The weather was warm but due to go below freezing again. The ponies had drunk the water low enough that it was time for that all-important chore of scrubbing the stock tank. Heating the water all winter inevitably makes for algal growth, and it was definitely time. I’d been able to turn the heater off due to warm weather so the ponies had lowered the water level to a point where it was easy enough to scoop out. I just hate to waste water, after living through several droughty summers. When the heater is running, the tank has to be kept half-full at a minimum, meaning 125 gallons or more go to waste when I clean it. This time I only scooped out about fifty gallons.
And of course I had lots of help. On one side is the stallion pen, then the gap where the stock tank is and then the other side where all the mares are. I had help from both sides. Perhaps it was because there was a mare in heat that stallion Guards Apollo nibbled on me occasionally. On the other side, mare Willowtrail Wild Rose nibbled on my hat then pulled it off when I didn’t acknowledge her presence. Three other mares stuck their noses in my face over the course of my chore to see what I was doing. Rose, though was most persistent, playing in the increasingly filthy water, stretching her head in my direction when I would look at her, and playing with the scrub brush when I left it within range.
It is possible, of course, to keep the ponies from helping. I could have fed them, for instance, before I started the job, and they would have been absent for the duration. I much prefer having help, though. There aren’t enough hours in the day to spend with my ponies!
© Jenifer Morrissey, 2015
If you enjoy stories like this one, you might also be interested in the books A Humbling Experience and What an Honor, available internationally by clicking here.