early morning adventure

29 july 2021

When we take the horses out for a walk, only two of them are on a lead rope. The young ones are free and it’s a great joy to see them gallop and play through the fields. A sort of routine has developed, in that we let them all free once we are at the beach, where they enjoy their roll and then move on to the fields behind the beach to graze. We then follow them there and sit with them.

Not so today. The horses left the beach quite soon and when we followed them a little later we just saw the last one turning into an earth road we don’t usually take. We did the same, expecting to find them soon in some grazy field. A little up the road a man told us he had seen them passing by, so we continued up.

It took us two hours to find them. We followed the hoof prints in the dust of the earth road. At a crossroads they went down a cement road where no tracks can be seen, and after a while we saw tracks disappearing into a ploughed field. We found poo and followed the tracks further into the field and through a rougher area along a narrow wild pig path. In the next field we had to rely on small irregularities in the surface: an unclear indentation, a slip track, a half hoof print. We quite enjoyed tracking them like this – we were not worried as there is hardly any traffic around and they cannot do much damage. Eventually we reached an earth road where the prints led up to a field where we found them grazing.

So what happened here? Did they just fancy a walk? Why not graze in all the abundant fields they had passed? Were they going anywhere further and taking a break in the field where we found them, or did they decide to stop where they did and wait for us?

Somehow I feel they would eventually have found their way back to their current field where their water barrels are – they were not far from it and only needed to follow the earth road down. They had been on this earth road twice before – did they remember? The total walk they made is a beautiful one and also very suitable for rides. What were they trying to show us, if anything?

Compared to a lot of other horses, these horses live a very free life. They are out in different fields for 9 months of the year, we take them out for long walks where they partly decide where we go, they are always together in their coherent family herd. I enjoy an adventure like this, where they somehow feel free enough to do what they want to do and eventually wait for us to catch up.

Only maybe next time not during a heat wave 🙂

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