Fall Colors Between Rhio's Ears

Fall Colors Between Rhio's Ears

Wednesday, December 26, 2012


G and family were off to Colorado for a week over Christmas.  I was thrilled (really!) to be horsey caregiver while they were gone.  There is something about working in the barn, with the radio on, soaking up the equine atmosphere (ok, eau du horse is maybe not universally appreciated, I realize...), which is good for my psyche.  I got to put my hands on horses every day, and that is a good thing.  I got to sink my nose into my ponies' fluffy winter coats and inhale deeply, sucking in peace and contentment along with the stray bit of hay.  I also got a lot of fresh air, and exercise, and weight lifting.  I listened at dusk to the hooting of a great horned owl.  I marveled at the beautiful halo around the midnight moon last night, nearly full and shining crystalline in way it only does on deep, dark, frigid winter nights.  I swore, mildly, at the hay when it fell off the sled on the way out to deposit it strategically around the paddocks.  I swore, not so mildly, at the frozen half of the automatic waterer.  I sighed at the sight of six dirty stalls the few mornings I'd kept everyone inside overnight due to windchill advisories, but also gazed at the cleaned, fluffed stalls with simple satisfaction when the work was done.  I hauled a lot of hot water from the house - because I "needed" to fill the water buckets with warm water at night.  I dragged a lot of frozen buckets back to the house in the morning to thaw.  I hauled the poop sled to the manure pile and dumped it countless times.  I pulled bales of hay out of the stack and portioned them out into hay bags at night, or into many more piles than there were horses during the day.  I walked gingerly over the ice to and fro, back and forth, here and there.  My thick socks balled up in the toes of my boots.  My nose ran.  My cheeks were pink with chill.  My heart thrilled to the low, nickered greetings of welcome in the mornings when I opened the barn doors.  My soul smiled when the work was done and I stood quietly, taking a moment to listen to the horses chew and simply to watch them.  Horses are magic to me, and I am so blessed to live my life with them in it.

Dusk (4:30 pm)

The frozen half of the waterer
Rhio takes the long view of the camera lens
My Red boy
Barn aisle with Paco looking out (they come in to eat twice a day)
Rhio with his crazy lip indicating he's ready to go out
Paco, bundled up against the icy weather, enjoys morning hay

The buckets piled in the kitchen thawing (and the wrench I used to open the waterer)
Newest herd member Georgie, all decked out in her pink garb!
The guts of the waterer (heating element on the left is kaput)
Rhio using the working half of the waterer (he ALWAYS drinks when he leaves the barn after eating)
Rhio and Red - a unique perspective

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