see Buckshot. It was hot and humid, a sunny evening with a lovely azure blue sky, dotted with a few fluffy, innocent clouds. After a few minutes of chatting with the barn owner and her husband, I gathered some brushes, carrots, and my water bottle and headed up to Buckshot’s pasture. His pasture mate, Lucky, was calmly eating from his hay pile. Buckshot was farther out, nibbling on the recently-cut grasses of his pasture. As I walked out to him, he surprisingly walked toward me. Greeting him and rubbing him, I chatted and asked how he was doing. I always talk to him. I think he can understand some words, the tone of voice, maybe intention, maybe emotion. In the quiet pasture, without other people around, and with Buckshot in his post-dinner relaxation mood, I sometimes think I can hear his thoughts, “Are we going to ride?” “Did you bring treats?” These are the two things I think he asks the most. So I said, no we won’t be riding tonight, and yes, I brought treats, they are by the gate.
I removed his fly mask and checked his eye. (I had put it on him a few days ago after one eye became a bit goopy, possibly from a piece of dust.) His eye looked good, but one line of tear ran down from it. I decided to put to fly mask back on him. Then I brushed and curry combed him for a bit, until he slowly walked away. After a few feet, he stopped and angled his strong neck around to look at me. I followed, and brushed him some more. This was a casual brushing, not a full-fledged grooming.

This was also horse-time, when I let him be a horse (that sounds strange, of course, he is a horse, it is not something I let him be!). What I mean is, it is a time to be with him during his time. A quiet time of talking, some brushing, finding itchy spots to scratch, and of course, because I can’t help it, a time of checking him over for any boo-boos or small things on him. Tonight I noticed a line of bumps along the base of his mane. What are these? I wondered, picking at them slightly. Another thing to research on the internet. But as his owner, I think about all these things and have all sorts of creams and ointments for various little things. Swat for the bug bites especially if they are on his sheath. Fly spray for the ubiquitous flies. Equi spot for the flies and ticks. Vaseline for this, MTG for that, hoof dressing for dry spells, Vetrolin for sunscreen since as an Appaloosa, he has a lot of white skin.

And yet, I love looking out for him and taking care of him with these small, ordinary things. Perhaps if I had children, I would know what this is. Maybe it is just one of the ways you show love for someone who is dependent on you for all their bumps and bruises. Anyway, it was a nice, peaceful time with my horse, enjoying a short time of his normal evening routine, sharing a light helping of love.

No comments: