Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Together at Last

Wednesday, March 3rd
I'm looking out my living room window at a chestnut horse, standing in a vast pasture, sprinkled with sugary snow and fenced in by immaculate black boards. The horse is Murray and while the scene is real, it still feels like a dream. I pinch myself and wonder how long it will be before our new reality sinks in.

The howling winds have finally died away to a faint whisper, but there's still no sun, and it's the coldest morning yet. There's no snow or rain falling from the sky though, so I decide that today is the day to put the horses out in the big pastures on the south side of the property. It will be their first time in these pastures, and their first time out together.

The moment Maggie appears in the pasture, Murray tries to herd her. He pins his ears, stretches his neck, and urges her to move down the field ahead of him. This is how it always is with Murray and mares, and this is why most of his female companions have had to move onto greener pastures after a few weeks or months with him as a "friend". Maggie's strategy is to simply trot away to the far corners of the pasture. This works because Murray is still too frightened to explore the area too keenly just yet. So, after a few minutes, he moves off on his own, and Maggie maintains her status as an independent woman-- for now.

I toss a few flakes of hay on the gravelly ground in front of the run-in shed. Maggie's food radar unerringly steers her to the lush, green piles. Murray ignores the hay, and continues moving his lips over dead grass, in a futile search for new pre-spring shoots.

The horses seem utterly content in these larger pastures. No pacing the fence, no "screaming", no fretting whatsoever. I don't know whether it's because they're settling in, or simply because they're together now. The downside is that Murray seems to have regained his typical confidence and arrogance, meaning that I can't get anywhere near him in the pasture. I wonder what will happen when I try to catch him tonight. *sigh*

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