Yesterday the weather was almost springlike and the horses were grooving on it. A few were stretched out on the ground, bellies to the sun. Our two old sweeties were at a far corner of the pasture, and when I called them in they ambled toward me in no particular hurry.
It was one of those slow, easy days – no wind, temps in the high fifties, and a brilliant blue sky overhead. It was perfect for horse and human.
Bud and Pepper munched away on their grain.
Some of the usual suspects lined up at the gate for snacks.
There was Amigo, Mama and her boy Brio, the shy girl called Chickadee, and Joe, one of the two venerable old men of the herd.
I made my way between our two sweeties and the Herd of Oldsters, talking, singing a little rock and roll, and handing out snacks.
Like I said, a perfect day.
And then kaboom! Something quite different happened.
A small herd of horses came barrelling across the pasture, kicking up dust and getting everyone worked up.
Soon other horses joined in.
It was more like a stampede than anything else.
Because the pasture is so darned dry, the dust in the air nearly shielded the sun.
Horses screamed and kicked up their back legs, racing in every direction.
Even the horses in the adjoining paddock ran wildly up and down the length of their enclosure.
And one horse waiting in a nearby round pen called to his buddies, kicking and bucking around the pen.
For a while the Oldsters at the gate ignored the ruckus.
Just a bunch of youngsters feeling their oats.
But then the youngsters brought the chaos to the gate, and the Oldsters had no choice but to get out of the way. Hooves were flying and the old guys had to make way.
This went on for a good ten minutes.
It was thrilling to watch.
And just the teeniest bit frightening.
Horses galloping at full tilt is truly something to behold.
My heart pounded in my chest. I could understand how the bystanders resonated with the action.
An ancient part of me wanted to join in. It was that kind of contagious energy.
Except for Bud and Pepper, who didn’t react at all.
They just kept eating, probably relieved they avoided all the giddy-up and yee-haw. I’m glad too, because with their arthritic old feet and legs, it wouldn’t be good for them. It’s exactly the kind of thing our vet worries about.
And then as quickly as it started, the action stopped.
The herd settled down.
The Oldsters returned to the fenceline.
One by one, the bystanders caught their breath and went back to enjoying the sunny day.
And Bud and Pepper finished eating and I led them back through the gate.
Just another day in paradise!