Evening

One of the things I love most about having my horses at home is the time I can spend with them without agenda. I go into the field where they are grazing and my presence doesn’t mean anything. The horses know it’s not time for a feed. They also know I have no purpose, I am just there. They acknowledge my presence. Cassie often comes up to greet me and she might stay with me for a while or come for a stroll. I don’t ask her to come to me, it’s her choice. If the horses ignore me I leave them in peace.

Last night I went to look for them and I had to wander around for a bit. The back field is surrounded by trees. There is a long steep slope that starts at the treeline and goes all the way down to the banks of the stream. I found Ben  standing on his own at the top of the decline.

There is no sign of the others, but I know they are down there somewhere, because Ben is looking and after a moment he starts his own descend. I follow behind him. He is much faster at negotiating the steep slope than I. Instead of going all the way down to the stream, he veers off to the left. Rosie is there in the distance and Ben goes to join her. I find Cassie and Minnie  grazing a bit lower down on the slope.

Close to the stream the grass is long and lush. The air is cool and clear and smells of running water and herbs. There is no wind here and it is very quiet, the rushing water of the stream and the snorts of contentment of the horses are the only sounds. My presence doesn’t disturb the horses, I see their ears flick in my direction, but that is all. I sit down on a rock and take in the atmosphere. Suddenly, there is the loud crack of snapping branches higher up on the slope. Minnie’s head shoots up.

Cassie looks up too, but she doesn’t seem worried. Minnie is very alert and listens intently for a moment. Then her head goes down again, her body relaxes and she continues to graze. After a while, I move on back up the slope, following the trail the horses have made there. I find Ben and Rosie browsing under an old oak.

I walk past them on my way up. Rosie is closest to the trail and she lifts her head as I pass. She looks at me, her eyes gentle and wise. I stop and nod to her, then I move on, leaving the horses in their world.

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