There is a Norwegian story about the birth of Jesus in the stable in Bethlehem, that claims that the animals in the stable watched the birth and then they began to praise God for what they had just seen. Apparently this went on before the shepherds came on the scene. When the shepherds appeared the animals fell silent. The only ones purported to hear the animals were Mary, Joseph and the Christ child.
My mare Zuzka comes to stand beside me at the gate, ready to have her halter slipped on. She is one who often will want to play games about being haltered, suggesting, no, I’m too busy today to go ride. Or maybe it’s just the game she likes. But this day she really wants to go out. I can often tell if she wants to go out on the trail, by how she stands looking off in the distance, when there is no activity on the horizon that can be seen with the naked eye. A sort of longing to be out there.
Like most things in life, when I learn about them, chances are somebody has already thought of it, researched, packaged and marketed it and knows way more about it than I do.
Liberty work takes on a life of its own. Even when I know the horses involved, they do not always do what I expect.
One thing that new liberty students may find troubling is their horse moving in and out of connection. In the beginning, when the student first gets a connection on the ground, real movement together, it’s very exciting. It feels wonderful. Then the horse decides to break connection and go visit with someone else or another horse. The student looks over at me, crestfallen, as if to say, what do I do now?
Horses generally love an open gate. An open gate even if it’s one they’ve been through before, signifies something different, something to be curious about. Going places. Perhaps the grass tastes different there, or there will be an adventure.
When there is trouble in the herd – one horse picking on another, or a horse or horses continually picked on by the others, the Liberty Foundations can help.
Valentine’s Day is a great opportunity to talk about what we think of “love” between ourselves and our horses. We don’t really need studies to tell us what we feel about our horses and probably we have a good sense of how our horses feel about us. So much of what we feel would be considered “anecdotal evidence,” yet it is powerful and real. But there have been pilot studies done on the relationships between people and their horses, with some surprising, validating results.
These days we are inundated with information on how to manage our performance horse, geriatric horse, and what ever, usually from the companies that sell supplements. If there is a problem with your horse, there is probably a supplement designed for it.