Tuesday, January 25, 2011

What is it with horses?

Trudy Ferguson captures the Wild Mustangs at Ste. Anne's Spa
I recently observed a woman in the paddock occupied by "the wild mustangs", a small group of horses rescued by a foundation that I was made aware of a few years ago by Albert Botha as part of his effort to improve the outcome for these animals.  She was armed with a camera, and spent hours patiently trying to capture the magnificence of these beasts on film.  She came over and introduced herself to me, and asked for permission to continue shooting, to which I agreed.  Trudy Ferguson had discovered these horses during a visit to the spa, and as a part time student at SPAO in Ottawa wanted to take photos for her final masters class.  A few days later, she friended me on Facebook, and sent me a link to some of her photographs.  I have given most of my daily equine chores over to one of the guys who works on our property management team at the spa, so I don't have as much contact with my horses as I used to.  I miss it, but not in this cold weather.  Today I wandered into their paddock to make sure their water wasn't frozen, and the youngest, Sarah (Sophie's filly) quickly wandered over for a visit.  She sniffed my coat and nuzzled my chin.  Before long, big Franklin, the main man amongst the ladies, sauntered over and paid his respects.  Little Romeo - more a pony than a horse also came by to say hello, more curious than anything.  Sophie, Noche, and Jasmin just kept eating - glancing up to let me know that they saw me, but that their hay was more interesting.  Each horse has a distinct personality, and they quickly get to know their handlers.  We humans have had a long association with horses, and it really isn't too hard to figure out why.  A couple of weeks ago CBC radio hosted a discussion on the merits of eating horse meat - Canada's 3rd largest export of meat products.  Needless to say, both sides were passionate about their arguments.  For my part, I think I will stick to cows.  They also have their own personalities, and can be quite friendly with their handlers, but I just don't trust them, so I choose to eat them.

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