Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: southern Arizona
Thought I'd share something that happened this evening. Part of why we still have horses.
My wife almost never rides. But she enjoys hanging around the horses and was helping clean the corral. While listening on headphones. Bandit stared at her, then cautiously approached. He touched the wire with his nose. "Oh, you want to hear too?" So my wife took her headphones off, then held them close enough to Bandit's ears (one at a time) so he could hear the sound. Bandit eyes grew. He backed a step, then took a step forward. He listened some more.
Then he sighed and walked off.
Once the corral was clean and the horses had their buckets of hay, we started laughing about "The Horse Who Thinks" - the only one curious enough to investigate headphones. As we talked about Bandit, Bandit left his hay and strolled over. My wife shared her headphones again. Bandit went BTV a couple of times, listened intently, sighed. I held my arm up and he rubbed his face against my arm, then went back to his bucket of hay.
I suppose that is part of why we still have Bandit. In some ways, we ought to go down to two horses. But Bandit gets curious sometimes. He isn't invading anyone's space. He isn't being "disrespectful". Just curious, and he can be darn cute while being so. My wife doesn't really want to ride, but she has good instincts around horses and feels comfortable with them.
And if we sold Bandit, what if his new owner didn't accept a horse who splashed the water in the water bucket, or who will pull the corral panels apart if you don't tie every one of them together, or will open the gate if you don't chain it every single time? What if they got mad when he strolled over to listen to their conversation? Or whipped him when he felt nervous about something ahead?
I suspect a part of what draws all of us to horses is how they can trust us. They believe in our goodness. That we are there to help them.
I still remember leading Mia, spooky Mia, thru some heavy brush. I was almost on my knees pushing thru when I wondered how my 900 lb spooky Arabian mare was doing behind me? After all, if she spooked, the only place to go was over the top of me!
When I looked back, she was almost to HER knees. Eyes squeezed shut. Waiting for the little tug on the lead rope that would tell her to come a littler further. Another hundred yards and we broke into the open. She opened her eyes, shrugged a little as she stood up to her full height, and then you could almost hear her say, "Well, get on! It's MY turn now..." When they give you their trust, they do it so well!
Riders ask "How?" Horsemen ask "Why?"