Sunday, June 13, 2010

Is Heaven any Sweeter

Today is Scout's birthday. Let's just say he's over the hill now. Since he's not registered, he'll never age past 12. Right? ;) And he looks and acts like an 8 year old anyway.

The night before he was born, my husband and I heard his mother pacing in her corral. I guess we should have slept outside but we didn't even have a barn yet. Because she seemed so restless, we woke up predawn, about 4:30 and went out to check on her. I saw a falling star on my way out to the corral so I knew it was a special day. There in the darkness we saw a little form standing next to Beighley. He was spunky already, and dry, so we figured he must have been born a few hours earlier. Beighley was only five years old so, as a new mother, she was very protective of her little one. We couldn't even get near him until we caught her. It was such a difference from Annie and Yalla!. Annie was practically asking us for help and I actually broke the sac around Yalla!'s head when she was being born.

Funny thing about Scout's markings, as crazy as they are, they haven't changed much from the day he was born. Because of the falling star, I actually considered calling him Dakota Morning, Kody for short. My husband thought he looked like a Scout so we called him Renegade Scout. Beighley was an Appaloosa Arabian and she was bred to a Paint. An accident? I think everybody hoped for a pinto. Well, he certainly was. But he was also a beautifully blanketed Appaloosa with the sclera on his eyes (one blue) and striped hooves. Since today was his birthday, what better present could I give him than several hundred acres of pasture for grazing? There is a HUGE field about a 1/4 to 1/2 mile from my house depending on whether I walked the fields or the roads. I made a deal with the owner to turn them out during the summer months last year and he was agreeable again this year. Originally, I was only going to turn out Scout and Nadia like I did last year but then I decided that Annie could probably benefit from the grazing and Yalla! would enjoy it too. So, I set up a water tank for them and then walked Nadia and Scout out to the field with halters and lead ropes. I walked them down to the water tank before turning them loose so that they would know where to get water. Then I let them go and they took off running.
I went back to the barn and haltered Annie and Yalla! Then I walked Annie and Yalla! together out to the field. I was sort of apprehensive walking the two of them but I didn't know how Yalla! would be by herself either. Annie seemed very calm and relaxed until she recognized Scout and Nadia in the distance. She knew right away where we were going but besides walking with her head way up in the air she was very calm and well behaved. Her daughter wasn't too bad, but she did make a few turns around Annie and I every so often. She never stopped and balked which I was very glad, of in spite of seeing strange things and being further from home than she'd ever been before. She tends to lean in on me sometimes which I don't like so I switched her from the offside to the near side and she walked a little better after that.

When Annie saw Scout and Nadia in the field they saw us too. They took off at a dead run up the field away from us. The neighbor nearest the field was doing yardwork and even stopped to watch them, wondering what got into them, I'm sure. I was hoping they were running for the gate knowing that we were coming, but no! mischievous horses that they are, they ran all the way to the very far end of the field out of sight. 'Great!' I thought. I'm worried about getting these two into the field and now I have to keep them in hand even longer. I did not want to let them loose until we found the other horses. The field is that big! So I managed to open the gate, bring them in, latch the gate, and walk up the field to Nadia and Scout. I should have known she'd head in that direction. It was her favorite grazing area last year.

Finally, we caught up with Nadia and Scout. As we came into view, Scout called and came running up to us with Nadia on his heels. I was relieved that the two horses I was holding were behaving and I undid Yalla!'s halter as fast as I could so she could be free to join Scout without getting me hurt in the middle of everybody. Annie was still being very calm and sweet on the lead even though I could sense how tensed up she was. I undid her halter and the four of them ran around me a few times in their usual pecking order: Annie, Scout, Yalla! and Nadia at the rear. I consider them to be Mom, big brother, and Auntie to Yalla! It's funny, even though Annie is clearly the lead mare, everyone defers to Nadia for guidance in uncertain or stressful times. Nadia decided they would stay in that area to graze, so they did. I watched them a while and I swear by Annie's eyes that she melted with contentment. Yalla! was fascinated. She gazed and walked around, looking at everything. I decided to check back on them in a few hours.

When I came back I brought the camera and took a few photos. They were still happily grazing in the same general area.
I wondered if they'd had any water. Nadia and Scout knew where the water was but I hadn't shown Annie and Yalla! So I haltered up Nadia and began leading her all the way down the field to the water tank. I knew that the others would follow because of that "everybody must obey Annie" but "Nadia knows best" rule. If I had haltered Annie, Nadia might not have come along. The way they drank I knew they hadn't had any water all day. Sometimes, I think Nadia is so forgetful. Can horses have Alzheimers? Scout wouldn't dare lead the herd even though he knew where the water was.

Unfortunately Scout has allergies as you can see from the bumps on his neck. Poor baby!

Is Heaven any Sweeter - song: Blue Jean, artist: David Bowie, album: Tonight


fernvalley01 said...

Nothing makes a horse happier than green grass,and lots of it! They look great!Happy Birthday Scout

Kate said...

Happy birthday to beautiful Scout!

juliette said...

What a great day in the field for Scout's birthday! Happy Birthday Scout (belated) - two birthdays right in a row!

Sydney_bitless said...

Poor Scout, allergies on his birthday. Try antihistamine, helped my friends horse who got hives terrible.

Dan and Betty Cooksey said...

There is nothing more beautiful than contented horses grazing in a field.

Well done.


Shirley said...

It's so great to have a good pasture to turn them out on. Let 'em just be horses. Happy Belated Birthday Scout!

achieve1dream said...

I know I'm late but happy birthday Scout!!!! What a great birthday present. :)

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Happy Birthday Scout!