The true title of this post if Pepper were writing would be:
The Rolling White Scary Thing That Could Kill Me
Last Friday we were doing the usual around noon-ish.Pepper had her pan of grain and Chickadee her spot at the fence.
It was another of those iconic Colorado days, marked by blue skies, white clouds and ranch hands stretching fence.
Well okay, the last part isn’t always part of every Colorado citizen’s world, but on this particular day, it was part of ours.
It was hot.
And they’d been working most of the morning getting this nylon tape stretched to keep the horses out of part of the pasture. The horses had been shuttled off to a new section, full of long grass.
They were knee deep in wonderfulness.
So Pepper was eating and I was watching the men work. When they got to the section behind Pepper, the calm morning changed.
Remember how I’ve talked about how horses can see behind them? Well, Miss P. caught sight of this white thing rolling behind her, and she did not like it.
Not one bit.
She quit eating and tossed her head around, ears flat against her head. There was no mountain lion or cougar waiting to jump on her back and take her down.
It was a roll of white fence tape, two sweaty men and a dog.
But she wasn’t convinced.
She’d nibble a bite or two of grain and then repeat the head turning, ear-flattening, air-blowing drama.
I tried to calm her.
Stroking her mane.
Singing her favorite rock and roll songs.
Nothing soothed her until she saw the two men driving away.
Only then did she turn down her warning system and finish her lunch.
Got me thinking about fear and how many times I do the human version of head tossing, ear flattening, snorting, “this-is-going-to-kill-me,” when my fear response gets activated.
More than I like if I’m honest.
I think it was the spiritual teacher and author Marianne Williamson who suggests the acronym for fear is False Evidence Appearing Real.
Living ever on alert as a prey animal is challenging.
Horses don’t have a choice.
We humans do.