All of us here at Wisteria are navigating our way through Romeo’s loss and the seismic shift it has created in our day to day lives. Not the least of which is being felt by his “girls” – Cricket, Rayne and Cassi.
Within each herd there is a hierarchy and each herd member fulfills a specific role. When a member of the herd dies, there’s a reconfiguration that needs to take place within that herd. I’ve watched over the past 6 days as the girls tighten their circle and band together for support. Without Romeo’s big presence; without their Protector the girls have been feeling noticeably more vulnerable.
Today as I was working out behind the barn I suddenly heard the sound of galloping hooves in the pasture. I stopped to watch them from a distance, wondering if the girls were just feeling fresh and enjoying the cooler day. But it soon became apparent that they were running in fear.
I stopped what I was doing and made my way over to the pasture. A quick scan of the area didn’t reveal anything amiss so I sat down just outside the pasture fence and began a process called ‘coherent breathing’ to help calm them and let them know all was ok. They soon gathered next to me and began blowing out a release of tension.
A moment later a coyote appeared through the far fence making his way in to the pasture. Suddenly I understood what had prompted their frantic reaction. They could intuitively sense a predator in their midst but they couldn’t yet see it.
In that moment my mind shifted to Romeo. He was the brave protector of the herd. I had witnessed him run off predators from within their pasture in the past. But without him, it was now up to us girls to handle the situation.
I was preparing to go out there myself to run him off but before I could, Cricket (our lead mare) and Rayne (our dominant “enforcer”) banded together and walked in tandem toward the predator as Cassi waited with me at the gate. Their movements were neither quick nor aggressive as Romeo’s would have been, but rather a united force of determined yet quiet feminine energy that gave the predator cause to stop, rethink his plan, and eventually decide to retreat back through the fence.
I’m sure it helped to boost morale and confidence within the herd. And it was one of those incredibly proud (and emotional) moments for me watching my girls band together and bravely step up to fill a role their fallen herd mate had once fulfilled.
And a soft reassuring voice within said, “they’re going to be just fine”.