A Clean Slate

The dark colt was the first born this last spring at the Broken B Ranch. Every time I drove past I slowed down to check out the pregnant mares at the ranch. For me, it’s not spring until the first foal appears at the Broken B. Sure enough one morning there he was, four long legs on a skinny little body, and so cute I had to smile. I reminded myself to have my camera with me next time. It wasn’t long before he was trotting alongside his mother, starting to investigate his world. The mare made sure the other horses in the pasture didn’t interfere. If curiosity got the better of any she charged, teeth bared. They got the message. The next day, back with my camera, I saw him standing stiff legged, ears alert, as a strange two-legged animal slowly approached—his first sight of a human being. His mother continued grazing, unconcerned with the intruder, probably a horse trainer she knew well. She obviously didn’t resent the stranger’s presence. Not sensing danger, the baby was startled when a hand reached out for him to sniff, but he didn’t run away.  When the hand began scratching the itchy spot under his neck, he decided the stranger might even be a new friend. He wasn’t born suspicious and fearful. That baby’s a clean slate ready to be written on. Fear, hate, vindictiveness – those behaviors have to be taught.



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