The Hungarian sheepdog Balanca decided to lie down in a stagnant pool whilst out on a walk today.
Well, it was a nice day and we let her off the leash to run. So she did a great deal of running and, obviously, needed to cool off. Unfortunately she chose the dirtiest water body for some distance around. Hence Danielle looks shocked. In reality Balanca was quite smelly enough to disturb normal human olefactory senses.
Hence the beast was hosed down in the horse wash bay, and came home somewhat cleaner although yet fragrant enough that I drove with the heating off and the windows open.
Balanca seemed rather disgusted to be bathed, as if we had spoiled the results of an appreciable canine achievement. We should be grateful that she discovered no fox droppings!
I rode Doru whilst Danielle walked the three dogs. Hence the dogs gained plenty of exercise in proportion to the appetite of each for running around. Doru received the sort of work that he needs for his regime of recuperation. I did less work than I might, and Danielle probably is rather tired now.
Doru just became hungry, and seemed to know that his dinner would be ready. He was impatient on the way back to his field, trotting collectedly behind me whilst I walked briskly. A couple of times, I needed to pull him back to a walk as he tried to coerce me too into running. Admittedly it was tempting to jog along with him, however I sensed that all too easily I'd be running with a cantering horse that would be much harder to slow. Besides, why encourage out-of-hand behaviour and then, inconsistently, tell Doru that it's not OK anymore?
At the field gate, I made him stand to remove his headcollar then released him to trot across to his hay.
Some horses present a hazard at this moment, kicking up their heels before dashing away. Not Doru, simply he trots or canters across to the waiting food. Whilst he can be a pushy horse, he isn't mean or dangerous.
I left Doru eating in the last bright low rays of sun. The first hints of lightening are appearing in his coat, a sign that spring really is beginning. Today I rode wearing four layers on top rather than five. Hay rations have reduced. The world is awakening after long months of near-dormancy.
This is a time of optimism and of pessimism. I love to see the fields and woods coming back to life, the soil drying out, the flowers appearing. Yet the months have ended when I was glad to stay in a warm office. The season is upon me when I feel confined in a building, caged and awaiting infrequent release. This is a strange life to be so separated from the land and the fresh air. Still I grasp for meaning and long for enlightenment, and that comes slowly as a dripping tap fills a barrel.