After working in town my required eight hours, it's usually dark by the time I get home. My son, Trevor, often feeds the horses for me in the evening. Last night, he went off to band practice before he could feed them. He is in a band called Spring Loaded Hotdog. They have been performing quite often locally in the high schools and small clubs. This weekend is very important to them. The Launchpad is one of the bigger local venues and they will be performing there.
When I got home, I began working on dinner. My older son, Ross, was already home and had started boiling cut up potatoes for me. We were having leftover fried chicken and homemade potato salad. Every Tuesday, I take advantage of Popeye's two pieces for $.99 special. I buy about 6-7 orders so that we can leftovers. With my son cooking the potatoes, I decided to feed the horses.
I bundled up in my barn coat and gloves and went out to the barn in the dark. And boy, was it dark! I often think about the old days, not too long ago, when there wasn't any electricity and everyone had horses. This gets me to buck up and face the dark with a better attitude. I imagine myself a hundred years ago and what it would be like. When you think about it, unless you have automatic waterers, there really isn't much in a barn that distinguishes it from olden times. They had rakes and troughs and wire strung hay bales. The horses were groomed and ridden, blanketed and fed.
When I got to the barn, although I couldn't see them, I could hear Scout trumpeting and Annie softly nickering from the general direction of the arena. I couldn't hear anybody neighing or see anybody looking at me from the first stall. Strange. In the morning, I had put Annie and Scout outside in the arena and left Yalla! and Nadia inside. I went inside and the first stall door was open! Where were Yalla! and Nadia? I could swear I had shut the door in the morning after pouring hot water into their water buckets.
I had this feeling of a presence nearby. Then I heard Yalla! neigh at me and, looking in the stall, I could see her in the distance. Okay, where was Nadia? I still had the sensation of a presence. I turned towards the hay and, sure enough, there was a large white shape right near me. Nadia had come towards me and kind of slowly ooomphed past me into her stall. After eating ALL day long, she had the nerve to nicker at me! Her belly was round and I noticed she was having trouble moving, not colic, just engorged. Well, I guess it couldn't have happened to a sweeter pony. I wondered if Yalla! had been alongside her, happily munching and exploring the barn. Yalla! doesn't particularly like coming in and out of her barn stall since she was raised in the outside stall. I thought that maybe this was a good lesson for her in getting more comfortable in the main barn. Fortunately, they only ate most of a bale of grass hay and nibbled on the alfalfa bale because it was still tied. They had access to water and all around the outside of the barn because I had left the barn door open. I imagine Yalla! went off to visit Annie and Scout and explore the area while Nadia stood and munched.
I decided that since they had been having such a hayfest all day I wouldn't feed them. I put hay in the other two stalls and went out to open the arena gate. Scout and Annie trotted right into their correct stalls and proceeded to eat.
Remembering that my dinner was being prepared, I hurried back to the house and decided to survey the damage in the morning. I debated about going back out to ride Nadia to get that hay burning but the cold and darkness deterred me. I decided to survey the damage in the morning light. It wasn't too bad except for several piles of horse manure. Couldn't she have at least walked away for that??
Darkness and dismay - song: Lady Stardust, artist: David Bowie, album: TRAFOZSATSFM