The First Morning…Posted: April 12, 2015
…with horses back on the property. I wake early, anticipating another sunrise, the serenity of a quiet dawn and the presence of horses on the farm. I am eager to take my morning walk, then come back and meet Sydney so that we can feed the horses together.
Sunny and I walk down the gravel drive through the trees. There is a hint of coolness in the air, unlike yesterday’s summery temperatures. My shoes crunch on the loose rocks below me, I wonder how the horses will respond when they see me. Will they neigh loudly, stamp and paw the ground, eager for breakfast? Will they circle their stalls, ready to bolt when their doors are opened into the grassy field in front of them?
As I walk towards the barn, I sense a stillness. I pass the big barn doors, continuing down the driveway. In the filtered light, I look across the paddock and see Foxie’s face peering in my direction. Smokey is too small to look over his door, but I trust he and Foxie share the same peace. They seemed to pass it back and forth yesterday afternoon when they arrived. Neither horse was agitated in the least. Both of them seemed to look around and, with a slow exhale, say to themselves, “We’re here. This looks like home.”
After my walk, Sydney and I come down to feed. The horses watch us as we move through the barn. We replenish their stalls with fresh flakes of hay. I say to Sydney, “Let’s wait a few minutes before we prepare their grain,” knowing the clatter of pellets from scoop into bucket excites even the calmest of horses.
Foxie and Smokie wander over to the hay in the corner of their stalls and bury their noses. My daughter and I stand waiting and expectant. There is nothing but the sound of molars grinding fescue and timothy and an occasional soft snort. Morning coolness wafts through the open barn. This is the companionship of horses. I could stay forever in this moment.