Monday, June 2, 2008

Sunday Evening Visit

Each and every Sunday evening, rain, snow, sleet, hail or otherwise, I go to the barn to "just" visit with my horse. These visits are for the sole purpose of observing his moods, looking over his body for cuts, scratches, swellings, etc. and just plain ol' hanging out with him, sharing carrot snacks and being close and affectionate. These non-stressful visits are so very valuable for the both of us, it gives him an opportunity to relax away from the pressure of having to do anything but just hang out in his stall with me. Often times, he makes certain that he gets a thorough head scratching in by using my back as his "scratcher" and he ever-so-gently runs his head up and down on my back and other times, he will lift his leg to signal an area that he wants me to hand scratch for him and of course, I oblige.

When I first brought my boy home I used to spend an extraordinary anount of time in his stall with him because I truly believe that it creates a strong bond between human and equine and while I no longer do it as often as I used to, the Sunday night visits are mandatory and more often than not, we usually take time throughout the week to do the same thing. These visits have been very educational for me, I've learned to be in tune with his "horse cues" the things he does that signify various changes, the ability to determine his needs and to detect illness and frankly, I was even able to detect Lyme disease in him just by sharing his space with him. He has learned to trust me, he no longer finds the need to crib when I'm there and I now know that his
cribbing was because he was anticipating something in his past as a race horse that was probably far from pleasureable to him and coupled with his strong effort to overcome his headshyness, he will finally allow me to touch his face, put my face next to his, pet the area around the ears and I think that by year's end, he will finally let me touch his ears with ease, I think that Valie is finally well on his way to leading the life he was meant to have. My boy knows I will never hurt him and I know that he will never take a dishonest step with me and........that is, by far, the most incredible bond I could have ever hoped to create between him and I.

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