Sometimes I’m reminded about the simplest of pleasures… The Munch Mantra.


Sunday, November 27th, 2011 | Filed under Musings




For the last several days, I’ve been busy.

And, for all the USA readers, I’m sure you’ve been busy as well…  This is a huge holiday weekend here and most of us are either preparing to feed guests or preparing to be a guest.  After that, most of us prepare to shop, entertain family or overindulge in some way for a few days.

Sadly, in my case, that left the animals outta luck.

Sure, they were fed – and the dogs were fed VERY WELL (turkey scraps)… but no one got any special attention.  And for that, I was feeling badly come Saturday evening.

SATURDAY EVENING FEEDING

Now, I don’t think the horses care if I’m not around all the time.  But, they do notice when they haven’t gotten their special scratches or a nod in their direction for a few days.

I felt it.

The clock struck 4pm (they still don’t get the time change thing…) and Norma rang the bray.  The entire ranch erupted.

“THERE SHE IS!!!!”””

“MAYBE SHE’LL HAVE FOOD!  MAYBE SHE’LL GIVE ME A TREAT!  MAYBE SHE WILL FEED ME FIRST!”

Sigh.

Tonight, they were exceptionally pushy and needy.

And, as I thought about it, so was I.

THE NEEDY PART

As I went about feeding the herd, I thought on how I felt inside at that moment.

Hmmmmm.

As much as I love hanging with friends and family, shopping, going to craft fairs, seeing movies and eating/cooking – the inside of me was yearning for some hairy love.

I didn’t know it at the time, but as I contemplated my rushing about, it occurred to me that I needed what they were clamoring to give.

Face time.   Fuzzy, furry, funny facetime – and FOOD face time is some of the best.

D’ya know what I mean?

MUNCH MANTRA

So, instead of returning directly to the house when I had finished feeding, I decided to go sit with my friends while they ate… (One of my favorite things to do whether my friends be equine or human.)

I chose Rojo’s new pasture because I wanted to spend time with him and because he is now directly above the mares.  So, sitting with him would be like sitting with all 4 of them.

He noticed my arrival and gave me his soft-eyed welcome.

Me:  “Mind if I sit with you while you eat?”

Rojo:  Not at all, that would be nice.

Me:  “OK, I’ll make a spot right here by your hay pile.”

Rojo:  OK, can I sniff your face?

Me:  “Go right ahead, the pleasure is mine.”

AND WITHOUT FURTHER ADO…

And here, ladies and gentlemen, is where the Munch Mantra comes in.  Many of you will know exactly what I mean as I explain…

Have you ever sat with your horse as he eats his hay?  Munch Munch Munch Munch Munch Munch swallow Munch Munch Munch Munch Munch Munch swallow Munch Munch Munch Munch Munch Munch swallow…

It is like a mantra.  I swear.

Listen to it… If you do, you’ll end up kinda mesmerized and in some sort of a mellowed state of hypnotic calm.

Munch Munch Munch Munch Munch Munch swallow Munch Munch Munch Munch Munch Munch swallow Munch Munch Munch Munch Munch Munch swallow…

It is THE BEST calming sound in the world – to me.  The horses are so contented as they eat and that rubs off on you.

Munch Munch Munch Munch Munch Munch swallow Munch Munch Munch Munch Munch Munch swallow Munch Munch Munch Munch Munch Munch swallow…

You sit there and all of your thoughts just fade away.

Munch Munch Munch Munch Munch Munch swallow Munch Munch Munch Munch Munch Munch swallow Munch Munch Munch Munch Munch Munch swallow…

After a while, you find yourself slipping out of your world and entering theirs.  Instead of you talking to them, the place comes alive as you start really listening.

THEIR WORLD COMES ALIVE

Munch Munch Munch Munch Munch Munch swallow Munch Munch Munch Munch Munch Munch swallow Munch Munch Munch Munch Munch Munch swallow…

(huge noise which makes me jump)

Me:  WHAT WAS THAT?

Equine:  Nothing.  It happens every night around this time.

Me:  ARE YOU SURE?

Equine:  uh huh.

Me (listening to snorts and sneezes, wheezes and coughs, slurps and bucket clangs, mice and deer…)  WOW, LOTS GOING ON!

Equine:  Not really, same stuff, different night…  (looking right into my eyes with the most earnest expression) You’re OK.  You’re alright.

Me:  <smile>

HYPNOTIC CHEW CHANT

The longer I spend with them as they eat, the more I find myself in a state of utter calm – having silent conversations with the equines around me.

Me:  You seem a little dry, I think you need water.

Equine:  I know… but I don’t want to walk over there.

Munch Munch Munch Munch Munch Munch swallow Munch Munch Munch Munch Munch Munch swallow Munch Munch Munch Munch Munch Munch swallow…

Me:  It’s good for you.

Equine:  You need exercise, too.  Why don’t you bring it to me?

 

Tonight, for example, I was sitting with Rojo.  The mares were behind him separated by a fence but only about 10 feet away.

Munch Munch Munch Munch Munch Munch swallow Munch Munch Munch Munch Munch Munch swallow Munch Munch Munch Munch Munch Munch swallow…

Me:  I wonder how that fenceboard broke?

Tess (head facing away from me, tail swishing):  He got too close and I kicked it.

Munch Munch Munch Munch Munch Munch swallow Munch Munch Munch Munch Munch Munch swallow Munch Munch Munch Munch Munch Munch swallow…

Me (going over to investigate):  Ahhh.  I see that it is kicked from your side.

Rojo (puppydog eyes):  She can be kinda mean…

Gwen (not moving from her pile):  Tell me about it!

