I have a habit of hugging Pippi. Just wrapping my arms around her warm, smooth, graceful neck, and hugging for as long as she lets me. When the hug is over, she pulls away, and I joke about how smart she is. I always smile at her and say; "you are so smart Pippi, you always know first when the hug is over," and then I pet her a few times.
But last night she didn't know first. So we stood there, my arms around her neck, my cheek against her warm fur, and the moment lasted. She bent her neck around me, and we stood there breathing and feeling together for a long time. The feeling of peace almost choking me, and the connection between us so tender and soft. We stood there, equine and human, hugging for a small eternity.
She needed a hug, and I did too. Not just a hug, but an embrace between two beings that had a bad day; Pippi with a new really mean Alpha Mare, and me with a bad day at work.
There is no telling how long we would have stood there, neither of us at all ready to let go, but another horse bumped his gate, interrupting the moment. And it was probably a good thing as Pippi had forgotten it was her job to end the hugs. Because normally she is the one to know that the hug is over.