Monday, July 3, 2017

The Drill Sergeant & the Comforter

I rode Leah on the trails yesterday, and she came back normal and hungry. However, after her dinner, I noticed she wasn't coming out into her run.

It's easy for me to observe their minute-to-minute behaviors from our house where my comfy recliner chair look right out over the barn, and my comfy outside wicker rocking chair, also looks directly at the barn. You could say, I'm always looking at the barn. So, I noticed when my horse wasn't sticking to her routine. 

I walked out to the barn, opened the door, and there she was lying down in her stall. That's not normal for her. I walked her, hosed her back leg (just in case), massaged and comforted her, but I could not find what was causing the issue. She didn't appear to be colicing. She didn't appear to be lame. She was walking normal. No heat or swelling. So, I just kept going in and out through the night until about 12.

 On my last trip to the barn, I saw a horse's silhouette in the dark. It was standing at the end of Leah's run by the closed gate. It was doing what I had been doing--comforting Leah--standing over her as a protection. The rest of the mares were huddled in a group a ways a way. I thought, whoever that mare is, and I'll find out when I get close enough, that is the comforter--the true leader--and I was eager to see if my suspicion about who it was would be confirmed.

 It was Cowgirl and, for the record, that's who I'd guessed it was.

Here's Cowgirl in the same place today. Now that Leah's up, she's standing a bit further away from her gate.

Cowgirl is that perfect mix of drill sergeant and comforter--the hard and the soft. She demands obedience (for the good of the individual horse and the herd as a whole), yet, she's the one who is always there to protect and stand with the one in need. She was doing the job I would do if I was able to be in the barn 24/7.

Sometimes, you have to walk away and let nature do its thing. I did everything I could for Leah before I went to bed. But I finally had to close that barn door and wait.


 The farrier came this morning to change Leah's shoes, and I was eager to get his perspective on her feet and her fetlock injury. Leah had fully recovered from whatever had been ailing her the night before. She was up and at 'em. Hungry. Demanding.

My farrier tested all of her feet and watched how she was able to distribute weight on them. He bent them to place them up on the trimming stand. And, in a nutshell, he couldn't find anything wrong with her.

So many mysteries lately.  I don't like mysteries, but I do like happy endings.


Leah was so good on the trail yesterday, you wouldn't believe it.  She went through a stream like it wasn't even there.  She went over a land bridge with grass taller than her head and a thin, swampy path more narrow than her body.  She walked on like she was the most confident, eager horse God had ever created.

The other riders said, "She's a GREEN horse?!?"  

I love it when she makes a liar out of me!


  1. Cowgirl is a sweetheart. Leah probably appreciated her comforter for the night. Sounds like a great trail ride and no one believed she was your green horse!

  2. Cowgirl is like that mean old grandma everyone remembers fondly because she really loves you. Leah did, indeed, make a liar of me.

  3. Leah is no longer green. :D We need a new colour for her.
    I'm glad she's feeling better and that Cowgirl is on the job.

  4. Good point, Teresa. We do need another color!

  5. I don't like mysteries either they swirl around in my head, while searching for answers. With time they usually reveal themselves, if not eventually fade. But until then, it drives a person nuts! Horse dynamics are so interesting. I can't wait for the day when I can sit watching our horses from our house!!


Please feel welcome to join our discussion by telling us about your own thoughts and experiences.