Today chatting with one of my spectacular volunteers, I learn that people were surprised at the welcome we receive from our horses. They needed haltering and to be brought out of the pasture for grooming.
"You don't have to chase them?"...the inquiry was made.
"Heavens no, they posture to be the chosen one. For them it means grooming, treats and attention."
We take for granted the easy attitude our equines have taken on out here at the sanctuary. They are happy, friendly and eager to engage.
Even Sable, my paint/Freisian mare who is incredibly stand off-ish loves my halter game. She knows how to halter, she also knows alot more than she is sharing...probably broke to ride, and more. But we decide to make progress at her pace on her timeline...I have no idea how badly she was roughed up, handled or abused.Feedlot saves are a mystery, so you have to listen very carefully. Her body language tells me she never wants a halter on again or any human in her life.
But each day as I slip into her stall, she looks at me with anticipation, comes to the front of her paddock to visit. She begins to sniff my pockets...ah yes, she can smell sweet molasses.But she also knows that we are going to play for a bit,before the treats arrive.
I open a rope halter and stand looking toward the knoll of green grass. She begins by touching her nose to the rope. She knows that's not enough of an effort to get a treat, but it's her job to test me. So I stand and wait and begin talking softly about the green grass we are going to enjoy once her halter is on. She licks and chews and each effort is a little larger. Then, as I am looking away she sticks her nose entirely in the halter, the top portion up to the bridge of her nose. She retracts immediately. I never look at her but suddenly my hand is full of a molasses smelling treat. She is very satisfied. Sable and I will play this game for as long as we need to until she is ready wear a halter, and to go and enjoy the grass.
The message here is patience and time. Horses communicate so effectively if it is allowed. I try to put my agenda aside and that is when the miracles, the growth and the connections I am looking for begin to appear~~ more tomorrow . Lynn