Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Ahh the horse inside...

The unique thing that I love the most about horses is their individual personalities. Each one is different in their own subtle way but alike in so many others. Occasionally you will run across one that has a huge personality and everyone is drawn to them. I seem to have more than my share of these personalities in my barn. I am not sure why but maybe it is because I allow them to express themselves naturally.

When Sam came home she was so quiet, timid, and stand offish. As she has now been home for a month her true colors are starting to show through. She LOVES company and delights in seeing the other horses in the herd. I have started leaving one at a time up with her in her small pasture so that she can get to know them. The funniest thing about her is the desire to be with people. She is the only horse I have ever been around that acts like a small child when they see a loved one. She nickers and comes running, not walking, or sauntering, but RUNNING. I just have to laugh every time.

Yesterday, when putting the horses up, my daughter was having trouble getting Sam's door to shut on her stall. She had put her feed in the bucket and Sam was happily eating when She decided that Sam would have to go to the other stall. She took her bucket and Sam was like "Wait, I am not finished with that!" You could see it all over her face. Sam followed her to the other stall and was content to eat what was in that bucket. My daughter brought up the other horses, and when they were secure in the big barn Sam's door was opened for her to have free access to the pasture again. Immediately Sam ran into her stall to check the bucket, she just knew there would be more feed in there. For the next several minutes Sam went back and forth between the stalls checking both buckets. It was almost like she thought they were self filling or something.

The curiosity of a horse is as precious as the curiosity of a child. We should all learn to embrace this, and allow our horses to develop and express the individual they truly are. Of course we must set boundaries to prevent harm to us or to them, but we shouldn't be afraid to allow them to express opinions, likes and dislikes. As Mugwump was talking about in yesterdays blog; we have to listen to what our horses are telling us. Have a dialog with them, allow them to tell us they don't like something, and be kind enough to say OK, but we are going to do it like this. We wouldn't be expect to treat each other with less respect than this. Why should we treat or horses with less respect? We shouldn't.

On Sam's training. She has learned that feet are used for walking, not expressing her opinion to "Mom". She has also learned that she gets her feed faster if she keeps her head out of the bucket. She is picking up her feet and allowing me to hold them; and she has learned that letting "Mom" see her tail is a cool thing cause she scratches it. (again related to feet are used for walking) She seems to maybe be gaining weight again, but it is still early. She has come along way, but has more to go. Her feet are starting to look healthy and shiny at the top and I believe she has finally gained enough weight for the vet to come do her teeth.

More later.....

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