Friday, August 1, 2008
There are many things different about Mustangs and Domestic Horses. Usually the quality of hooves is the first thing everyone will agree upon (except in Beautiful's case).
There is another quality I only discovered this week upon returning home--and that is, deep bonding.
After hearing about my friend getting kicked--something I never for a moment held against Beatufiul--she was startled and she is, afterall, wild--but I started to wonder how it affected her. Generally, she does not want to kick anyone--it's something she threatens, but doesn't want to follow through with.
That first night when I got back, she was the one who called out for me the loudest. I could hear her whinnying from the barn as soon as I got out of the car and called for them.
When I went into her pen she moved away from me and was hesitant to give me the front of her head. But when, after a few seconds, she did, she just gave into me with what seemed to be relief.
Much of what I think about horses comes from what I FEEL through them. And, I understand that it could be subject to projection--or self-fulfilling prophecies--but I try to clear my head of those preconceived notions and really feel and see what my horse is feeling and showing--kind of read their face and body language for cues.
Wrinkles around the eye show worry or fear or pain--shying away can show insecurity--and a sudden drop of the head and relaxed eye and body can show pure relief.
After reading Linda Tellington-Jones' book--I believe so strongly that a horse's body language is as clear as speech is to us.
So, what I perceived from Beautiful was relief--much different than what I perceived from my domestic herd who I also love dearly. Cowboy--my main man(horse)--looked thrilled--he picked up his walk and was the first one out of the dark pasture--I could see his white and sorrell paint markings emerge from the blackness. He's my guy. Cia, who was stalled the whole time because of her leg injury (did I write about that--well, it's all better) she acted like GOOD, YOU'RE HERE--NOW FEED ME!
But Beautiful's response was different, reminding me again what a privelege it is to earn their trust, but what an awesome obligation it places on us, too, to protect them and be worthy of it.