Sunday, January 1, 2012

Say Hello, Say Goodbye

Something happened today which was both so sweet and so sad at the same time. We had to move the horses around so that the boys would have a shelter from the frigid weather that we are supposed to get starting tomorrow morning (expected high of 32!) I thought it would be more difficult than it was since the boys had to pass by the mares on their way to their new pasture. But not only were they concentrating more on the food I'd already put out for them, I'd also decided to put Mouse in the shed and let Brandy go out into the open pasture (don't worry she's thirty-one; she's not going anywhere faster than we can catch her.) while the boys came galloping down the hill side and threatened to run right through the fence. I was surprised that the boys appeared to be so excited by the move since they came from a large and green pasture to a virtual dry lot of only three acres but Danny and Django were especially joyous. They were galloping and leaping about exploring every inch of their new space. I was cleaning out the small building where they'll be staying out of the winter weather while they ran circles around the building and then raced to the far end of the small pasture easily jumping over the gully created by the run off from the last big rain. Occasionally I'd step out and watch them; it always made me smile to see them having so much fun. I was a bit frightened however when I saw Mouse come out of the shed and trot over to the fence as soon as she saw how close she was to Danny. She leaned across the fence until she could touch Danny's nose with her own. All that separated them were two wires of an electric fence that wasn't hot and I was extremely nervous because Danny is still a young stallion.I could just see him busting through the fence to get to his mom or would he think of her only as a mare? Mouse gently nuzzled him just for a moment and then pulled back and walked a few steps away. It was almost as if she was asking him if he wanted to nurse because the trick of lining up with the fence so that he could reach through was what prompted us to separate them by an entire pasture instead of just a fence when we were weaning Dan. Danny watched her intently and then followed as soon as she turned her head to look back at him. He reached across the fence himself and nuzzled her face and then, he just turned and walked away, going back to his play with his brother, Django. Mouse stood there for a long while after he left her. She was so still and she never took her eyes off of her baby who is now as tall as she is...or maybe even a bit taller. It was such a touching moment and I'm so glad that I saw it. But it was also a sad moment because I think even Mouse realized that her relationship with her baby would never be the same. The ties between Mother and child had been tenderly severed.

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