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Posts Tagged ‘andalusian stallions’

All five black Andalusian stallions are lined up peaceably, noses in their feed buckets, while night shadows congeal in the barn lot.  I always tie them while they eat, each bucket hitched to one of the posts that support the stable roof overhang.  That keeps these beautiful bad boys eight feet apart, an effective separation.  While I wait, listening to contented munching, my hands dig deep into coat pockets, desperate for body heat.  The frigid air turns grunts and snorts into white ribbons of steam.  Matias, the senior stallion, raises his head and neighs, sliming wet feed onto frozen muck.  Farruco, the tallest at 16 hands, squeals and paws his bucket.  He’s finished and wants to be turned loose to make trouble.  Not tonight.  It’s too cold.  The sky is clear, stars bright, promising a plummeting temperature.  I waggle my toes, numb inside my boots, and yank off a glove.  I choose a lead equipped with a short length of chain that I thread, bare fingered, through one halter side ring, across the nose, to its opposite ring, assuring an extra degree of compliance.  Farucco is first, being the end horse closest to the barn door.  I release his tie and guide him toward his stall, giving him a pat and soft word of gentling.  Santiago, the two year old, is feeling frisky.  He nickers and tosses his mane.  Farruco begins to prance and crowd me, angling a return to the lineup to assert his dominance.  I yank the nose chain and urge him backward, but he is insistent.  Protocol is to turn him full circle in the direction he wants to go and lead him out of that turn toward a safer heading, but he’s too fast.  His massive chest backs me within kicking range of Matias, the stud next in line.  In a split second, Matias swivels, presents his powerful rump, and donkey kicks my thigh.  The impact of those rear hooves splays me on my back beneath the battling behemoths.  In the scuffle I have dropped the lead, and Farruco is free to attack Matias.  Stunned, I stare in slack-jawed reverence at the silhouette of barrel chests and slashing hooves dancing above me against a shimmering arch of stars.  Time slows to a quarter-horse saunter as I roll over and hug the ground. Then it’s a hound dog belly-crawl on knees and elbows to the barn door and a brief respite before limping back out to sort stallions.  Through my hot tears I can’t help but smile.  Those big guys were mighty sweet not to step on my head.  Tomorrow they get apples.  What is it about girls and horses?

_Dorothy Jeanette Martin

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