When Horses BEcome Teachers
Hello my dears!
Apologizes for the long absence from the blog.
But I'm back!
I really hope you enjoy this ❤️
Let me know what part resonated most for you?
Have you have ever learned something about yourself from your pet?
Please feel free to share your stories in the comment section of my blog.
Peace, Light & Love,
"A great horse will change your life. The truly special ones define it..."
My heart was in my mouth and I hardly dared to breathe. I silently prayed again and again, “Please let this be okay…”
Terrified and seriously questioning my own judgement, I watched the pair before me engage in an epic battle of wills.
I don’t normally let other people work with my horses, but this time I agreed. S. loved and used to own horses before she had an accident (unrelated to horses). It had been over 11 months now, and she told me she was working on her confidence in all the things that seemed so effortless before losing a limb.
I had been putting a lot of work into Cygnet, and I thought she out of all my horses would be okay. We have a decent relationship with quite a bit of trust.
The moment I put Cygnet in the round yard I had twinges of misgivings, but I ignored them. Instead I explained a little of what I was doing with Cygnet to S. and gave a quick demonstration of getting Cygnet to back up without me touching her, just by using my energy.
Excited, S. led Cygy into the round yard and asked her to move around in a circle. Cygy turned and looked me straight in the eye as if to check if I was okay with this. I gave her a nod and with a great sigh and little shake of her head she moved off at a slow trot, continuously checking back with me to make sure it was still okay.
At first Cygy did as she was asked. But then something happened; maybe S. mistimed a cue, her energy didn’t quite match her ask, or an ask wasn’t removed quite fast enough and turned into a nag.
Cygnet looked over at me as if to say, “What the hell? I'm doing it! Tell her to stop nagging me!”
Although I offered S. some suggestions, the situation continued to worsen. Something in their personalities started to clash and Cygnet seemed to take this as a great insult. Her reluctant obedience soon turned into a show of utter disrespect and defiance, something I hadn’t seen in some time since I’d been working with her.
Up until that moment I had forgotten what a difficult horse Cygnet was when she came to me. She was shut down and catatonic from her previous people forcing her to obey, and I had to work hard to earn her respect, enlisting the expertise of a good friend and horsewoman. We had forged such a good relationship over time, it was easy to forget what Cygnet used to be like.
Things rapidly escalated and Cygy wasn’t looking at me for instructions anymore. Both Cygnet and S. showed no fear, with S. reading Cygnet as easily as Cygnet was reading her. It had become a battle of wills.
Suddenly Cygnet wheeled around in a great cloud of dust, her hind quarters against the fence. She stood breathing hard, facing S. As S. began to advance, Cygnet squared up and drew herself up to her full height, nostrils flaring, neck arched and eyes glaring in a way that I had never seen before. It terrified me; she was ready to fight.
Cygnet looked as though she was going to rear on top of S. My heart was in my mouth and I held my breath, praying things would be okay, and wondering if I could somehow step in before it got dangerous.
But just as I was thinking this both S. and Cygnet paused... A long second dragged by and bled agonizingly into the next. Finally, amazingly, I heard both of them let out a sigh. S. moved back. It was only a tiny movement on her part but enough for Cygnet to relax her battle stance, lower her head and begin licking and chewing, move toward S., all the fire in her eyes gone just like that.
And suddenly they were two good friends making nice and rubbing on each other.
It was the most incredible thing I have ever witnessed.
Afterwards I apologized to S. for my horse’s behaviour, but she shook her head and laughed.
“No, she was incredible. I don’t have any boundaries since the accident - I just keep pushing.
She showed me that I need to STOP, that sometimes I can't keep pushing.”
In that moment I remembered what an amazing teacher Cygnet is; our animals’ behaviour can show us so much about ourselves, when we stop to breathe, take a step back and listen.
Siobhan is a Visual Artist Painting the Animals who leave their prints all over your HEART.