I had three good laughs courtesy of the ponies yesterday. The first was shortly after I got up when I went out to give mama Restar Mountain Shelley III some hay. Usually Willowtrail Spring Maiden greets me at the fence just as eagerly as Shelley does, but this time Madie wasn’t anywhere to be seen. When I got close enough to look into the depths of the foaling shed, I expected to see Madie snoozing in the straw. Instead she was standing with her front feet up on a straw bale in the back corner, looking quite proud of herself!
Later Madie and her mother provided me with my second good laugh of the day, at midday feeding. This particular opportunity for mirth is almost a daily occurrence. When I give them their hay, Madie takes a few bites then lays down for a nap, and her mother tosses hay onto her. Yesterday, Madie’s head was the only thing visible, sticking out from a pile of green.
My third good laugh also came at feeding time, later in the day. Usually when I appear with a tub of hay, my perpetually hungry (and therefore overweight) Norwegian Fjord gelding is headed my way instantly. Yesterday afternoon, however, he didn’t appear. Then I saw him through the trees standing still in the back of the paddock with his head down and a strange look on his face. Alarm began to rise in me that something was wrong with Torrin. As I got closer, I could see that he wasn’t completely still but was rocking back and forth. My alarm rose further still since it reminded me of what a foundered pony does to relieve pain in its feet. As I got closer still though, my alarm changed to laughter as I could see the expression on his face was ecstasy, not pain. He was standing over a dead sapling and rubbing its tip back and forth on his belly, apparently scratching a difficult-to-reach spot. After I’d spread all the hay he resumed his normal behavior of wolfing his meal down, having left a pile of shed hair in his previous location.
I grew up with the oft-repeated truism that laughter is the best medicine. Yesterday I appreciated the three-fold treatment I received from my hoofed friends.
© Jenifer Morrissey, 2011