Junk in his trunk
He gleams like a newly minted penny in the sunlight, a warm reddish brown colour.  It's the peak of summer and when there isn't a breeze and the humidity is close to 100% (on a day like today), his coat is mottled with dark brown patches of sweat.  Not that we haven't tried everything to prevent that and keep him cool, including buying him a second fan that sat on a ledge inside his stall.  Luxury accommodations, I tell you.  Fearing horsey shenanigans, we ziptied that sucker to the wall.  The next day, we found the box fan, hanging by its electrical cord, laying face down in the shavings of his stall.  Not to be deterred, we tried bungee cords, which were subsequently ripped apart.  So as far as I'm concerned, the boy can stand to sweat a little bit longer.

He spotted the decomposing corpse of the possum long before I did.  It was lying on the side of the path, pinkish-white belly up and swarmed by a swirling cloud of flies.  His head perked up and his ears pricked in the corpse's direction.  I had been daydreaming, surrounded by the damp, earthy smell of fresh greenery after the past week's rain, and idly scratching one of my many mosquito bites.  Both of us wrinkled our noses when we drew closer, a bit in shock at the dead body, incongruous with a Sunday afternoon trail ride.

He sees things - my bright-eyed boy - notices things, hears things before I do, indicating with loud snorts that all is not right or normal.  "Pay attention, mom" he seems to be telling me, as he did with the shirtless hiker crouched under the bridge, wringing sweat from his shirt and kneeling down to catch his breath.  He trusts me to take care of him and to protect him.  No longer does he nervously back up 20 yards at the sight of the monstrous wooden bridge.  Patience and persistence won the day and he daintily picks up his hooves and clip clops across it.

We've come a long long way Ryon bub and I can't wait to see what comes next.