Tuesday, December 8, 2009

My Horse Just Slapped Me Like Gibbs on NCIS

I am a horse addict and I collect horses. There's no doubt about it. There's also no doubt that my horses live up to their reputation as "hay burners" and eat through my budget like biblical locusts.

Nevertheless, they are cheaper than shrinks and they provide me more therapy than any licensed psychiatrist ever could.

How's that for rationalization?

Horse Therapy from Walker, My Hothouse Flower
If you have read a few of my past blog posts, then you know that I have a quarter horse gelding named Walker, whom I jokingly refer to as my "hothouse flower." Compared to the rest of my herd, mostly mustangs, Walker is just a high-maintenance dude.

I'm a true believer in the barefoot approach, and Walker's feet are as soft and ouchy as clay. He's super-talented at reining, but the least little scratch and his whole body swells up like a balloon. Get the picture yet?

So I've been wondering what to do with Walker. He doesn't fit into my herd of "tough girls" (though he and Fezzywig, my other gelding, are now getting along well in a pen by themselves) and I've been putting about feelers to people who might want to buy him. In the meantime, he gets supplements out the wazoo (my special horse goo times two), bodywork almost daily, and lots and lots of food.

I have been rather disappointed because I bought Walker, at quite a high price, as kind of a "reward horse" for myself. The rest of the time I start mustang colts, who are quite the challenge and mostly not built for reining. Well, come to find out reining isn't really my thing. Hence putting out the feelers to see if the perfect home for Walker might appear.

Walker Pulls an NCIS "Gibbs" Maneuver on Me!
Well, the strangest thing happened yesterday. Walker did the equivalent of slapping me upside the back of my head, kind of like Jethro Gibbs does to his team on the show NCIS. I had done some bodywork on Walker and was sitting on a stool next to him, thinking about selling him. Walker proceeded to put his head down and bop me on the back of my head with his nose. He then put his nose right in my face and blew snot on my face, about 10 times in a row.

I've taken a few animal communication classes in my time, but I don't excel at it (for excellent animal communication resources, check out Leta Worthington's Herbs and Animals website and blog). Nevertheless, the message was clear. Walker was saying,

"Hey, you keep thinking that I'm here for you, that I'm supposed to serve you as your 'reward horse'! Not to mention the fact that you keep thinking about selling me. Well I have got news for you -- you are supposed to be here for me, too. You are supposed to help me, you know! We weren't brought together just so I could be your dream horse. You are supposed to be my dream person, too!"

Wow! Now from a Shao Yin horse personality (read more about horse personalities here), that's a strong statement. Mostly Shao Yin horses want to please people, want to get along. Yowza! Now I'm going to have to rethink the whole deal with Walker.

I've always felt that my horses had to "earn their keep," meaning they had to be good at their discipline and tough enough to stand up to a competitive show horse lifestyle. Be it penning, sorting, roping, jumping, or trail riding, my horses are working horses.

Walker's message was clear: he wants to work and he wants to stay with me, at least for now. When a Shao Yin makes such a strong statement, I'm forced to slam on the brakes and think about this. My thought was that Walker wasn't tough enough to hack it around here so he was outta here. His thought is that he needs the healing I can provide for him, so he wants to stay.

What's a zen cowgirl to do? If I were a straight, non-spiritual cowgirl, I'd say, "Tough patooties! You gotta go." But being a spiritual kind of cowgirl, I'm going to have to rethink this. I'm going to have to buy the boy some boots. I'm going to have to find room in my heart and my "regimen" for a horse who isn't tough but who really wants to be here.

Oh boy ... another freakin' growth opportunity! Gotta love those! Oh well, everything happens for a reason, right?

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  1. This post just made my day!
    I love a gal who can meet the universe on it's own turn rather than waitin' to get her ass kicked!
    ps Go Walker! ;)

  2. Hi DD ... thanks for stopping by! Yeah, not into getting my ass kicked...and believe me, it's been kicked a time or two before. Nice site you've got there...glad to make your acquaintance. Cheers, Stephanoe