Its hard to believe that my tenure with Deb has nearly come to an end. Next weekend, she heads back to Peacefield Equine Sanctuary and hopefully from there, on to a new life with her own person. Every horse teaches me something, usually more than just one something. Deb was a good reminder in doing things at the horse’s speed. Last fall when Deb arrived, I had some grander expectations of where we would be by now, but in reality, we are just were she needs to be to move on to a new, experienced home. I think her biggest leap forward was not trusting the human hand at the end of the rein. Where she wouldn’t accept any kind of bit or contact with her mouth before, she now works quietly in a simple single jointed snaffle at a walk and a trot. That in and of itself is a pretty good step forward. Whoever adopts her can keep her quietly working at this level, or help her learn about being “on the bit.”
Deb has also reminded me about trust. Where things were more argumentative when she first arrived, they are now in trust and acceptance. I’ve not given her a reason not to trust me. She engages me in the pasture instead of a running away. She stands quietly for grooming instead of hooves flying. She leads quietly where ever I want to take her. I do draw the line of acceptable behavior, but I don’t hold a grudge. Once a correction has been given, I move on. As a result, I’ve kind of become her person. And the trust that she has in me is heart warming. It reminds me of why I love horses and specifically, why I love mares.
It is my greatest hope with horses that the time that they spend with me is fruitful and helpful in both increasing and ensuring their value in the future. A horse that has no skills and is difficult to handle has little hope for a long, happy life. The best thing we can do for our horses is not just to provide them with the physical care that they need, but the mental training to make them productive and useful equine citizens.
My best wishes to you Deb, in whatever the world brings your way.