What were they thinking? That it was cold and Good Things resided in the big stall with lights in the windows and their humans walking around? That inside the big stall there were endless supplies of apples and carrots and homemade horse cookies and other yummy things?
I don't know, but the thought of bringing the horses in has always been one of my dreams. Not like in silly photos where horses lie on sofas, but in some way bringing their stalls to one wall of our living room where they could come hang out with us when they wanted to do so.
Sometimes I make sketches of a big connected house and barn, where stalls and our living space share that wall, and where "going out to do barn chores" simply means walking to one end of the house. Where maybe an indoor riding arena is part of the plan, so that on cold icy days horses and pony and donkeys can gallop wildly and safely instead of the wild and ice-crunching galloping they did yesterday afternoon.
So far in my designs I end up with a sort of large rectangular box that isn't very aesthetic from the outside, and I haven't figured out how to incorporate the pastures around it, nor how to open it up so that it feels like a home and not a big dark box.
Other times, high wind times, I think of converting the garage underneath us to a barn. If I put in a line of fence and put down rubber mats and created four big box stalls (and taught the horses to ignore the garage doors going up and down) I could bring the herd in when the winds kick up and they would be right downstairs, safe and sound. And going out to do the chores would mean walking down the stairs to the garage.
I'm not sure why I want them even closer. By most home and barn standards, they're amazingly close to me already. Before we found November Hill we looked at a property where the barn had an apartment at one end and you walked through a doorway right into the barn aisle itself. But it was a tiny apartment and we were too many humans to fit into it.
Finally today we get back to the upper 40s and maybe the heavy rain predicted for tomorrow (and a high in the 50s) will melt everything down. Then we'll have a sea of mud instead of ice and snow and I'll want to bring them in to keep them out of that too.
In 20-some years when it's just two little donkeys here, you might see me posting about little hoof boots to give them traction on hardwood floors and a corner set up with shavings where they (they really would) do their business, or maybe we would install a donkey door so they could go in and out at will. Two little donkeys wouldn't be any different in our living space than, say, two St. Bernards, but I'll always savor the image of Keil Bay standing in the kitchen eating apples out of the fruit bowl.