It is a cold, frosty night. There is snow forecast, but the sky is quite clear, with only veils of cloud obscuring patches of sky. I walk to the yard to spend time with my horses. The moon gives enough light to do without a torch. I can see Minnie and Cassie in their stables. They are very still, dreaming maybe. I don’t want to intrude, so I stop and wait at the entrance to the yard. They are aware of me now, I can feel Minnie’s gaze on me, but I go to Cassie first. I feel tired and restless at the same time, and I don’t want to make Minnie nervous.

Cassie pricks her ears in my direction. I walk up and stand in front of her. Cassie sniffs my face and moves her body, making a space for me to come in and stand beside her. I stroke her neck and trace the whorls. With each stroke, I feel calmer. I lean my face against her shoulder and breathe deeply. The stable door is open, Cassie is free to leave anytime she wants to, but she doesn’t. She stands beside me, her head low, her eye soft.

It is so quiet. I listen to the night and Cassie’s breathing, and gradually come to stillness inside. And then Cassie yawns. She yawns and yawns and yawns. Afterwards, she turns her head and looks at me. She doesn’t move, she is waiting for me to move first. I step outside and Cassie follows, then walks off to the pile of hay under the trees.


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