Yesterday when I got to the barn, I didn’t see Freedom in his field. Usually, when I whistle he comes running, especially if it’s near mealtime, but there was no sign of him. He wasn’t in the run in shed. He wasn’t behind the run in shed.
I grabbed his halter and walked down to the shady area where he likes to hang out with the deer. Not there.
At the bottom of his pasture, there was some tape down, so I walked over to the next field to see if he’d gone to visit Dandy. Not there.
Around this time, I started to worry. Where was he? Freedom is very protective of his mares. The thought of him wandering off without them was beyond comprehension. Zelda and Curly were grazing, unconcerned in their pasture. Sometimes he stood by the fence and watched them. Not today.
I walked through the woods where the tape was down. Not there.
I whistled again. Nothing.
Finally, I found him. Asleep in the shade, under a tree, at the far end of the pasture. Since he faced me, only his head was visible. Startled he walked out to greet me. I don’t think his hearing is very good any more. Another sign of getting old.
Relieved, I put on his halter to take him up to the barn for a ride. After waiting all summer for his hoof to grow out, he’s finally ready.
Looking up from the spot where he was hidden, I though of how lucky he is to live in a pasture that’s large enough that I could think he was lost. It was worth that momentary panic.