Because of what I do, I see a lot of heart-breaking stories with horses. However, I also see a lot of amazing transformations and beautiful dreams come true.
And every once in a while, I see something that just warms my heart.
As a follow up from last week’s blog about moving Apollo…
He is doing really well with his new pasture mate, Red. Red is a retired police horse that is a part of a therapeutic riding program for children. He is a Belgian draft horse, but smaller than Ray.
As a part of the Therapeutic riding program, volunteers come out 3 days a week to groom Red, take him out, clean his run-in shelter, and anything else needed. I met two of these ladies today and I have to say that Red is a very lucky horse.
There are many types of “horse people” that I’ve met. Here are just a few:
- People that own a horse as “property” and use them for their own selfish desires
- People that rescue a horse for the sake of the horse. These people can be long time horse owners and first-time horse owners
- People that believe horses should be forced into submission or dominated
- People that believe horses are sentient beings who we should work with and listen to
- People who have owned horses forever and will always do things as they always have
- People who are always learning, growing, and doing their best for their horse and improving their horsemanship skills
And people who love horses, whole-heartedly, but know nothing (or very little) about them.
This is about the later…
One of the volunteers I met who cares for Red is named Nancy. She is an absolute, good-hearted, woman who really enjoys coming out to take care of Red. The other volunteer was also a kind, gentle woman.
Well after chatting with these ladies for a bit, I took Apollo out of the pasture to groom him at the barn. The ladies took Red out at the same time to walk him to the tree line to groom him.
I went up to the barn and did my grooming and was headed back to the pasture when I saw the volunteers and Red just hanging out eating grass halfway up the driveway.
As I walked up to them, I said, “It’s so nice to see you all enjoying a good patch of grass together.” They laughed and said, “can you help us?”
“Of course,” I said. “What can I help with?”
They then told me that they never made it up to the arena to groom Red. They said that he decided to stop at this patch of grass, and they couldn’t get him to move forward. He wouldn’t go and refused to even budge.
So, they were just hanging out with him, enjoying that patch of grass together, because they didn’t know what to do next.
They asked if I knew any tricks to get him to move. I showed them 3 little ways to “ASK” Red to walk and move forward. He walked with me with no issues right up to the tree line and the ladies learned one more thing about horses and about Red.
But that wasn’t what warmed my heart.
What gave me hope for horses in need, was that I realized what was behind that scenario I just explained. Something sweet that these ladies did.
- Instead of trying to force Red to move forward and walk with them
- Instead of using a whip or hitting Red with the rope
- Instead of yelling at Red, pulling on him or pushing him
- Instead of getting mad or frustrated
- Instead of thinking that Red was being bad or disobedient
Here’s what they did:
- They allowed Red to stop because he wanted to stop
- They allowed Red to relax and eat the grass
- They stayed calm and relaxed themselves
- They just stood there with him and hung out
- They followed their hearts
- They didn’t get pushy
- They asked for help
In essence, these two ladies who don’t know a lot about horses, who have good hearts and actually love horses, did the exact right thing without realizing it.
They followed their hearts and listened to their instincts and were right-on-point!
It was because they did exactly what they did that Red reacted so calmly and gently to me asking him to walk with me.
I was so happy to see that not only did Red have two wonderful ladies taking care of him, but he was lucky to have these open minded, heart driven women in his retirement years. I can’t imagine what he saw when he was on duty as a police horse. That’s a tough job.
I’m very happy that Apollo gets along really well with his new buddy, Red, and I know he can feel the kindness in these ladies’ hearts as well. He enjoys when they come to visit and so do I. Thank you, Nancy and all the other volunteers.
I really enjoy meeting women like these, who truly love horses and believe in working with their horses in a gentle, thoughtful, kind way.
I know there are many more like them out there and like yourselves. Keep up the good work and stay true to your heart. Your horse will appreciate it.
Which kind of horse person are you? I would love to hear in the Comments section below – just write something like: “I’m a 6!”