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Sunday, July 4, 2010

Horsey-girl returns home

“Hey there, horsey-girl…” (sung to the tune of Georgey-girl)

This is what I sing as I approach the stable. I am answered with a snort from inside. I hear hay being dunked in water. Misty is home.
I slide the doors open all the way, and she squints in the sunlight. “There you are!” I greet her. She shuffles up to the front of her tie-stall and nods her huge blonde head up, down. I feed her a sugar cube. Not the way you are supposed to feed sugar cubes to horses, on an open palm. Misty won’t eat it unless you hold it in two fingers and let her grab it with her lips. But she does like sugar cubes. Contrary to what we first believed, when we took her refusal for distaste. Ashley got all the sugar then.
I want to take a close look at her, to inspect her all over, so I reach for the brush. Just then, I hear Donkey. He has emerged from the barn and is approaching the window to the horse stall. He is trotting. And winding up for a big heeee-haaaawwww…oh boy. He is happy his friend is home. This gets Misty very distracted. She is no longer interested in being in her stall. She pulls on her tie with a yank that threatens to tear the rope from the wood.
“Ok, ok, calm down,” I say, as I unhook her tie. She puts it in reverse, and rests her chin on the stall door. Open this please, she seems to say. She meets donkey’s eye as he peers in through the broken pane in the sliding door.
My plan is to lead her gently out of the stable, as done in other horsey establishments, where the residents have manners. Then I will take her lead and halter off and release her to run free all day with Donkey. After a month of being in a strange stable, with strange caregivers and an even stranger male named Prince – who soon became very familiar – I’m sure she is happy to be home on her wandering land.
Misty lets me clip the lead on her halter. I slide the barn door open. Then unhook the stall door. She bounds forward. “Whoa!” I just get the lead unhooked and off she bolts, toward the pasture and her waiting friend. So much for manners.
We haven’t heard thundering hooves in a month. It’s a welcome sound. As is the sight of our happy horse tossing her mane, nipping at donkey, crashing down the field to the open meadow on the other side of the trees.
Later that day I get close enough to inspect my horse. She was very well cared for at the breeding place. I think they even brushed her mane properly – something I’m always afraid to do because I think it pulls and hurts her. Under her mane is some sort of dandruffy-fungus that I think comes from standing in the rain. “You should probably come in at night, girl.”
At the breeders’, Misty had a big box stall to herself. We have two tie stalls here, but they are closed in and can easily be used as one big box stall. I make a note to discuss this with the Farmer. And yes, we can discuss getting one of those push-with-your-nose-and-water-comes-out toys that she had there too. She seemed to like that. And it reduces my risk of getting hit in the head with a flying bucket, too. I tell all of this to Misty and she seems to understand. She puts her big nose on my shoulder and breathes me in, deeply. Then, conversation over, she turns and trots over to Donkey.
The big girl is home and all is right with the world.

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