I was so exhausted by the end of the day my legs could barely hold myself up any longer. There was still one more lesson to go and one more paddock full of hungry ponies to hay. I hadn't eaten anything all day and had resorted to greedily gulping down water from the horses's water hose.
I was covered in hay, my fingers were caked in gunk from grooming, my hair was a mess and the dirt on my face resembled something like the Swamp Thing. Finally I collapsed on an overturned crate in the stalls, too tired to do anything else.
Beside me, Prince stuck his head out with a curious "Hrruummphh?" I ignored him, too tired even to pat him, and he nudged my forehead gently with his muzzle.
"What, Prince?" I looked up impatiently and absentmindedly gave him a pat. He lowered his eyes to reach mine and blinked slowly, blowing gently out of his nostrils. His gentle brown eyes stared directly into mine and what could I do but laugh? Then he stuck out his muzzle demandingly.
"What??" He pushed himself slightly forward, sticking out his muzzle towards my face. It was almost as if he was demanding a kiss!
I planted one sweet kiss right in the middle of his demanding muzzle, and seemingly satisfied, he hrruumphed softly again and thrust his head gently into my chest for nuzzly cuddles and more kisses. Despite his size, he was completely gentle, completely trusting and did not use any more force on me than a lamb could. Once again I was in awe of these creatures. How beautiful it is when the strong are also gentle!
Almost immediately all my bitterness vanished and all my exhaustion was completely worthwhile again.
Ah horses. They're always happy to see you. They always appreciate a good pat, a hug, a kiss or a bag of carrots. They carry you around on their backs all day long for a kind word in return. Their eyes light up when you appear. They never cease to love, they are always honest, always true, always loyal and always noble. Even the brattiest pony patiently allows the silliest children to brush his mane."Love means attention, which means looking after the things we love. We call this stable management."
Labels: horses, work