Applebucking

When I was a kid, one of the first things I learned at the riding school was; never feed the horses on the pasture. Those fools who tried to venture out onto the pasture with a bucket, got swarmed and attacked from all sides, by hungry horses, desperate to claim whatever was in that bucket.

It stuck with me for many years, that horses are predators when it comes to spotting buckets on the pasture. To some extent, my signature horse, Poseidon, never proved me wrong, since he had grown up starving, and it never left him, the constant need to fight for food.

Then the other day, one of my none – horse – friends asked if she could come by with some apples, because they had too many apples in their garden. I said sure. Honestly, I don’t do much treats, or apples or any of the kind. My horses has grass and hay all day, all year, and I feed them their vitamins and minerals once a day. But sure, it was pretty cool that she even wanted to come by.

This is one of my oldest and dearest friends and I don’t think she has ever been to the stable before, or met the kiddos, so I wasn’t going to say no to that.

Once she arrived, I picked up one of the buckets, and she instantly picked up the other, prepared to follow me onto the pasture, no questions asked.

Imagine that. Walking into a pasture, with five young horses, bearing a bucket full of apples… The mere idea of that is enough to make my skin crawl, if it isn’t my own horses we are talking about. My kiddos wouldn’t attack her, but still, I was pretty amazed that she didn’t even hesitate.

I did. I told her to be careful around Marble, because she is very pushy, and I can’t promise that she won’t bite, and Tardis may run through you, rather than around you, if one of the boys push her and… I stopped myself. It wasn’t really needed. This particular friend of mine was in no danger at all, simply because she expected no trouble from the horses.

She felt safe around them, in a way I haven’t seen in most horse- people. The horses instantly picked up on that, and felt safe around her. They all came up to her and said “hello, new friend,” Ablaze licking her face, Apocalipse trying to snatch her glasses off her face, (they are not used to glasses,) Saleem checking her out in his own gentle way… And even the girls just walked up to her and said Hi, and didn’t crowd her space or push her at all. I have to admit, I watched my kiddos, and my friend, in awe.

So we stood on the pasture, distributing apples amongst the horses, in the gathering darkness and I realized that this is what it should be like, to feed your horses treats. Enjoyable. Not fearing for your life. No fighting. Just a lot of apple slobber.

I do feed my horses every day, in buckets, on the pasture, and I knew that they were cool with it. Still, I am impressed that my friend trusted us so much. I never would have felt that safe on a pasture, with a bucket full of apples, amongst horses that were not my own.

I always knew that horses mirror your state of mind, but to have it proven like this, was pretty amazing. She genuinely expected no trouble, and as a result, there was none.

Ablaze still picks a fight with most people who does enter his world, especially those smaller than himself. I dare not let children past my fence, because he is so quick to bully small people. My friend here, is much shorter than me, and he didn’t even flinch at her size. Not for an instant, did he consider rearing up against her, like he does with anybody else, if he can get away with it. I used to have another short friend, who he would bully constantly, until she left the pasture, and it has taken us years to find a way for him to stop picking a fight with my boyfriend. One of the guys we work with at Dark Mare comes by a lot, and Ablaze never fails to test his limits at all times. Not this girl though. Nothing about her tricked him. He just accepted her instantly, because she did not expect anything less. That was amazing to behold.

Horses picks up on everything. Yesterday, as we were trimming their hooves, Ablaze came by and bit off a piece of one of my rubber boots. He does that. He has a thing for shoes… Anyway, I of course, snatched the piece from his mouth and stuffed it in my pocket and forgot about it.

Later on, I was standing with Marble, and she ran her muzzle up my body, feeling me with her hairs and she didn’t hesitate.  That piece of boot, that was sticking out of my pocket by about a millimetre, was not supposed to be there, so she instantly took it with her teeth and pulled it out of my pocket, not touching me or my pants. I was stunned. She didn’t see it, we were standing way too close for that. She felt it and helped me remove it, because it didn’t belong. That sure is attentiveness in a way that is humbling and reminds you that as a human, you don’t hold a candle to how sensitive horses are.

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About Starstone

-Owned by horses. Writer, Photographer, Director, Musician.
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