The husband is home recovering (see previous post, and rant!) The daughter was home and cooking. She has put herself in charge of her dad’s medications. She is a vet assistant, and more in tune with all the unpronounceable names and generic version of medications – so I let her!!!

But, it’s kind of like the plumber who works for everyone else, but never does the plumbing at home – she is the vet assistant, but I end up doing all the animal care at home!!!!

So, I decided to take a break and go  out to the barn to take care of the horses. They had accessorized their blankets with caked mud in their manes from the previous night’s rain.

I was putting seed out for the birds earlier in the day, and could see the horses in the field, looking expectantly toward the house – wondering when a human was going to show up with some food!! It was time, so I bundled up, and went out to call them in.

The ‘old man’ is continually badgered by the’big guy’. He wants desperately to come in and eat, but ‘big guy’ is never quite ready to let him!!1 I have had about enough of this – even tho I know horses have their pecking order- a pitchfork handle is occasionally needed, to create that space which allows the ‘old man’ to scurry into his own stall unscathed !

It is very peaceful to stand in the stall while they eat, and pick the dried grass and twigs out of their tails and manes. Altho’, with the “big guy” , you always have to be aware, because he is always on the alert and swings around to hang his head out the stall. There are invisible enemies out there – and it is his ‘job’ to watch out for them!! If you don’t keep on your toes, when in his stall, you could be bowled over at any given moment! I could stand there hugging the ‘old man ‘ the entire time he eats, and he would never move a muscle!

I had not locked the stall doors, but I had the barn doors closed. “Old man’ has gotten used to being let loose in the hay fields periodically – since the grass is still green there. He hadn’t been let out there in a few days, so when he finished his grain, he shoved his stall door open and walked to the front doors. This is not a big area, and no amount of convincing was going to get him back into his stall. He is spoiled, I’ll admit, but he’s 25, he can be a little spoiled!!! Every time I tried to get him to go back in his stall, he would give me a dirty look, as only horses can, and turn around, knocking things off the railing. So, of course, I gave in, and opened the barn doors, so he could go and graze for a bit. I waited a few minutes, then turned out the’big guy’ , but kept him on a lead, just in case some hunters’ gunfire were to spook either of them.

Big guy was just ripping that grass out of the ground, he knew the time out there was limited, and he was going to make sure he could suck down as much of the good stuff as would fit in his mouth!!! “Old man” was a bit more delicate, altho, he covers more ground, looking for the tastiest of the grasses.

I gave them about 15 minutes, don’t need any foundering, and it was cold, and would be dark soon. It was very soothing to stand out there, hearing nothing but the wind, cows in the distance, and birds getting ready to settle in. And, of course, the frantic ripping and chewing of grass!!!

When their time was up, one by one, I led them, rather unwillingly , back to their stalls for an additional treat to end the night. They sucked down a couple of gallons of water from their heated trough, and without so much as a backward glance, or a thank you, they sauntered off to the back of the field for the night.

I left a treat for the barn mice, turned off the light, and locked the doors. Bracing myself against the chilled wind, I slowly walked back to the house, savoring the last of the day.

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The outside of a horse is good for the inside of a man (or woman!)…………..unknown

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All is well, and dark and cold, at Mountain Meadows tonite………………

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