After the loss of Station, I took a couple of days off. My mind was not where it needed to be to work with the horses.
Yet, in this line of work, there's no such thing as a "true" day off. The need food at least twice a day, and usually more (4 times per day right now - grain twice, and hay twice). They need water, and we have to check buckets every 2 to 3 hours. And, being spoiled horses, they need their love.
This morning, I had some running around to do. I got up, threw back a coffee, and headed out. Jae unhooked the trailer (yes, we had put that off) and I filled water. My colts and geldings were in the arena last night. Scorch, Rico, Zire, Diesel, and Rover were all playing. Scorch though, was NOT playing nicely. He kept chasing his little brother (Rico) and trying to be the alpha male. Rover kept getting himself in the middle, and Scorch was just a bit too rough.
I grabbed a halter, and pulled Scorch back up into the barn, leaving the other boys out to play. He was, of course, perfect, and put his head right in, and walked into his stall with out a complaint. Grain was in the feeder waiting for him, but when I released him, he only glanced at it. Then he shoves his big ol' head into my chest! It was gentle, and I hugged him back. I kissed on him, and he pressed into me for a moment. Then he pulled back a bit and looked at me. Right into me with those appaloosa eyes that look so human.
It was as if he said "there, better? Ok, now what's next?"
If for a moment, I think I should give all this up to spare myself the loss, the aches and pains of the back breaking work, I realize that I would never be whole with out them. They are nothing but honest, and true barometers of our every emotion. They live only in the moment.
When I try to step back, give my self space from the herd I not only own, but also am a member of, I realize that they teach me as much if not more then I teach them. Every time I am with them, a small part of me succeeds in that goal that I could only dream of as a child. I see things through a horse's eyes.
For weeks, Ash and Station would graze together. Both older mares, they would find a quiet corner of the pasture, and enjoy the last of the seed heads and sun scorched clover. Today, Ash is grazing with Keeley and Ishka, as if it was nothing unusual. For years, Quagga had nuzzled noses with Station while stalled next to her. Today, he's playing bitey face with Scorch, as if he always has. I feel a bit lost not having to check on Station, hose her down, and clean her buckets, but I am taking a page from the herd. I will enjoy what is before me, not what I have lost. I will treasure the horses I have in front of me more then the horses I wish I still had with me. I will enjoy my time with my horsey friends, and laugh at the mistakes we make together. I will wipe off the sweat and dirt, brush myself off, and get back on the horse.
I have decided to live in the moment.