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My Horse Just Slapped Me Like Gibbs on NCIS
I am addicted to horses and I collect horses. No doubt about it. My horses no doubt live up to their reputation as “grass eaters” and eat through my budget like biblical locusts.
Nevertheless, they are cheaper than shrinks and they give me more therapy than any licensed psychiatrist.
How’s that for rationalization?
Horse therapy from Walker, My Hothouse Flower
I have a quarter horse named Walker, who I jokingly refer to as my “hothouse flower”. Compared to the rest of my herd, mostly Mustangs, Walker is just a high maintenance guy.
I’m a true believer in the barefoot method and the walker’s feet are as soft and bouncy as clay. He is extremely talented at reining, but the least scratch and his whole body swells like a balloon. Can you get another picture?
So I’m wondering what to do with Walker. He doesn’t fit into my herd of “tough girls” (although he and Fezziwig, my other gelding, are getting along well in the pen by themselves now) and I’ve been getting emotional about people wanting to buy him. . In the meantime, he gets wazoo (my special horse goo times two), almost daily bodywork, and lots and lots of food.
I was rather disappointed because I bought Walker, at a very high price, as a sort of “prize horse” for myself. The rest of the time I start Mustang colts, which are very challenging and often not built for reining. Well, come to find out reining isn’t my thing. So putting out the feelers to see if a suitable home for a walker might appear.
Walker pulled the NCIS “Gibbs” trick on me!
Well, the strangest thing happened yesterday. Walker slapped me in the back of the head like Jethro Gibbs did to his team on the NCIS show. I had done some bodywork on the Walker and was thinking of selling it sitting on a stool next to it. Walker put his head down and nudged me on the back of my head with his nose. He then put his nose on my face and blew snot on my face 10 times in a row.
I’ve taken a few animal communication classes in my time, but I’m not great at them (for excellent animal communication resources, check out Leta Worthington’s Herbs and Animals website). Still, the message was clear. Walker used to say,
“Hey, you keep thinking I’m here for you, that I’m going to serve you as your ‘reward horse’! Not to mention you’re thinking of selling me. I’ve got news for you – – you’ll be here for me too. You’re going to help me, you know! We didn’t get together so I could be your dream horse. You should be my dream person too!”
Wow! Now from the Shao Yin horse personality (read more about horse personalities on Dr. Madeline Ward’s Horse Harmony website), that is a strong statement. Mostly Shao Yin Horses want to please people, to be with. Yowza! Now I have to rethink the whole deal with Walker.
I have always felt that my horses have to “earn their keep,” meaning they must be good at their discipline and tough enough to stand up to the competitive show horse lifestyle. Whether penning, sorting, roping, jumping or trail riding, my horses are work horses.
Walker’s message was clear: He wants to work and he wants to be with me, at least for now. When a Shao Yin makes such a strong statement, I am forced to hit the brakes and think about it. My thinking was that Walker wasn’t hard enough to hack around so he was out of here. His thinking is that he needs the treatment I can provide for him, so he wants to stay.
What’s a Zen Cowgirl to do? If I were a straight, non-spiritual cowgirl, I’d say, “Tough bitch! You gotta go.” But being a spiritual cowgirl, I’m going to have to reconsider. I have to buy that boy some shoes. I have to find room in my heart and find my “method” for a horse that isn’t difficult but that really wants to be here.
Oh boy…another weird growth opportunity! Gotta love them! Heck, everything happens for a reason, right?
So what is the moral of the story?
If you don’t listen to your horse’s gentle attempts at animal communication, be prepared for a blow to the head. Most animals are persistent if they want something bad enough, so start listening!
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