I took Isaiah over to visit my friend’s horses this afternoon. Actually, I take him over there most days. We both love hanging out with them! The only down side to bringing him along is that I can’t go into the pasture. I figure that I’m plenty safe going in with them (I have permission from my friend or I’d stay out, too), but taking a toddler in isn’t the safest thing on earth. Now, if we caught Lily or Barney and brought them out, I’d have no problem letting Isaiah play with them without a fence between him and the horse. The pasture is less controlled, though, so we stay outside the fence.
Today, when we arrived, the horses were just passed the gate to the corral. By the time I got Isaiah out of the car seat, they’d wandered even farther into the pasture. I set Isaiah on the ground by the fence, grabbed some grass and called to them, but they ignored me. They knew I didn’t have any grain, so why expend the energy to come get grass that’s the same as what’s in their pasture? Especially when it’s hot out! Isaiah was calling to the horses, so I took his hand and led him around to the fence that runs the length of the pasture. Only so much of the land outside the fence belongs to my friend, but I know where the property line is, so we walked that far, then called for the horses again. This time, Lily and Misty were close enough to where we were that they decided it was worth investigating. Lily trotted over to the fence for some free scratches. I gave her some tall grass that I’d pulled up and soon we were joined by a very jealous Misty.
At first, Isaiah watched while I fed the girls. He worked up enough courage to reach out and touch them after a few minutes. He stood behind my leg, reached out to touch a horse, then jumped back, hiding behind me. Misty likes to give kisses, so she stuck her nose out on the level of my face and I kissed her a few times. Isaiah thought it was so funny! I picked him up and Misty gave him kisses, too. He seemed a little uncertain, but then started giggling.
Soon, Isaiah had joined in the fun. He was grabbing at the grass, then holding it up for the horses to eat. The grass was long enough that the horses could take the end without me having to worry about whether they might accidentally nip his fingers. The first few times, as soon as a horse reached for the grass, Isaiah would jump, let go and shriek with excitement. I helped him hold onto the grass so it wouldn’t blow away from the horses before they could really get a hold of it.
I picked up large handfulls of the long grass and handed part of it to Isaiah while I handed the rest of it to one of the horses. Sometimes, instead of feeding the second horse, I stood back a little so I could take a picture with my cell phone. Had I known Isaiah was going to feed the horses, I would have brought my real camera!
When it was time to go, I took Isaiah’s hand and led him back around to where the van was parked. As we passed the corral gate, he grabbed some grass and bolted for the fence. When he got there, he stuck his head and hand filled with grass between the bars. He called for the horses for several minutes before I pulled him away. The horses had ignored him, so he was very sad. It was a fun time with the horses, though!