As far as Aero was concerned, it’s all about “MeMeMe!” and poor Flurry wasn’t allowed near me. (Sorry about the snot!)
To the west is the Grand Luberon.
Walk up to the top of the ridge at the back of the farm and you can see all the way across the Montagnes de Lure towards the Haute Alpes and the Italian border.
Having exercised the dogs, I went back for some proper horse time. I caught Aero first, picked out his feet, gave him a quick brush over and combed through the top of his tail where it was all mashed up from travelling. Then we went for a walk. I kept stopping to see if he wanted to pick at the grass, but he was too uneasy to settle and graze. We walked part of the way into the lavender field and then headed back to the farm.
I took him into the lunging ring to see if he’d have a roll.
Nope. Too unsettled for that, too. He volunteered to trot around a bit, so I sent him off for a few laps in either direction. He was enjoying the surface, and looked pretty good for a horse that had just travelled over 2000km.
Then it was Flurry’s turn. I had to have words with Aero at the start – he thought it was perfectly acceptable to bully Flurry while I was picking out his feet. I told him no, that’s not on! He got the message, and I gave Flurry a good brushing. I scraped the last of the Kingsland Mud off him and untangled a massive knot at the top of his tail. I can’t believe how long his tail is – it’s sweeping the ground! Scissors time tomorrow!
We set off for our walk. Flurry was much more interested in grazing than Aero was.
Aero missed his punch-bag/friend as soon as we were out of sight and started calling. Flurry lifted his head enquiringly, and then returned to the grass.
We walked out into the lavender field again and he relaxed visibly, staying close to me all the time and occasionally nudging my hand or my arm as we walked along. I honestly think he really needed some time with me. Although he’s not a very demonstrative horse, he is very attached to me – when my wrist was broken and other people were riding him for me, I would walk out on treks with them. Flurry never took his eyes off me, and if I took a short cut, across a corner of a field, for example, he would try to follow the route I had taken.
I told him not to worry about Aero and that of course I still love him. Not in words, you understand, we just stood together for a while.
Then we went to the sand arena. Aero was still calling for Flurry. He replied politely, once, “I’ll be back soon”
He wasn’t interested in having a roll, either, and he set off to explore the lunging ring. I put him to work in trot for a few laps on either rein and he volunteered a little canter, too.
If anything, he’s stiffer than Aero, but he was willing to do a little work, and the movement will help him loosen up.
As soon as I said “Whoa” he came in to me for a scratch and some more quality time.
Back at the paddock, Aero was waiting. I think the speech bubble, if there was one, would read “Where the hell have you been all this time?”
He took Flurry away as soon as I took the head collar off.
They stood near the neighbouring horses for a while,
then Flurry came back to the gate area to say goodbye
and so did Mr Needy.
Despite spending the whole morning at the farm, I still found it hard to tear myself away, but I know that in order to allow them to rest properly, I need to just let them “be.”