Saturday, November 29, 2008


Mother and infant bonding is essential - otherwise none of us would survive to childhood, let alone adulthood. Love is the only thing that can make it through sleepless nights, endless messes, and the extended period of crying/screaming without a clue as to any possible cause.

Najale was about 16 months old when he and I first became acquainted, and 18 months old when I brought him home. Horses are herd animals, and stay healthier when kept with other animals. So I was about to accept the offer of one of my neighbor's goats (fittingly named 'Dinner') for his companion when my husband 'suddenly' became aware of a co-worker who wanted to give away a couple of her horses simply because of the expense.
Turns out six months in Saudi Arabia had really turned him off on goats.

So Sally came to live with us. She had just been separated from her six-month old colt, was skin and bones, and emotionally and physically exhausted. It took her about 15 seconds for her to switch her allegiance to Najale as her baby, and they have been inseparable since.

Well, I need to be a little more specific - Sally is the one who is inseparable from Najale. Najale could seriously care less if he is taken anyplace, but Sally gets lathered into (quite literally) a huge sweat if her baby is more than a yard from her side.

I utilize this mother/son bond for my own selfish benefit. I need to feed the horses separately - otherwise Sally just lets Najale eat more than his share. But she is easily led into a corral once she is assured that the 'baby' has already started on his meal.
And when they both are done, it is fairly easy to simply open both gates, and Sally will predictably move back to the pasture.

Until tonight, that is.

I have stressed in a previous post how dark it gets out here. Tonight there was just a sliver of a setting moon on the west horizon, and no much else.

But, confident that Sally was going to be reliable, I set off in the dark to find the corral and pasture gates by touch - open them up - and Sally....

.... decided that the scrub grass right behind the house was more enticing than regrouping with her baby.

Okay, it's pitch black, I have one horse loose. Quickly I slammed the pasture gate shut - one horse loose is at least better than two horses loose.
And, thinking quickly, I whip out my handy-never-out-of-my-pocket cell phone, intending to speedily enlist my husband's assistance - no, not with the horses, he really isn't much good with them - but to bring out a torch (as the British call it) and/or flashlight to capture escaped mare.

Whoops. One little problem. We live far enough away from civilization that it was difficult to get a regular land line phone, and when we finally did, it was the old-fashioned copper-wiring - our neighbor in back, in fact, had their telephone wiring laying on TOP of the ROAD for about two months.

So, when I am on the internet, guess what - it's tying up that phone line. And my husband NEVER has his cell phone on or on him.


So rather than doing the logical thing (i.e. walking back to the house, and getting the large flashlight myself), I switched on my Super Horse Whisperer skills, don my magical Horse Whisperer cape and launch off on my Lost Horse Rescue.

Well, not quite.
I walked over to where Sally was grazing, put a rope around her neck, and walked her back into the pasture.

But hey, got you to read it this far, didn't I?