There is something about the peace and quiet of a barn at night, when it is dark out that really puts you at ease…horses munching on their hay, the warmth of the inside of the barn when you come in from a chilly evening, the barn kitties sleeping on the blankets that were left on the aisle floor (yes, I am guilty of doing that on occasion…leaving a blanket on the floor, not sleeping on a blanket left on the floor!)
And then, when you are feeling completely de-stressed and you don’t have a care in the World because you are with the horses…the odd occurrences start. You know what I mean…
The feeling like there is someone RIGHT behind you, when you KNOW you have been the only one there for the past 90 minutes.
When all the hay munching stops and the horses all start staring in the same direction at ….nothing?
When the sleeping barn kitties jump straight up off the blanket, run down the aisle and sit starting at the closed tack room door….
When you have to walk 1/2 km (1/3 of a mile?!) to turn your horse out into the pitch black after you ride, and you are certain there is someone following you back to the barn ready to jump out at you at the first chance they have…
I dunno – call me crazy perhaps – but on more than one occasion I have creeped myself out – alone at the barn late at night – in the dark.
So, on Monday night, I was riding at about 7:45 and the last of the of the lesson kids had left about 20 minutes prior. Our Indoor arena is fantastic – brightly lit, it stays half warm in the winter time and has a heated viewing room up in the loft that over looks the arena. Know what I mean? My current horse is an almost 4 year old OTTB who is pretty low key.
While the filly is undoubtedly the most athletic thing I have ever sat on, sometimes I wonder if she is even a TB at all as she is so laissez-faire about EVERYTHING! It really is not a great surprise at all to me that she was trained for the track, but never raced. She probably thought she was too pretty for that anyways.
As we are turning through the corner at the far end of the arena, coming towards the barn and the viewing room, I
thought I saw see a shadow cross from one window to the other up in the viewing room. The filly immediately stops dead in her tracks, throws her head into my face like a giraffe, blows air out her nostrils and refuses to move.
Well, she moved sideways and backwards – but that wasn’t what I was wanting her to do. After a good 10 minutes – I’m not exaggerating – I FINALLY was able to get her moving forward again even though she decided it would be more fun to sidepass around the corners at the barn/viewing room end of the arena instead of bending through them like a normal horse. I couldn’t shake the goosebumps either for the remainder of our ride. And the filly was definitely not pleased with the atmosphere in the arena after that.
Needless to say, I got out of there as quickly as possible,
Oh – I forgot to mention…the barn is on farming land that has been owned and operated by the same family for centuries. The gorgeous old farmhouse – where the family still lives – can be creepy on the brightest of days in the middle of summertime. I wonder if one of the Burnham’s great great great great great great(?) grandparents decided they felt like keeping me company….
What creepy stuff has happened to you Horse Junkies – alone, at night, in the dark, at the barn…?