Sunday, August 23, 2009


Not Sure I Have Any Today

Once more the heat was dreadful. So, now I am turning into a two season horseman. Spring and fall are OK, but summer and winter seem to be a problem. Then again, if I had an indoor, the weather would be less a factor. Ah, well....when I win the lottery....

I had a "cute" moment this morning when I went out to feed. I decided to pick out the stalls while the Boys were otherwise occupied. As usual, that gave me all of about two minutes before I had horses on all sides "helping."

I was in Toby's stall. He came in to observe, and then, he came over to me and started to "groom" my neck. He was licking and "lipping me." I had done nothing to encourage this, it was all his choice.

Now, let me first say, this, from Toby was unusual behavior. He has never actively shown affection to me. He is respectful and gentle, and he does appreciate petting and cuddling, but he does not usually initiate it and, unless I start the "grooming" action at his withers, he doesn't tend to respond. So, this was totally unexpected.

I gave him some scratches and hugs in return, thanked him, and went back to my work. He started to "groom" me again, but this time, some teeth were added, exactly as he would act with another horse. I had to stop him...just telling him "no" was enough with a gentle push away.

The only thing I can surmise from this was that Toby was making it clear I was a member of his herd. The fact that he respected me when I quietly asked him to stop also made the point that I did have a certain ranking in the herd which he noted. Hopefully,I am "top horse" but one never quite knows with my Boys.

It was one of those zen moments with a horse where I really felt I had been privileged to step into his world to communicate on his terms.


  1. Beutifully written, I will write down this quote :
    "I had been privileged to step into his world to communicate on his terms."

    Very hot here

  2. I do love to ride but it's the communication that really draws me, whether it's on the ground or riding. There is no satisfaction in just "using" an animal.

    I think the summer heat and humidity are just too suffocating in that area of the country. Even an indoor would not help, although if you won the lottery you could put in AC! For winter though, maybe some day you could just put a cover, (I think I remember you saying that you couldn't though - maybe local zoning rules.)

  3. Anonymous6:45 AM

    I love those little daily interactions with horses best of all, I think. Very lovely story!

  4. When times are good and that moment comes where it's you and the horse, however brief or long it may be it's a splendid notch on the happiness belt; but when times are tough and life has dealt some hard times, that touch, mental or physical, will bring more insight into life, at least for me, than all the prayers, chanting or meditation could bring in a lifetime. Perhaps to experience that forever is heaven.

  5. never had that...

  6. Some of our horses love to groom us too. It's just recently that Dusty even started to do this with me. It sort of makes me feel good, like maybe she's starting to actually like me. She's hard to read because she is so aloof. Not so with the geldings, they're all over you if you let them. As you say communication on their terms is very rewarding.

  7. I haven't had time to comment before but I did read your post and at odd moments I get the warm fuzzies from visualizing your close rapport with your horse.