A red dawn

Red sky in the morning, shepherd’s warning. I didn’t think of that when I drove to work. I saw a beautiful day dawning and I was planning to take Cassie out when I got home. Alas! As the day advanced, a south-easterly wind with serious plans filled the sky with heavy clouds and I arrived home just ahead of the storm.

I didn’t change out of my office clothes, other than putting on a pair of wellies, but went straight into the field to see what my horses were doing. They were wild with nervous energy brought on by the wind. They galloped up when they spotted me, heads and tails high and manes flying. Cassie came to a sliding halt in front of me, spraying me with mud. They followed me into the yard and trotted into their stables for hay, but once in they were skittish and restless.

It was noisy. The metal gates were wailing with eerie flute tones in the wind, timbers were creaking and the rain was drumming on the roof. A session by a demented orchestra that hasn’t quite grasped the concept of contemporary music. It was hard for the horses to get settled. Cassie would snatch a mouthful of hay and then her head would come up again, listening for possible danger with twitching ears. Minnie, who is far more nervous even at the best of times, would grab some hay and then quickly turn around and stick her head out over the door, so she could see what was going on.

I gave them their evening feed early. Having seen how unsettled they were in the stable, I think it is much better for my horses to be out in the open in a storm, where they can find their own comfort. They have the field shelter, and the field is surrounded by trees, so that no matter what direction the wind comes from, they will be able to find a spot where they can relax.

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One thought on “A red dawn

  1. Rashid talks about the need for horses to express nervous or negative energy. So if they’re nervous about a storm, it makes sense that they should gallop around and let it all out. If they’re caught in a stable, they just have to suppress it. Back in Mississippi, the horses all had loose boxes they were brought into in bad weather, and I used to sleep easier thinking of them in there. But you’re right – it’s probably not as good for them. They can’t tell themselves not to worry about the funny noises and to just enjoy being safe and warm – especially not younger horses.

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