Our herd endorses change. This runs against popular thinking of equine behavior. According to the pundits, equines prefer regular, habitual routines without the upset of change. Agreed. However, within the context of an established community (see recent blog), change is a refreshing stimulant for these creatures of insatiable curiosity.
Case in point, two more monumental changes have been embraced with inquisitive ardor by the herd. A barn and run-in shelter were built over several weeks by seasoned, chain-smoking workmen. Chief physically blocked the front-end loader, refusing to budge, while languidly gnawing on the rubber tires with his intimidation look dialed in on the driver. Geronimo, using his muscular nose, unbuttoned work-shirt buttons and extracted cigarette packs from pockets. Traveler supervised the disruptions from a few feet away, backing into the fray with his rear end to be scratched in an ecstasy of flatulence. The juxtaposition of giggling guffaws from gruff men with tattooed necks was fabulously charming. But, the job had to get done, so the herd was corralled where they watched the construction from afar, heads directionally facing the hammering cacophony. The workers, big men who conserved their energy by hardly moving, cheerfully walked up the long drive to eat lunch with the jailed herd.
The barn holds the full attention of everyone. It stores hay, sweet mix and molasses. It also housed baby Guinea fowl, mailed to us from Missouri. The equines, soft and quiet, stood next to the window to hear the gentle peeping of the newly hatched chicks beginning their fragile lives beneath a heat lamp. The new aluminum siding, dented from teeth and hooves, are telling signs of persistent efforts to enter the crèche. No doubt, odiferous hay helps to incite breaking and entering attempts, but Paul and I are also inextricably enticed towards the warm, fragrant, newly minted, cheeping barn. Sensual earthiness is universally attractive.