There is a peaceful routine around taking care of our horses. They are pretty low maintenance, I have neither the time nor the inclination to stable them, so they live up in a field behind the house, and in the winter they get to wear a blanket or two.
Not a day goes by however without going up to check on them, scratch an ear, make sure they have water and feed them with cereal or hay or both.
We have a pony and a horse, both good natured, but the pony is by far the brightest of the two.
Sometimes when the day is rushed I put off the moment to go to see them "I'll just do that first,", "I'll finish this then go straight away" ... but once I'm in my boots and out the door with Gibson at my side, I inevitably wonder why I was stalling. Come rain, sleet, sun or snow it is only pleasure.
If the sun is bright I may find them laying down and soaking up the heat, but otherwise they'll be heads down grazing, rarely more than 10 paces apart.
It is always the pon, who sees me first, and makes that soft snorting noise that says "oh, there she is, wonder what she's got for us". The horse is always slower to react, but when he realises his pal may get to me before him he kick-starts with an energetic buck and canters over.
Iris checks my hands, my pockets, only interested in food; I swear that pony is a walking stomach. Jacquard forgives me if I have no treats for him and hangs around to have his head scratched, putting his ears down to my shoulder level to allow me to get to the bits that really matter.
We can stand like that for a while, Iris walking around me saying "so when are you going to feed us" and Jacquard with half shut eyes, drifting away into an ecstatic snooze and gradually leaning on my shoulder until his weight becomes uncomfortable. While this is going on Gibson is nose to the ground, gleaning helpful information on any animals that went through the field in the night.
Recently a lovely guest to our cottage said to me "but what would you do here if you didn't have the blog to write?!", I smiled thinking of the list of things that were awaiting my attention, but I didn't even attempt to explain that a few minutes scratching a horse's ear is one of the important moments in my day.
I wish you all a wonderful weekend; may you also have an ear to scratch and enjoy the simple pleasure of quiet company.
And a quick PS for the kind readers who have asked for news of Ghetto ... the whirlwind returns, tomorrow for a week or so, so I'll be able to show you his latest tricks!