I’ve been putting this mare and foal out each day at 4:30pm to graze until sundown. I walk them down the driveway a ways to release them in a clearcut, and they are free to find grass anywhere they like; there’s plenty for them to choose from. The standing forest bounds them on one side and a fence on the other; the rest of the herd is a magnet that keeps them from going too far away. I have learned, after doing this with mares for many years, that they have patterns. Usually I know where they will be one, two, and three hours into their grazing period.
The past two nights Rose and Henry have come up to graze outside the office window just before sundown. Last night I thought I was too busy to go out when I saw them, so I finished what I was doing before going out to put them in. It was perhaps a half hour from when I saw them out the window, and since I hadn’t taken advantage of the helpful opportunity they had given me, they had wandered a quarter mile away. It made a long day a little longer. The only benefit was that I got to ride Rose in, and I really enjoy that. Earlier tonight I was thinking I should take a camera with me to capture our end-of-day ride.
But as daylight gave way to sundown, I tried to be more mindful of the length of my day. This time I was on the phone when Rose and Henry appeared out the window. I quickly told my caller that I had to go; I didn’t want to miss tonight’s helpful opportunity! And I forgot the camera, so I didn’t capture the light of the setting sun behind my ponies that was so gorgeous. But I did tell them how much I appreciated them trying to be helpful!
© Jenifer Morrissey, 2019
More stories like this one are in my book What an Honor, available internationally by clicking here or on the book cover.