I have had four stallions here and many more colts and geldings. Only one has expressed himself in this way. It’s of course because we have snow-covered ground several months of the year that I’m able to witness it.
My senior stallion Guards Apollo will often urinate straight down as all my other males do, but occasionally he will scribe a circle or several in the snow. Sometimes they’re smaller, like the ones in these pictures, and sometimes they’re larger. He’s done it for years, too; the two pictures here were taken seven years apart. I’ve never seen any of the other males do anything like this.
It’s always a surprise to see the circles in the snow because they’re so different than the other evidence of urination left by the ponies, usually melted small-diameter holes in the snow from the males and melted narrow slots in the snow from the females, with varying degrees of spatter.
I’ve come to think of Apollo’s circles as his form of creative expression. I believe that every person has a unique creative expression that is their gift to the world, whether something physical like a painting or something like a kindness shown to others. It seems reasonable that every pony has their own unique form of creative expression, too, though I’ve never thought about it much.
The theme on my favorite calendar this year is “Cultivating Creativity.” The introduction states, “[When] we become absorbed in our ‘art’ we forget about concerns or problems and experience a more positive attitude.” Apollo seems to have a positive attitude all the time, sometimes bordering on comic. Perhaps his regular exercise of creative expression contributes to his positive attitude.
As I contemplate creativity this year via my calendar, and as winter progresses, giving Apollo plenty of palette, I will keep watch for his expressions, enjoying the surprise of their discovery. They are reminders that he is not to be taken for granted, and by extension, the creative expression of others, people and ponies alike, can be equally pleasant surprises and shouldn’t be taken for granted either.
© Jenifer Morrissey, 2017