Windflower standing up at the horse barn, looking out over the pasture. Where are her thoughts taking her, home to the North Dakota prairie? What is she thinking about?
The weather; how outright unexciting for a city human in the present age of “i-Something”. For us living in the outback (but regrettably not way out enough) weather does matter, although as they say “there is no bad weather only bad clothing”. With animals living under human responsibility however, the concern about the weather goes beyond Gore-Tex solutions.
The present weather situation in the west of Sweden is puzzling enough to stir up the mind of a horse used to the North Dakota macho winters. We’ve had a long period of cold, below freezing and only little snow, quite comfortable for a horse. The coat is dry, fluffy and warm, the ground is easy to grip.
The latest couple of day’s temperatures have been rising during daytime and cold rain, near freezing, has been falling down on the cold ground. Not nice for horses’ coats, the cold creeps in under their skin. They don’t seem to bother that much though, they still prefer being outdoors, but it shows it’s not their number one choice of weather.
The daytime’s wet messy snow mud, freezes to solid ice during night. Saturday afternoon we walked around like concerned parents tossing out sand and gravel on the icy places, we don’t want any broken horse legs in this family. In the morning the horses stood waiting at the barn; hungry.
At midday the clouds scattered and some tiny blue slices of sky shined through and some horses’ minds swayed out, figuring about what springtime might bring in this unknown country.
Spring in Swedish is spelled; “vår”, and pronounced “war”. Maybe spring for the Scandinavian Vikings meant war for the villages on the east coast of northern England a thousand years ago.
When the weather is bad the horses keep peace and groom each other with a sincere friendly touch, all quarrels are over and done. When the sun shines through and the wind stops, horses are smiling together for a while. Then the old competition over resources and respect boils up to the surface, as in lack of other more important discrepancies, but not more than at a playful level.
Suddenly scarce, but heavy rainflakes began to prickle the ground under an increasingly bluish sky, horses were looking puzzled once more.
In the afternoon the sky cleared completely and reflected the colors of the red and blue roan horses, as they walked down to the north corner of the corral, where the shadows of the 90 feet high pine trees south of the corral can’t reach.
The horses absorbed every sun beam that strayed through space in our direction and the horses coats heated to cozy temperatures.
The horses were eating their supper with the setting sun shining in their happy smiling faces. Living a horse’s life under a bare sky is a thrilling experience even during the course of a single day.