Listening

On the way out he protested softly.

I turned up the gravel lane on the way out to the pasture. He stopped. Pointing his body on past the lane towards the other gate into the pasture. Not paying attention, not enough at any rate, I thought he just didn’t want to go for a ride. I asked and he gave in, ouching occasionally on the rocks as we walked up the lane.

I was leading the one child as the other rode along beside. Out into the pasture where a small bunch of cattle are spending their summer is a favorite ride destination of theirs. With the windmill, pond, and big hills to go up and down it’s understandable that they would think it’s a fun place to ride. If I were riding I would think it was fun too. We had ridden there for the last two days, this made a third.

On the way back across the pasture, we were pointed directly at the gate that lead down the lane. Rusty kept veering off to the south. Where are you going? I would ask him. Look, home is straight this way.

Finally we got to the gate. He stopped again. Just like he had on the way out. I paused, and asked him again. Politely, the horses don’t get drug around. He stood his ground just outside the gate. We had come this way for the last two days, he knew it was the way home. Still he stood, unwilling to budge.

I thought about the way he ouches over the big pieces of rock. Good for letting us feed up and down the lane in wet muddy weather. Not so good for his tender feet. I had thought that it was ok because he could walk along the edges where dirt had gathered. Not enough to protect his feet apparently.

We turned south, the way he had been asking to go all along. A slightly longer rout, out around the corrals, avoiding the rocks. He set off happily and enthusiastically.

All that time he had been trying to tell me there was a problem. He had been worrying about it. Thinking ahead even as we approached the lane that bothered him so from a long ways off. He had told me on the way out, but given in when I didn’t listen.

About time I heard what he had to say. I guess we’ll be going around from now on.

 

 

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