Whispering Jessie, really understands what stronger than any halter and lead rope means. Thank goodness she's teaching me! Jessie is my dominant mare, really the only one I would classify that way out of 7 mares and 1 stallion. Today I had yet another example of how my dominant mare keeps the order in her herd.
So, it's pouring out, not cold but windy and sideways rain, lots of it. All of the horses were tucked inside the outside shelter, mostly wet because the rain is coming from the South. I think it would be a nice idea to go out and bring them all into their barn, cozy, dry, more room, hay, you know comfy.
I go out, prepare the barn make my way through the driving rain to the gate, get Jacquie's attention, and run back to the barn expecting everyone to follow. I'm in there waiting and waiting, I poke my head out and I see Hearty, Jessie and Jacquie half way to the gate looking at me dressed head to toe in rain gear, I'm sure they can't hear me calling them because the gale force wind is blowing my voice to the county north of me, but they see me for sure waving at them to come in. Now these horses come into this barn once every day to eat. They love it, look forward to it, I've watched them waiting to come in and eat day after day, year after year for 20 years; rain, snow, wind, thunder and lightning, sunshine, night, every type of weather condition, they come in. But, they are looking at me then back at the shelter, I'm thinking they are coming, I run back in to get ready to receive them, and they don't come! I look back out and they are now all back in the shelter! I'm wondering what's stopping them.
So I get a halter and lead rope and go back out into the torrential and driving rain, now soaked in spite of my rain gear, and Summer sees me because now they are all stirring. Gratefully, she chooses to come in, then the migration begins, so I get back to the barn to get everyone where they need to be and just like every other day every horse is waiting outside the barn, at the doorway, waiting for their herd leader Valentine to enter first. The ducks, chickens and cats all make way and in perfect order everyone files in; calm and quietly going only where they are suppose to. First Valentine, then Jessie, Patches, Summer, Hearty, the little ones, and lastly Sterling. It occurs to me that all along they were waiting, waiting for valentine to make the move to the barn. More important than comfort or food; the safety of the herd leader saying lets go.
That Jessie, she is not only a beauty, but a gift!