Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Horse whispering

I got a chance to whisper to a couple horses yesterday. They whispered directly to my soul.

A down-the-road neighbor (about a mile down my road) owns a total of 6 equines: 4 small ponies, a large work-horse, & a regular-sized horse. They're all variations of the same golden-red body with white manes & tails (flaxen chestnut). The man is elderly, but says he can't get rid of them because they're part of the family and in his blood. He was getting ready to mow their pasture when the largest one, named King, bolted out the open gate. His pal, Golden, the regular-sized one, bolted right after him. Golden is an aged horse, but that didn't stop him from leading his owner on a merry chase in the 95+ degree heat.

I was on my way home from work when Andrew called me. He had been driving home when he saw Golden loose at the bottom of his owner's driveway. Andrew, knowing how horses escape, drove up the driveway to tell the owner his horses were loose. In the process King bolted again. Then Andrew turned around, made his way home, and called me. I was, luckily, about 5 minutes behind him. I drove by slowly, but didn't see anything. Instead of going home, I decided to turn around to see if I could find them.

I was desperate for a good dose of horse-aroma-therapy! On my return trip I saw King galloping through a field and onto the road in front of me. I pulled off to the side of the road and got out. I slowly began walking and talking to the big horse. His gallop slowed to a strong trot and then finally to a walk. He looked at me curiously then turned and called to his friend, Golden, who was lagging behind significantly. Since King was large and was acting skittish, I chose to continue talking to him without trying to catch him. As I looked over my shoulder I saw the owner approaching on a 4-wheeler with a bucket of grain.

After a few moments, Golden approached me. He let me pet him and finally I wrapped one of my arms around his neck with my other hand on the bridge of his nose. If he'd presented much of a fight, I wouldn't have had a chance, but I was banking on good training and the heat taking most of the fight out of him. He & I walked up the road toward his owner with King slowly following behind us. The owner was shocked that Golden would let me lead him by nothing but my hands. He said his horses didn't usually take to new people like that. He had a lead rope, so I fashioned a make-shift halter for Golden and began the long, hot, and sweaty trek back to their home. King followed more or less docilely, but he gave ocassional bursts of speed that made me glad I'd chosen the smaller and older of the two to wrangle.

After depositing the two horses in their field, I spoke to their owner. I gave him my name & information so that if he ever needed/wanted help with his horses he could call me. He expressed an interest in having me help him with one of the ponies. The pony is partially trained to pull a cart/buggy. The man remembers from my college cart-training experience further up the road. To be honest, I practically begged him for an opportunity to work with his horses again. Hopefully he'll take me up on it. That way I can have some much needed equine therapy for body, mind, and spirit!

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