As usual the ponies greeted me at the fence, with the two dominant mares in the front row. I stepped through the fence, something I’ve done a thousand times before, and my foot slipped on the ice and I fell sideways, banging my head on a fence post as I went down. I lay on the ground holding my head with my eyes tight closed. It was fascinating to experience the ponies’ reaction.
Actually it was only the nearest ponies whose reaction I sensed. I opened my eyes just long enough to make sure no one was going to step on me, then I closed them tight again and took several deep breaths to will the injury to be small. The most dominant mare had moved off due to my unusual activity with the rest of the herd beyond her. Except one.
Within just a few seconds I felt and heard breath being blown on my head. I opened my eyes again briefly to see who it was. I saw grey hairs immediately and knew it was my senior mare Sleddale Rose Beauty. When she saw me make eye contact, she too stepped back.
I never fail to be amazed at this mare. Since my fall, I’ve thought about Beauty’s reaction. Was she blowing on me out of kindness? That’s not really her style. Out of concern? Maybe, but blowing breath isn’t her normal statement of concern; usually she stands up with pricked ears when that’s her state of mind. I’ve been surprised how few after-effects I’ve had from banging my head as hard as I did. I often send healing energy to my ponies when they are down. Is it possible Beauty blew healing energy my way? I’ll never know, of course, but I think I’ll choose to believe so!
Stories like these about life with Fell Ponies are collected in A Humbling Experience, available by clicking here.
© Jenifer Morrissey, 2014