Tuesday, February 02, 2010

the voices on November Hill

This morning I typed in my previous blog post about the FEI, encouraged readers to write and voice their opinions, and then I left my keyboard and went about the business of my day, which at that moment was feeding equines on November Hill. As important as I think it is to speak out against wrongdoing in the world, I also feel that when we live with integrity, generosity of spirit, and live the actions we call for in others, we send equally important ripples into the world.

I stopped and listened this morning as I stood in the feed room, preparing breakfast tubs. The voices of all the equines are very distinct and beautiful.

Keil Bay's musical whinny, which rises in scale and then drops perfectly to its end note.

Salina's low, soft nicker that vibrates and comforts all at the same time.

Cody's voice is silent, but if I listen carefully I hear him turning a circle in his stall, using movement to express his eagerness.

Apache Moon takes a pony hoof and scrapes it down the stall door. Insistent and yet not overly demanding, he makes a different sound so that it stands out from the rest.

Rafer Johnson and Redford are in the barn aisle, usually right outside the feed room door, and they have mastered the art of sounding like squeaking hinges. The metaphor is not lost on me. The squeaky wheel gets the oil, and they are served first each meal.

My commitment to speaking out against rollkur continues because of all those voices in my barn every morning. As long as they speak to me, I will speak for them.

14 comments:

Grey Horse Matters said...

We're so lucky to have people like you who care. Now if only some more people would learn to listen to their horses their world would be a better place.

Kate said...

Just lovely - I love all the sounds at the barn, particularly those of the horses and cats.

Michelle said...

The sounds of the barn are some of my favorite. I can recognize my horse's distinct voice just as much as my dog or cat. Lol, those boys (Rafer and Redford) aren't dumb!

ponymaid said...

Billie, that would be the equine Greek chorus outside the feed room door. Odd - the woman has compared us to rusty hinges as well - and other things that make grating, scraping noises.

Matthew said...

A beautiful thought!

billie said...

Thank you, Arlene. It's a joy to listen, and I know you know what that feels like.

billie said...

Kate, the felines at our place seem to be very quiet at the barn - inside the house is another matter, though! :)

billie said...

Michelle, isn't it a wonderful sound when you hear your horse and know exactly who's talking?

The squeaky hinges here are definitely smart fellows.

billie said...

Sheaffer - funny! I haven't heard the hinge sounds until recently - prior to that it was more of a squeak, except for the period of time when Redford had perfectly mastered the sound of the UPS trunk honking.

Donkeys must have a wide repertoire and can apply the appropriate sound to each situation!!

billie said...

Thank you, Matthew. I am sure you've heard this particular chorus many times yourself!

jme said...

i also love having the opportunity to know the horses so well that i can distinguish all their individual voices and movements with my eyes closed. i think of the title 'if horses could speak' and think to myself, 'but they do!' we just don't always hear. i think the difference with horsemen like us is we may not always understand, but at least we listen!

billie said...

You're right, J, they do speak - it's painfully obvious in the eyes of the horses in the rollkur photographs what they're saying, too.

Maddy said...

The wonderful "sound of music"that brings peace to the soul.

billie said...

Yes, Maddy, that's it perfectly!