I went out today to see my horse since it was 38 degrees and sunny. When he saw me, he was waiting by the fence while I was talking to some people about the day. When I came close, he nickered at me. I said “Hi” rubbed his head but then had to go up to the house to talk to the barn owner.
When I got back, I was able to sneek this time into the pasture before he saw me. So I was halfway thru the gate when he did see me, he raises his head really high and nickers again at me. What a compliment! It just fills me with warmth to know my horse really does think of me as a friend and is that happy to see me when I come out.
We have a new thing now….Our old thing (the reason I try to sneek into the pasture before he sees me, otherwise he’s waiting at the fence) he would see me, walk up to me and want to walk to the gate without the help of the halter. He wanted to do it by his own free will and then he says he’s in the mood for the halter this is what we do every time now. I feel honored that not only does he want to go with me that much but also that he’s so strongly trying to say “look what I can do, I don’t need that thing….” (the halter and rope) Like he’s proving to me what he knows, how smart he is and how willing he is to try to communicate to me. So the NEW thing is I let him out of the gate without the halter and we walk thru the back, past the indoor arena and all the way to my truck without the halter or lead rope. He then stands quietly, waiting for me to open the truck and start the pre saddle business.
Afterwards, we did the same thing but I suprised him, I walked him into the feild next to us, about 20 yards away from the truck and let him eat the grass he could find under the snow while I picked his feet out. Boy did he think that was a great deal!
We are getting so light on lifting feet up that now, I just brush the ends of the feathers on the back of his leg lightly and he will pick the feet up, we can now do all four feet from both sides. I chose which of the front I want to do first and let him chose which of the back. I rarely even have to touch the back feet at all, he knows the drill.
I’m astounded he seems to really want to show me how much of a partner he can be when I stop and listen to him. It took a long time a year to get to this point of the relationship, a year ago we were a mess together but we were able to fix that and start bonding faster then I was expecting because of who he is and everything I’m learning. I gotta be doing something right, I know I’m focusing on my timing and being more creative since he needs activity….I thought a while ago maybe it’s just who he is but I remember stories from his old owner and my friends that knew him who would call him dull, slow and stubborn. He can be…he is a left brain but he’s an extrovert, he loves to go, loves to play with interesting things, loves learning new things and honestly I think he really values being listened to and trusted. I think he enjoys the give and take. I beleive he feels like he’s an important part of the conversation and most of all that he’s important to me. I seem to meet those needs so he makes it a priority to meet mine.
I know in theory that’s how it’s supposed to work but hadn’t really gotten it until now. It’s kind of like being in love for real…. I don’t just see this, I feel it, I know it just because the clear and honest feeling of it. It makes me excited for the future and what we can do together. How we can grow even from here. I have so much respect and love for this horse I need to get better with everything if only for him. Show him what I can do, prove to him that I care and put in as much as he does. What a wonderful partner I have.