The barn is a warm and friendly place; we greet friends, old and new, mostly four legged. I watch him interact with Mimsy, a sweet new pony whose curiosity and fear play tug-of-war with her head. It makes her hard to touch but it's what she needs most. "She has a tic," I tell him and he nods knowingly.
He's hoping for a trail ride today, so when Ms. Pam suggests that very thing, I see his head come up quick, with a hint of a grin. Helmet in place, (a hat is just for show!) he gathers his tools, lovingly grooms his beloved Scooter. He makes sure she's had a drink, then helps gather the saddle, pad, and other tack. Preparing to ride is a long process, every step is important. He is learning to be involved and thorough, careful and patient. When it is finally time to head out, he sits proud and tall and confident. For this moment, he has found his sweet spot!
-A squirrel has a fit behind a nearby locust tree; I can only see his furly curly plume, back lit by angled sunbeams, flagging his annoyance at whatever has disturbed his peace (maybe me?)
-Crickets and their kin warm up their instruments in late autumn rays. It's autumn, but they're still singing; even a lingering katydid increases it's cadence for one last serenade.
-Distant bird fuss of white breasted nuthatch, tufted titmouse is suddenly drowned out by a boisterous crow's incessant announcement. ("Hawk, Hawk," perhaps?)
-Gilded trees rustle their goodbyes to balmy Indian summer afternoons.
I believe in therapeutic riding lessons...and I haven't even gotten on a horse.