Thursday, October 22, 2015
I ran into the barn, grabbed some grain and his leg salve, and made my way to the pasture. He came storming into the paddock like The Island Stallions Fury, emerging from the blackness into my car's headlights. His tail was in the air and his nose was tipped up, like he was checking for predators.
Not knowing what else to do, and wanting to look him over, I dumped the feed. He came right over and stood quietly while I cleaned and medicated his legs. I went to put the meds into the empty feed bucket, turning away for just a moment. He took off like a streak, galloping back to the pasture. He'd only taken a few bites of his feed. A very, very scary sign.
Within moments, Harv was doing laps around the pasture, which I could hear but not see. Was one of the other horses loose? Was he colicking? Were there deer? A bear? I moved my car to train the headlights into each pasture, but the other horses were quietly grazing. No sign of deer. I turned the car to face Harv's pasture, hoping to see what was happening. It didn't help much. I called the barn manager in a panic.
"It's deer," she said. "He's fine."
I walked into the pasture, looking for a dim outline of my horse, and wondering if he could see me. He was quieter now, and had come to a stop in a corner. I walked over to him, with the barn manager still on the phone. "Check under his blanket, is he dry?" Yes, he was. He was animated, but not really frightened. He actually looked pretty pleased with himself.
What the hay? Harv has been so mellow, almost too mellow, of late. But those thundering hooves sounded more like early morning at the track than a cool night on a farm.
The next morning, the manager texted me, Harv is fine. Who knows what got into him the night before? I assume he was alarmed by deer, but don't really know. Sometimes at the barn we comment that it looks like our horse had a party in his stall. After last night, I have to wonder what our boys do when we're not around.