Wrapping up 2015: horse and human musings

This year was one full of change for me, my human family and horses. What is most significant to me about a year is that it encapsulates everything you’ve done, everything that’s happened to you, and all what you cannot control and that which you have put into action.

Zuzka and Khami
Khami and Zuzka

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Horses and Christmas Eve: “the night the animals talk”

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.

Painting by Persis Clayton Weirs
Painting by Persis Clayton Weirs

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Reading your horse’s mind and thoughts

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.

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Spirit horses, rituals and sacred ground

 I stood there at the side of the grave, then knelt there and heard hoof falls behind me. Zuzka, my dear black mare and lifelong companion of our departed Khami, came up behind me. She left a respectful distance and looked at me as though to say, if you want some time alone that’s okay. I said and motioned to her, let’s be here together.

Khami_before_death1

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Moving into a new herd

Jazzmine joined the herd of three on Sunday, first over the fence, making introductions. Then she was insistent the next day, on being with them. I must go through that gate to be with them. She has been without a real herd for a couple of years, but grew up with one from birth. The herd of three was already quite well established in their rhythms, so she would face some challenges as a newcomer.

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The good boy horse

The good boy horse is one who continually does what is asked. For some trainers and owners, this is exactly what they want, a horse that does not offer any challenges. For some good boy or girl horses, life is good enough that there is no need to question too much. For others, they have had their wishes trained out of them.

Patches_portrait
Photo courtesy of Katherine Hanson

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