Just Watching

Today my plan was to go out to the barn and lead Gabby around like a big old dog but once I got there I found an excuse not to do so.  Gabby was out in the pasture with two other horses.  The pasture is accessed through the outdoor sand arena which also had some horses in it. Fetching her would have required me to navigate her through a gate which means keeping the pastured horses in the pasture and the arena horses in the arena and I just didn’t want to do it. So instead I just watched Gabby and how she interacted with the two other blanketed horses sharing space with her. But she looked up when I called her name, and that was satisfying.

Gabby and one of the other mares were not being very nice to a third mare.  It reminded me of mean Fifth Grade Girls, a pair of whom have decided to alienate the third.  I know; this is the very worst kind of anthropomorphism but I can’t help it!  Horses bring out that kind of thing in humans.  We treat them like mirrors: We look at them and see ourselves reflected back far too often for their welfare. So the third mare trotted up to me but Gabby drove her off. Then Gabby and her pal wandered around the pasture togeother, which was very interesting.  They were clearly moving together in tandem, but not getting too close. When Gabby turned around to nose about for more hay, the other mare turned around also.  Then the two of them came up to the water trough and gently touched noses for what was probably 10 seconds.  It was very sweet until Gabby pinned her ears back and chased her friend off.  When this happened, I was startled and reacted by doing my little-jump-hop-startle move which neither horse seemed to notice. 

Before I left, I put some treats in Gabby’s feedbucket so that they’d be there when she went back inside. I’m hoping she’ll associate the treats with me and it was as close as I could come to leaving her a note:  “Goodby for now.  Have a nice evening.  See you tomorrow.”

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