It was quiet, the only sounds were the soft snorts and occasional bang bang bang of Keil's knee. The stalls looked nice with fresh bedding and just as I started putting hay in the stalls I heard the first drops of rainfall.
I hurried and let them in. Rafer Johnson and Apache came in the near side with one stall (our other stall on the near side is full of hay!) and Redford, Cody, and Keil Bay took the three stalls on the far side with the shelter. Redford is always welcome to come over with Rafer and the pony but those two have become such good friends Redford often chooses to stay with the big boys.
I cleaned and refilled all the water buckets and made sure the shelter was clean too. When we have rain the shelter becomes a much-used space - allowing the horses on that side to go in and out of stalls without getting wet, and offering space to hang out and watch the rain fall, which they do.
In January we're having the barn roof replaced and a matching shelter built for the near side, which will be so nice for whoever is spending time there. I was thinking last night how nice it will be to have a muck barrow on each side of the barn.
There is something special and lovely about getting horses set up for a cold wet night. They seem to appreciate it, and in Keil's case he expects it and even demands it! Every time I do it I have the fleeting thought that the only thing better would be to get them all tucked in with hay and water and fresh shavings and climb into my own little bunk right in the middle of the barn aisle.
But then I would miss the walk to the house, with the horses munching hay behind me and the warm lights through the windows drawing me inside. Seeing the activity through the windows as I head through the gate and along the path to the back door is its own special magic, like I've been in one perfect little multiverse and am heading to another. The space between the two, the walk, feels like what I imagine an astronaut might feel floating alone in space.