With the weather balmy and almost springlike today, the horses got lucky and were fed directly after church, before we went in to get any lunch ourselves.
Our meal went rather quickly. Neither girl wanted to eat and was about to droop into a nap right at the table so I washed them up and tucked them in their beds.
On the way back down, I noticed the horses all staring intently and not in the direction of their food. That's strange behavior for any hungry equine. I tried to look out the window to see what held their fascination but couldn't spot anything out of the ordinary. I didn't think much of it until the entire herd took off at a tense, springing canter. They carried their weight off the forehand and their heads were stiffly high, their ears pricked forward.
I trotted outside to see what was so interesting. The orange caps and vests gave it away immediately: hunters.
Our neighbor keeps several acres in a low lying area as a marshy grassland, only using it once a season for pheasant hunting. The three hunters must have had a dog too who was flushing out the birds because it was their sporadic whistling that lured the horses over.
They snorted, pawed and circled for a bit and then remembered they were eating. They fell into formation--Stoney, followed by Midnight, then No Way. Dancer always brings up the rear with her plodding walk--back to the waiting piles of hay. It doesn't take long for them to discover if something is out of the ordinary. They're even more quick to forget all about it.