After posting what I did about my exasperation with Friday, I decided it was time to spend some more time with her. One thing that never fails to make me paranoid is a sudden change in behavior…I’ve been reading about Kate’s gelding Pie and how they’re struggling to find out what’s causing him to behave so differently. And then there is the tragic story about Carson’s gelding, who was unhappy for a long time before he was diagnosed with a fatal intestinal blockage.
When things get busy in my life, my horses are used to seeing me at the same times each day–and usually just so I can look them over, take care of chores (which include a lot of non-horse jobs) and get back in the car. Even though I really didn’t have the time yesterday, I decided I’d just go hang out for a while and see if Fry was acting the same way.
Anyone else notice how hard it is to make yourself do something like this after something “bad” has happened? It’s not like this mare kicked or bit or really even “misbehaved”…but there was just something about the way she was looking at me and behaving Wednesday that really managed to hurt my feelings. I felt utterly rejected.
When I drove up yesterday, Fry was the only one out in the pasture. As soon as she heard my car, her head flew up and she trotted for the barn, tail up.
Keep in mind that this is the same mare who the day before had been acting like she was hoping I’d disappear from the face of the earth.
I haltered her and we went for a walk…not a long one, but we did a lot of stopping and looking (she’s working on stopping when I do). She did an excellent job, and once when I praised her for stopping neatly beside me, she raised her nose to my face and blew (she’s one of those horses who likes it if you blow into her nostrils).
I found myself wondering if aliens had somehow replaced this horse overnight. What the heck? Friday acting FRIENDLY…while out on a walk? (It would help here if you could imagine the other two horses calling and carrying on just a short distance away). Normally she behaves pretty well, but I can never recall her acting so calm and affectionate when we’ve been working on something and her “sisters” have been going nuts. Normally, the reaction I have from this mare when I ask her to do something is something along the lines of: (heavy sigh) “Okay, but I’m doing this because I want to–not because you told me to.”
When I got back to the barn, she walked neatly through the gate for me, and while I was latching it, she turned to face me. And then she put her nose in the crook of my arm and stood really still for a few seconds–even though the flies were bothering both of us, even though this was also something totally unlike what she’s ever done before. It was quite clear she was trying to give me a message of some sort.
I was astounded. This totally reminded me of Winter’s escapades with her gelding–how his behavior suddenly changed after a series of unfortunate events.
Seriously, people, I almost cried.
Moments like these are so hard to describe to a non-horse person. I don’t even talk to my own family members much about this kind of stuff…first of all, you sound nuts. Second of all, it’s really hard to explain why such subtle horse gestures like these mean so much.
After our time together yesterday, I felt like I could face anything the world had to dish out. And good thing too, as the world always has plenty to dish, does it not?