One recent afternoon Pepper and I were enjoying a quiet moment together.
She was nibbling her grain and I was brushing out her mane which had become tangled from the wind.
And of course, we were chatting, as friends do.
I did most of the talking. Pepper is a gifted listener.
It was one of those iconic Colorado days – blue sky dotted with wispy white clouds, mid-eighties, tall green grass swaying in the slight breeze, hawks floating on the thermals overhead.
Then in the midst of this movie-perfect setting, Pepper became agitated. First she stopped eating mid chew, raised her head and looked behind her, ears flat. She tossed her head and blew out a little snort.
The oblivious human – that would be me, tried to calm her.
“Whoa girl, settle down,” I crooned as I continued to brush her.
For the moment, it worked and she went back to eating, only to go through the entire routine again after a few bites of grain.
That’s when I turned to see what was creating such a strong reaction in our girl.
A woman was leading her horse toward us across the hayfield, heading for the gate to the pasture. They were quite a distance away from us, but as far as Pepper was concerned, they posed a threat.
As luck would have it, this was one of the horses Pepper doesn’t care for, one from the herd of “mean horses” that she avoids.
She continued to issue little snorts and head tosses until the horse was finally led through the gate back into the pasture. He instantly bolted toward his herd. Only then did Pepper begin to relax.
Horses are prey animals and as such they must keep a sharp eye out for danger from predators likely to approach them from behind.
A horse’s large eyes are set on the side of her head to give the ability to see what’s coming up from behind. Their vision is clear and accurate in this direction. That’s why Miss P. knew potential danger was approaching long before I even thought to take a look.
Not sure what that says about me, but I know it says our girl still has her wits about her, even at her advanced age of thirty-one.
This little interaction caused me to wonder what it would be like to be able to predict what was coming up in my life.
It would be a different version of predicting the future.
Would I like it if I knew what was out there in my future?
What was coming up behind me?
Good or bad?
We call it “twenty-twenty hindsight” when we have knowledge of something after the fact.
For example, “If I’d known she was going to lead her horse through the pasture near us, I would have chosen a different location to feed Pepper.”
For horses though, their twenty-twenty hindsight is much more literal. They see behind them, ever alert for danger.
What would our lives be like with that ability?
Makes you think, doesn’t it?