Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays’ take on things and experiences

Never Sure

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Every time I come upon a view of our horses and find one or more of them lying completely flat on the ground, there is a moment of apprehension. I’ve grown accustomed to the sight of them resting off of their feet, but the number of times when they drop the entire body, including their heads, flat to the ground, are few.

Yesterday, I was turning a pile of composting manure and could see them in the distance in the hay-field. One of the chestnuts was sitting on the ground and the other two were busy grazing. Legacy appeared to be on full-time watch.

They were on a ridge of the hay-field, which is not a spot where I usually find them resting, although it is a place where they have a good perspective to see in all directions, without obstruction. More often, when I find them lying down it will be inside the additional fence that defines the arena, or in a lower spot where they are less visible to passersby.

DSCN4073eThe next time I looked up from what I was doing, I found the horse that had been on the ground had risen to his or her feet and Legacy was the one lying down, …all the way down. He was so flat, I wondered if he was still alive.

It is jarring when they lay so flat. There would be no difference in position if they were dead.

Being unsure, I watched the scene for a while to get a read from the other horses. When I moved to get in position to take a picture, Dezirea honed in on me and stared. She was definitely on watch duty.

After about 5 minutes, Legacy picked up his head and dispatched my apprehension. He sat upright for a bit before eventually getting back on his feet. He hadn’t napped for very long, but he was all the way out when he did.

Horses really know how to power-nap when conditions allow. Whenever I am fortunate enough to witness it, it brings me joy that our herd demonstrates a feeling of being safe enough to get the sleep they need, even though I go through that initial phase of not being sure about the dramatic scene.

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Written by johnwhays

October 26, 2015 at 6:00 am

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