I have 2 blanketed sentinels who guard against the imaginary. Ever on the alert, at dusk, their winter furry ears prick to attention at every leaf rustle. To my 2 equine companions, fright and flight are two words that are constantly holding hands!
Ever wary, they each have their posts! The “old man” holds his position along the fence line. The woods hold imminent “danger”, the breeze from below carrying the scent and sound of the unfamiliar. The sound of a 4 wheeler, barking of a chained dog, a truck load of chickens rumbling by on the road below, can send the two into flight mode!
The other’s guard duty takes place at meal time. The “old man” lets nothing interrupt a meal! The “big guy” is a nervous eater, constantly whirling around to hang his head out the stall door to make sure nothing scary is coming up behind him!
Hunting season is almost over – but the baying of the hounds makes the “old man” remember his foxhunting days and he is always eager to join the hunt! The gunfire would make both head for the hills – if they could get to the hills!!! Their football field sized paddocks limit their escape, but as time goes by, the unfamiliar is becoming more familiar.
The horses have lived here 9 months now, and are becoming more used to life in the real country. Going from an semi-urban herd of 75 to a rural pack of 2 has been a big adjustment for them. At first, even the click of an electric fence would have two horses literally quaking in fear! The bellow of cows at meal time would send them flying for cover! Walking down a country road and coming upon a pen full of huge hogs made the big guy turn tail and head for home, his rider an unwilling passenger!
Now, when night falls, my two furry sentinels, check out the perimeter and beyond, then relax and settle down for the night. And, as they relax, so do I, happy to have ended another day in the country with them.
All is well at Mountain Meadows tonite…………………………