I’m writing this today with a smile on my face. You see, I’m not sure if I’m writing about myself or my horse…
A few weeks ago, I decided it was time to move Gwen into the barn at night. She’s 28. It’s not that she can’t be outside, she can. But I really don’t have the perfect pasture mate for her, and she doesn’t like to be alone at night during bad weather. And truthfully, I don’t like to have her outside during bad weather (even though we have plenty of trees and shelter). So, I brought her in.
She was happy. I was happy.
THE GRACE OF OLDER HORSES
Since I’ve owned this house, I’ve had 2, now 3, horses who have lived in the barn long-term. The first was Aladdin. The second was Mama Tess. And now we have her daughter, Gwendolyn.
The interesting thing is that I’ve owned all of these horses since birth or shortly thereafter. I know/knew them all very well…
I can say from experience, there is a distinct difference when they move into the barn.
Gone are the days of mischief and shenanigans. It is as if they decided that being older means it is time to drop all pretenses and simply reap the benefits of a warm stall with lots of great food.
I swear, Tess was totally unmanageable as a show horse – and for many years thereafter. Yet when barntime came, she was an angel. Same with Aladdin. He wasn’t unmanageable, but he got into everything if he was left in the barn. Yet, when barntime came, he was an angel. And now with Gwen, the bullymare of all time… she has turned into an angel.
Barntime is a nod and a smile.
WHAT IS BARNTIME?
I think barntime is when your horse realizes that they know most of it and don’t need to prove anything anymore. Time to enjoy and settle into their new normal. Mostly, though, it is time to be kind and forgiving of the little human.
For example, during barntime, all three horses came when I called – every. single. time. I never had to use a rope or halter if I let them out. They always came back when called. They didn’t mess up their interior surroundings, in fact, all of them created their bedrooms and bathrooms respectively. They didn’t mess with my things.
In return, I gave them special attention. They had cozy and lovely Barndo living. And, of course, all the special food, grooming, tender nothings and love.
And now, Gwen is enjoying Barntime in her Barndo with me. I kinda figure we are both understanding our limitations now, and respecting the heck out of each other.
This is really a nice feeling…