Mar 2, 2012

Queen of the Wind

Bryan and I stood there, panting. The ducks circled but they didn’t land. The horses in the paddocks were still WTF!  Lisa gave me another hug and was gone.  I could have sworn I heard “a fool and his money…” as the truck pulled out of the driveway, but it might have been my imagination.

Well, I figured it would be nice to take The B for a graze and a walk. So off we went. I walked. Bryan passaged. But he wasn’t pawing and he wasn’t screaming.  Things were looking up! I kept a soft but definite hold on the chain. I started feeling a little better.

I looked at him. Man, he was a walking equine disaster. I had to admit he was pretty funny looking. Being March, he hadnt shed out. Being a school horse, his mane was kinda long and shaggy.

 My friends are used to me. “Hey! Another project! Cool!” they say, to my face. “Hey! Another reject! Gawd!”  Im sure they’re thinking, behind my back. I knew that Bryan would *really* get their eyebrows up. I got a little insecure, lost my nerve about taking him for a walk and decided to get him in a stall before anyone noticed us. So to his new stall we went. It was all ready, with deep drifts of fresh shavings, a nice pile of timothy in the corner, and carrots and apples in his feed tub. A stall any horse would love to call home!

Well, I guess he hadn’t seen shavings in a while. He stopped, backed, and squatted slightly, clearly sensing a trap. I carefully undid the chain and unclipped the leadrope, (but left the halter on in case I lost him!) clucked encouragingly, and in he jumped. Literally.  He spun as soon as he landed, bent on escape, and I shut the bottom stall door in the nick of time. Then he seemed to get it, bless his heart, and after a few spins and sniffs, dropped and rolled. He was so happy!  Over and over he dropped, got up and shook, dropped, got up and shook. Aww!

But then his nerves checked back in and that was that. He started pawing. And screaming. It quickly escalated to kicking the walls. It then transmogrified to trying to climb said walls. Of course this started a chain reaction in the adjoining stalls as the equine version of “Save Yourselves!” ricocheted down the aisle. So much for anonymity. Mortified, I ducked into the feed room. He’ll settle down, I said to myself. Any minute now. Soon.

I reflected, sitting there on the grain bins in the dim, sweet smelling room. So, here was Bryan. My New Horse. Actually, a new School Horse. I knew Lisa had taught on him and she would have told me if anyone had been killed, but at this point, the only thing I could envision him teaching anyone was to pursue another sport.  (Something quiet!). But I tried not to worry.  Let’s give him a chance. He will be just fine once he settles down. Some horses just don’t transition well.

After a few hours of alternately screaming, climbing, and kicking, he did settle somewhat and  picked fitfully at his hay. He would stop to take a carrot if I held one out but he’d crunch it on the fly.  He called  regularly, though the best he could do after so many hours was an embarrassingly breathy heehheeeheeee!.  The rest of the barn had long since quit answering, but he didn’t notice or care. He was confident that something  was out there, was on its way, and if he just kept calling, whatever it was would come.

I soon learned that that stick-to-it-ive-ness was characteristic of him. He wasn’t one to let reality, hunger, or fatigue get in *his* way, no sirree. Giving up was for sissies. No, Bryan was nothing if not…fixed in his outlooks. 

I gave him another carrot and a pat, which he didn’t notice as he pushed his head past me and bellowed to his invisible friends. Feeling discouraged, I left, and drove home.