Yesterday when I went out to work with Hawk, my 4 year old gelding, I noticed that he was really not happy living alone away from the herd. I had just locked him up the day before. He was nervous about being alone. I decided to bring Elvis the 3 year old in to be with him and perhaps work with Elvis a bit too before he leaves to be started. I could see the herd up by the trees on the north quarter.
As I headed out to the pasture, Hawk was calling and begging to come along. When I got a little farther Josie the old boss mare saw me and she started yelling and pointing out she would like to be out with HER herd too.
I took a short cut across the hummocks in the swamp – not too scary, they are still frozen and don’t wobble – and was just nicely on the other side when I heard the sound of running horses. I am quite used to seeing them come when I call but they were running like they were on a mission. Their hooves were thundering on the partially frozen ground.
I managed to get my camera out of my pocket just in time to record the response of the herd to Josie’s calling. She has been the boss mare for many years, she is 20 now and locked up because she is pregnant and can use a little extra feed. But they are still HER herd. She calls, they come. On the run. Most of them have been here all their lives. Josie taught them the rules.
Maggie who is also within a couple of months of foaling is second in command in the herd and she leads the pack, behind her is Eddie, my saddle horse. Then Marco, the 4 year old son of Maggie and then Trouble, Maggie’s 2 year old. Next is Buzz. He is doing pretty good for a 25 year old and is still Dave’s saddle horse. Then Elvis and the 3 year old filly Pricilla.
Bringing up the rear are the old retired broodmares, Rosie the gray and Manana the sorrel. They are both in their twenties. They have been retired for a few years now. Grand old ladies.
It is exciting when they run by and they look at you and try to tell you that you need to shift into a higher gear and get over to the paddock where Josie is. Then you realize that you are really the slowest herd member. Hmmmm… isn’t that the one the wolves get?
I am grateful for every experience like this that I get. I love being part of the herd.