Today while I was working, I was trying to decide what I'd do this evening... ride Blue, or take my quilt, and Mandy, back to the pasture to relax. Then a stroke of genius hit: Why not lead Blue out there too, and turn him loose to graze nearby? He usually does his grazing (one hour or so a day) in a pen that's only an acre or two. It ought to be a real treat for him to be turned loose in 40 acres to kick up his heels.
So, I gathered up my bookbag, clipped a leash on Mandy (so she wouldn't go join the neighbor kids on the way to the pasture), put the halter and lead rope on Blue, wadded up my quilt, and headed out... believe me, my hands were full! The cows were near the cottonwood tree grazing, so I spread the quilt beneath that tree, turned Mandy loose, and then took the lead rope off Blue. As I expected, he kicked up his heels and took off running... back to the pen where he always grazes! And he put his head down and started grazing in his usual favorite place, where there's lots of white clover. I gave it one more try... led him back near the cottonwood; only this time I turned him loose nearer the cows, in some clover, since he seemed to like it so well. He grazed there for perhaps ten minutes, and then mosied back into the lot. So much for HIS companionship. Well, at least I had my books, and I did read a bit in both of them.
I bought that horse book at the Smithsonian last June, when I was visiting Joanna. At least Mandy didn't desert me.
When we bought Blue, one of my husband's concerns was that most horses chase cows. They'll run them into ditches or fences, and the results can be disastorous. Well, it's just one more fault that my horse does NOT have. Two of our cows, and the calves, were lying down near the gate, chewing their cuds. But the other cow had found a friend:
It was a pleasant evening, but I'll just have to keep a lead rope on Blue if I want him nearby.