Munch Munch Munch Munch Munch Munch swallow Munch Munch Munch Munch Munch Munch swallow Munch Munch Munch Munch Munch Munch swallow…

Sam (with a sidelong glance):  I’d kick you, too, if I could get away with it.

Me to Rojo:  Do you like being next to the mares?

Rojo:  I like it here because I can see in many directions.  The mares sometimes go off and I cannot see them but I can hear them.  But if they leave, I can usually see those three horses over there.  The big one hates me but the others are nice (Finn, BG and Wrig).  In this field, usually another horse is visible and I like that.  And, usually, I can see Norma from here.  I like seeing her.  Yes, I like it better here.

Munch Munch Munch Munch Munch Munch swallow Munch Munch Munch Munch Munch Munch swallow Munch Munch Munch Munch Munch Munch swallow…

Me:  That’s good.

Rojo (with a very soft eye):  This is nice…

Me (Big sigh from me)

Rojo:  Big Sigh.

I LEFT THE FIELD…

I left the field as if I had just communed with my good human friends – doing nothing except what comes naturally… eating together, breaking bread, sharing a glass of wine – whatever it is that brings people closer over food.

I left the field feeling as if I just spent an entire day with them.

Munch Munch Munch Munch Munch Munch swallow Munch Munch Munch Munch Munch Munch swallow Munch Munch Munch Munch Munch Munch swallow…

That mantra is such rhythmic and beautiful music to my ears.  I wondered to myself why I didn’t do this more often.  Such a simple pleasure…

The sun was almost gone as I stood and brushed off my pants.

Munch Munch Munch Munch Munch Munch swallow Munch Munch Munch Munch Munch Munch swallow Munch Munch Munch Munch Munch Munch swallow…

Mother Nature had her arms wrapped around me tonight and it felt really good…

Such a calming sound....The Munch Mantra. The Chew Chant.

 

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HORSE AND MAN is a blog in growth... if you like this, please pass it around!



14 comments have been posted...

  1. Lorie

    this is a wonderful post! I feel exactly the same way- feeding is my favorite part of each day. I often stand with one foot up on the bottom gate rung and my head leaned against the top rung and just enjoy…

    Thanks for sharing this!

  2. Valerie

    This was great! I feel like someone got into my head for a little while! I love to sit and listen to my horses munching contentedly! The last thing I do at night before I turn off the barn lights and stop and listen. Then I head to my house with a huge smile spread across my face. :)

  3. Lynda

    Beautiful ~
    And so simply true. As I read this I keep nodding my head…”yes, that’s it exactly!” Thank you for putting into words, what has been felt, but not spoken.
    One person mention the ‘sipping water slowly…’
    I love watching a horse drink water. I remember being suprised the first time I really watched. Slowly slurping it…not lapping it up. Duh :)

  4. sue tyrkus

    My favourite music of all is the MunchMantra. You are so right…it’s peacefully hypnotic.

  5. RiderWriter

    Love this.. I adore watching/listening to all animals eat, but horses are the BEST. I could do the Munch Mantra all day long. For now, unfortunately, I have to settle for spending time with my guinea pigs when they have a fresh batch of hay (doggie eats too fast). I can’t hear them swallow but I sure can hear them chew and witness their pleasure! :-)

  6. Kitty Bo

    Yes, the munch mantra, and after that, the sipping water slowly and deeply and dripping off the chin mantra…..

  7. Arliss

    I just love this. Made my morning. It was nice being out there with them too. :)

  8. Trish

    Again thank you for giving me something to think about early this Sunday morning. I was feeling down (feeling sorry for myself) on Thanksgiving Day, my daughter had left to spend the weekened with her husbands family I was left to take care of the horses. A good friend and trainer broke her hip a couple of weeks ago so Im also in charge of her horses at a stable and in pasture. I went downn around 7:00 to give them there evening feeds, (I live in S. Calif so its always pretty warm down here) As I went around to all the horses turning two of them out, they didnt want to do anything but just hang out with me, so I sat and looked at them for awhile then took them back, went over to my two and feed, my daughters warm blood told me he needed his stall cleaned by watching him tip toe around, so I cleaned it spotless, lots of head scratching and just being around them brought me up, it was such a horse high, when I left I was so thankful to them for my family!!! Guess you gotta be a total horse lover to get these feelings! Reading your postings I can feel it coming from your heart!!! Oh they got baby carrots on Thanksgiving, one of them didnt have any idea what they were, he refused them, like he thought it was my finger, he loves carrots. And my pugs got some turkey which was a big treat for them!! Keep posting we all enjoy it!!

  9. Jeannie

    Great post. “Equine: You need exercise, too. Why don’t you bring it to me?” — cracked me up! Any time you take time to get out of your own head and into someone else’s, particularly a non-human, is a good time. You have a well-developed sense of observation and empathy.

  10. Nancy Harlan

    …as I was reading, I found myself daydreaming off as if I was sitting in there myself with the horses, as I often enjoy! I love your writing style and agreed with each and every thought and sigh…as winter rolls in slowly I look forward to many of these talks with my horses~I enjoyed this VERY much, THANK YOU FOR SHARING!!! <3

  11. Jody Brittain

    What a wonderful post. You have put into words what I could never do. Feeding my horses is a time I can spend with them, each day. It is my FAVORITE time. Even with the wind is blowing 100 mph, or it is raining, and my favorite time, when it is snowing. Yes, Munch, munch, munch is a mantra that only people who LOVE horses understand! Thank you! I enjoyed this post very much.

  12. Linda Corbin

    I so agree with you…feeding the horses is one of my favorite parts of the day……even when it is inconvenient, it is grounding and wonderful

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