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The Resting Place

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The horses are starting to realize the new barn is home. I’ve let them down back to graze a couple of times and after having to go down and lead them up the lane twice, they figured out how to get back to the new barn on their own. It’s not complicated, just different. In fact, they have to walk past the lane that leads up to the new barn in order to go to the old barn. It’s really just a matter of them understanding that the new barn is where the hay, water and shelter can be found now.

It seems they like to spend their nights under the pines. At first they avoided the wooded part of their new paddock, but they’ve gradually started to explore it a bit more on their own. I’m seeing signs that they’ve bedded down in the pine needles and both Dharla and Rascal have had oak leaves tangled in their tail and mane the last few mornings. When I was picking the pasture today I noticed several piles of manure in the woods. Apparently they like to lay right where Beanie and Tia were buried. At first that discovery seemed a bit creepy, but after some thought I came to the conclusion that dead horses probably don’t mind the company. When we were first thinking about including the burial ground in the paddock my husband was hesitant, but I didn’t think it all that strange. It’s one of the rare flat spots on our property and since it abuts the new barn it would be silly to exclude it from the paddock. With only a few suitable acres, every square inch of property that we can wrangle for turnout counts.

It’s been four years since both Bean & Tia died. The ground over their resting place has long since settled and were it not for the large flat stone that marks their grave you’d be hard pressed to know where they’re buried. Do our horses sense something we can’t? I don’t know, but I find it both strange and comforting that they’ve chosen this very spot in the woods to lay down. Their caramel-colored dropping mix with the long pine needles and I smile as I pick through their cozy slumber nest. In that moment I feel like we’re all together again, one big family.

4 responses

  1. I think it is really beautiful that the living horses still seek the company of the dead. It sort of makes them more identifiable…more human.

    September 15, 2014 at 3:52 PM

    • It is kind of different. I don’t really know if they’re actually seeking their company or if it just happens to be the best place to hang out. Some days I think it’s one thing, but then other days I think it’s the other. I guess we’ll never know for sure, right? 😉

      September 18, 2014 at 9:13 PM

  2. Animals are far more cognizant of what is going on in the world (and perhaps the next) than they are given credit for by their 2 legged human cousins. I’m sure the horses do sense their old companions are buried there. A friend had several dogs. When the oldest passed one, she had her dog cremated. The ashes were returned in an urn, which sat on the mantle until they could be scattered in a chosen location. One evening, not long after the ashes came home, one of the other dogs started wimpering and “talking” to the urn on the mantle, creeping out the husband who was watching TV. Somehow they know. Even humans have a six sense, and not all of us are able to tune into it. Someday the science of Physics will progress to the point an explanation will be available. For now, it’s quite an interesting unexplained phenomenon…

    September 15, 2014 at 6:21 PM

    • I don’t know how much I think animals “know” about stuff like that. I think they know when something’s different. My male ACD is very quirky but he notices the slightest change or difference in things. My other two dogs? Not so much. I’ve heard lots of stories about animals doing unusual things after the loss of a herd or house mate, so who knows? I’d like to think they have a sixth sense, but I always come back to the point where I have to admit that I don’t know if I believe they really do.

      September 18, 2014 at 9:22 PM

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