The Calm of Autumn

As summer faded away, it took its hot and humid days with it.  Autumn took its place with cooler temps and shorter days.  We were very fortunate to have gotten a third cutting from our hay fields.  Generally with our typical dry summers we only get two cuttings of hay.  But with the early summer and steady rain, we were blessed with an extra cutting of hay.  (Little did we know at the time that we would need that extra hay for the long winter ahead.)

As our herd fell into a new routine with its new leader, Abi, there was a calmness and an affinity among them that was quite pleasing for everyone.  Image and Ember continued to flourish.  As the apple trees produced a bumper crop of wonderfully delicious apples, Image and Ember soon discovered there are other benefits of living here with us.  The apples!  Oh did we ever have the apples this fall.  All of our apple trees are the result of nature taking its course.  Birds and other critters left behind seeds that the ground swallowed up and gently nurtured into seedlings and then into beautiful apple trees.  Touchy has her favorite apple tree down where our two pastures meet.  She has always quietly sauntered off by herself to enjoy the first apples that drop to the ground before the others realized where she was and would soon join her.  In years past, the apple trees never produced enough apples that we had to concern ourselves with the horses eating too many of them.  But this year was different.  We had apples everywhere.  Earlier in the year we had tried to persuade Image and Ember to eat apples, but they would have nothing to do with them.  It wasn’t until they saw Abi and Touchy eating apples off of the ground that they decided to give it a try.  Image was immediately taken with this new ‘candy’.  He couldn’t get enough of them.  He would take a whole apple in his mouth, as if afraid someone would take it away from him.  Ember, on the other hand, chose to eat her apples in the daintiest of fashions.  One small bite at a time.  As the season wore on, the apples continued to drop at an alarming rate.  Concerned that the horses would eat too many and perhaps get sick, we began collecting the apples that fell to the ground.  We fell into the routine of Terry collecting buckets of apples in the morning and mid day and I collected them in the evening.  As Image realized that his supply of apples was getting smaller, he would sneak away from his friends and go gobble up the couple of apples that were there on the ground.  Only after he had eaten, would he call to Ember to join him.  I am sure she smelled the apple on his breath but she didn’t seem to mind that there weren’t any left for her.  She wanted to run and play. We continued to play fun games with them in the round pen.  We have continued to built confidence and trust with each other.