This made me realize how essential undemanding time is for a horse-human relationship.
Saturday, June 19, 2010
Today I came to a very important realization. Undemanding time is absolutely essential to a true relationship. I came to terms with this with a horse I don't spend much time with. After I turned Sharlie out, I went to say hello to the herd of horses that share the field with Sharlie. The Alpha of this herd is Doc, a 25 year old (estimated age) horse that has cushing's disease. He is much more active in the winter, but the summer is when his cushing's acts up. He moves from one spot in the shade to another spot several yards away. I feel so bad because his lack of movement causes him to receive most of the flies. So I walked over to him and started just stroking his face, to shoo away the flies. And that is basically what I did for half an hour! Just stroking his face gently and slowly. He became so relaxed that he had to rest his head on my shoulder at one point so it wouldn't touch the ground. By the time I was done, the rest of the horses were all lining up to have a turn. It was very rewarding to see Doc so relaxed. I don't think I have ever seen him that relaxed before. It is hard to be the Alpha over 6 horses! (Especially when 2 or 3 can act like children) I would have just sprayed him with flyspray but that would not have done the job. Not only would it spook him, but it wouldn't have relaxed him the way it did when I did the non-lazy thing of spending half an hour stroking him (something most people at the stables wouldn't do)