Tuesday, March 23, 2010

A Good Reminder: It's A Love Relationship

I highly encourage anyone who has ever wondered what working with Mustangs is all about--at the heart of it--to watch the video Tracey posted. I could not have said it any better than he did in the video.

Mustang Diaries

I'm so glad I watched it because I NEEDED a reminder to LOOK at myself out there. Yesterday wasn't good with Beautiful. All the horses were wound up and she was, too. There were a couple of things that should have got my attention, like the way she was stopping past the other horse's stalls and afraid to go forward. (More tuned into her fear of them than her trust of me). Then, when we worked on yielding the front, she was confused and went up. Thankfully, I did stop myself at that point and heeded the warning signs.

It's also been a tough spring with horse issues--Red's colic, his injury, and yesterday, Cowboy started looking down-in-the-weather. My heart sunk!! That's my main guy. He's my close friend. We've been through so much together all these years. What can I say, he's my heart horse. I mean, they all have my heart, but he has also been my partner.

By the time I had to close up the barn for the night, he looked much better. I took comfort in that when I finally came in and it was too dark to watch him out in his run. This morning I ran out there and he looks back to normal.

This time of year is tough on them all around--mares going into heat, radical weather changes that have them freezing one moment and warm the next, mud, shedding coats, wind and rain, and feistiness that gets them into trouble sometimes. Sometimes I wonder, HOW am I going to keep them all alive and healthy and well-trained?!?

When things are going good and it's all easy, I think we start to pat ourselves on the back a bit too much, or at least I do. I forget that most of the good that goes on out there is because of what the horses do themselves because they WANT to. It's their gift to me, rather than my gift to them. Cya's always so docile and I do think to myself sometimes, look how docile I've made this horse. What?!?! She's docile because she's kind-hearted, not because of anything I've done!

The cowboy in the video pointed out that if his horse kicks him, he probably deserves it--the same way his boss may have kicked him because he deserved it. It made me think, how many times have I deserved to been kicked and they didn't?!? Again, not because of anything I've done, but because of the relationship we have.

I don't know about you, but I'm going to go out today and work on my relationship with my horses--not training or gentling--but the heart to heart friendship. As he put it in the video, the love.

8 comments:

  1. A heart-to-heart day every now and then sounds fun. Maybe the horses would enjoy simply getting a chance to just hang out with you without any formal training going on? We all can use days off like that, maybe horses too?

    I'm curious, too, why Beautiful is afraid of the other horses when she has to pass by their stalls ...

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  2. I will still be training, but I'm going to look at it in a different way today--building a relationship through better communication. I've already been out with Cowboy and he tested my love theory pretty quick. So, it's not like "love" in letting them stomp all over you--love should have strong boundaries, too.

    Beautiful's fearful of some of the other horses--very sensitive to herd dynamics and she's on the bottom with them. They send subtle messages with their ears back when she walks by, and she probably over reacts, but that's her nature.

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  3. Just got done with Beautiful and it went MUCH better. She had a hard time yielding to the left when I was on her right, so I put her up against the fence so she couldn't go forward to escape--of course, she reared--I smacked her underneath though and she didn't do it again. The next effort, she yielded. (That's love, right?) I had fun. She seemed relaxed and content afterward, too. Now she's out grazing.

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  4. Such a beautiful heart felt video, thanks so much for sharing it.

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  5. What a great thought-provoking post.

    There's definitely something to be said for just spending time with your horse in addition to training them.

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  6. Tracey is my hero when it comes to mustangs.

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  7. Wonderful post, and very thoughtful! I need to do this, too. Sometimes I'm so intent on the training that I forget, I just need to BE with them and enjoy them! Thank you for reminding me!

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