Willow And The Horses

Can cat people become horse people? Can a cat become a horse person? Are cats people? None of these questions answered in this blog post!

If you’ve been following our adventures for a while now you’ll know that we often spend time up at our friend’s property outside of Brisbane. In the old lemon orchard we park the van and give Willow some much needed outdoors time.

On our most recent visit we had the pleasure of making some new friends.

These boys had been brought over from a nearby property to graze, but these are no ordinary horses. These are performance horses – bred for work on the cattle stations and stock routes.

Now, I have had little experience with horses so it was an absolute pleasure to ‘live amongst’ them for a whole week.

But, how did Willow accept them?

The sight of a new thing in the orchard instantly aroused intrigue and it wasn’t long before the horses were inspecting the van. This involved licking the bumper and trying to chew on the windscreen wipers – how cheeky!

In fact, I quickly learnt that I was unable to leave anything on the table outside for a defiant horse would surely knock it off.

Willow remained inside the van as she stared outside at these wonderful creatures.

The next day we were awoken by the sound of galloping outside the van. The 16 hoofs sounded like a stampede as the horses chased each other around the orchard. Willow jumped onto the dashboard and watched the frivolities.

As the herd quietened down it was time for a rest in the grass. I went out with my camera and snuck a few shots.

Willow, not wanting to miss out on the action, jumped out of the van and watched from a distance as I took some photos.

She then jumped onto an old drum to get a better look.

Now as I have learnt, horses are just as curious as cats, and it wasn’t long before one walked over to say hello. Willow watched with caution as the creature neared, but as he arrived a heads length away Willow said, not today buddy, and ran under the van.

It seemed that although Willow was deeply fascinated by these half-ton giants, it was a fascination she was happy to take at a distance!

The next day I got to speak with Jos, the breeder, who dropped in to give the boys their supplement feed. She’s been working livestock on her 20 hectare property for nearly 4 decades.

Jos tells me their names and how to tell them apart.

Bling has white socks and blaze. Tiger Property has a slim white blaze. Tiger Moon has a small star on his forehead. Promise has a faint white marking on his right cheek.

As for these horses, they will likely find their way to the stations as performance horses but they may be chosen for a grander cause.

Jos is president of the Lockyer Valley Light Horse Troops, combining her love of horses and history. The troop attends ceremonies, parades, and historical reenactments in honour of the original light horse troops that served Australia in the first world war, namely the battle of Beersheba.

Because of Jos and other members of light horse troops all over Australia, the honour and bond of human and animal in those times will be carried forward for another generation still.

By the afternoon the boys have had a tummy full of grass and are not so energetic, except for the moments they spend rolling in the dust to keep clean – a similar position I’ve seen Willow in many times.

It was in that moment that I started thinking. Are horses just big cats. Surely the similarities are many.

Each like to eat grass, to take afternoon naps in the sun. Each likes to roll around in the dirt, and to knock stuff off tables.

My conclusion is that horses are in fact large cats… or wait a minute. Are cats just tiny horses? We may never know…

* * *

What a great week with the horses! It was such a beautiful thing to be able to spend such quality time up close with them. I wonder if Willow could become better friends with them given more time?

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