Well, even though it’s chilly today, the sun is warm and I’ve been enjoying a mid-morning snooze in the field with my best friend, Leo. Sometimes he naps along with me, but usually he grazes nearby and keeps a lookout for any predators. (So far, we haven’t encountered any!)
The warm sunshine, the crisp winter air, the little breeze that rustles the last of the leaves on the trees – this pleasant moment actually brings back another memory from my first home in New York, only a couple weeks after my humans adopted me.
The barn where I lived had a long driveway, and at the bottom of the driveway was the entrance to a big park with a lake in the middle. I often saw other horses and their humans walking around in the park, and I have to admit that I was more than just a little curious – but I was also nervous at the same time, because I had no idea what I would find in that park.
Well, on one particularly warm day, after most of the snow had melted from the latest snowstorm, my humans decided they wanted to take me for a walk in the park. Since they obviously understood me very well already, they knew that I would be nervous to walk alone, so my human Mommy tacked me up and got on my back, while my human Daddy walked next to us with a lead rope in his hand (just in case). My friends from my barn whinnied to me as I left, telling me to be careful and not to be gone too long.
It was a lot of fun to look around at the new sights and smell all of the new smells, especially because I could still see my barn behind me.
That is, until we turned a corner, and I realized that I could no longer see my barn, nor hear my friends.
I stopped dead in my tracks, listening as hard as I could, straining my ears to hear their whinnies. But I couldn’t hear them anymore. We were out of earshot, and out of sight. And suddenly, I felt like the trees around me were closing in, and… I panicked. I reared up and spun around, screaming as loud as I could, hoping that my friends could hear me, even though I couldn’t hear them. I completely forgot that both of my humans were there, and I threw a huge buck and tried to take off down the path, back toward my barn. But when I felt the tugging on my reins, pulling against the sweet-iron and copper snaffle bit inside my mouth, I remembered that there was a small human on my back, and another human standing next to me. I stopped and stood trembling, listening to my humans as they spoke softly to me, trying to comfort me. My human Daddy put his hand on my neck, and I felt the calm reassurance that was running through his veins, and it began to calm me down.
My human Mommy asked, “Icchy, do you think we can walk a little farther? We’re both here with you, and I really think that you’ll like the park, when you see a little more of it…”
I thought about it for a moment. I was still extremely tempted to bolt back to the barn, but decided that I would try to trudge on a bit longer, just for the sake of my humans who had always been very nice to me.
So, still trembling a little, I turned and continued walking down the trail. After a while, I began to calm down, but every little sound or rustle in the bushes made me jump a little.
Then, we turned another corner and came to a little stream that ran across our path. There was a bridge over the stream, but for some reason, my human asked me to walk in the water, instead. I hesitated, knowing that the water would most likely be very cold. But my human Mommy kept urging me forward with her legs (annoyingly), until I finally gave in and put one foot into the stream. I was right: the water was freezing!! I jerked my foot back out, and heard both of my humans laugh. It didn’t sound like they were making fun of me, I think they just thought I was funny. So, taking this as a little bit of encouragement, I decided to try again.
This time, I took two steps forward so that both of my front feet were in the water. I waited for a moment, getting used to the chill of the rushing stream, and finally stepped all four of my feet in and stood for a moment. Both of my humans began gushing praise over me, patting me, kissing me, telling me what a “good baby horse” I was. And then (thankfully!) my human Mommy asked me to turn around and step out of the water.
I was pretty proud of myself, and when I realized that we were heading back toward home, I understood that the park could be a fun place to go with my humans. Hopefully someday I would be able to come out with some other horses – but for the time being, I was happy that both of my humans had decided to come with me.
Yeah, my humans and I have some pretty fun memories. I can’t believe it’s been two years since they adopted me. It feels like they’ve been mine forever.
My human Mommy told me earlier that we would be jumping later today. I’m so excited! You know how much I love to jump… It’s been about a week since the last time I jumped, and I can’t wait! I’m sure that I’ll have some time this evening to tell you all about it, while I’m eating my hay and waiting for my dinner grain. But for now, I think I’ll lay down and take another nap in the sunshine.
See y’all later…