When Baby was introduced into the pasture fifteen months ago, there was another yearling in residence – a colt named Brio. From the beginning they didn’t get along.

Maybe it was a jealousy thing.

Or a boy-girl thing.

Whatever the reason, they did NOT like each other.

Brio and his mom became occasional visitors to the Herd of Oldsters when I was out feeding.

They quickly identified me as the snack lady and wanted in on the action. They never stayed long and were treated as interlopers. Amigo and Red did their best to intimidate, though it only partially worked. Brio and his mom would simply move down the fence line and wait for me to hand out snacks, which I did. Have I mentioned before that I am a total softie?

Yes, I think so.

Unlike Baby, Brio is well cared for. His people make sure he has the perfect feed for a growing horse. He gets a blanket in the cold, visits from the farrier, and has already had his first round of training, so he knows at least a few horse manners. I honestly hadn’t paid that much attention to him. He wasn’t part of my herd and he had his own people who loved him.

There’s a saying that has floated around various sources for so long I can’t identify the author. It goes like this: When one door closes, a window opens.

One afternoon about a week after I learned that Baby had been taken to auction, Rick and I were walking in the pasture to get our two old sweeties. They had apparently decided that the grass at the very far end of the pasture was the most delicious. At least on this afternoon.

As I tromped along in the wet grass, I felt a horse come up behind me. It was Brio. He stayed at my back, pacing me. Eventually, when he wanted me to stop walking and pay him some attention, he began nibbling on the shoulder of my coat.

I stopped and turned to face him.

“What are you doing you silly horse?”

He replied with the sweetest expression that seemed to say, “Aren’t you glad to see me?”

He was feeling playful. He’d nibble on my coat for a while. Then he tried to take the lead rope from me.

Even though he was probably doing nothing more than looking for a snack, it was fun for me. Young horses have such a sweet energy.

I know that in grief you can’t replace one animal with another, or one person for another, and magically feel better. Grieving doesn’t work that way.

But I also know that I came away from that afternoon in the pasture with Brio, feeling lighter and less sad.

He opened a window for me, and for that, I’m extremely grateful.

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