Can Horses Talk ?
Last night, after a day of heavy rain my field was a bit on the muddy side. To add to this, the temperature was going to drop pretty fiercely overnight so I opted to keep the horses in their barn for the night. So this morning started with the mucking out routine. I had hoped I would not be in this routine for another few weeks yet, alas, winter is on its way !!
My routine on mucking out mornings is to go in to the barn and firstly say good morning to the horses, give them a quick check over and then I go and get their breakfast ready. This morning I had a wonderful reminder of the routine we had developed last winter, that harsh winter that I am sure we are hoping will not come back again this year.
With the weather being so cold last year, and the ground so icy and rock hard under foot, there were days where I had to keep the horses in the barn during the day as well. I was very conscious that they were not getting to move around as much as I would like (even though my barn is a fabulous size and they can even trot a few strides in it) and so each morning as part of their check over I would ask the horses to walk around the barn for me so I could check how they were moving.
On the days where they were not so keen to walk, or perhaps walked with a little less enthusiasm I knew to check them over more carefully for maybe a slightly swollen pastern or a bump somewhere. Very quickly the horses seemed to realise what I was doing and we struck up this wonderful dialogue.
Quickly we learned each others cues and they knew that to show me all was well they just had to walk round the barn and then wait at their respective tie up points for breakfast. And on the days where they needed me to see something they figured out that if they presented that body part to me I would pay attention. If it was a pastern they wanted me to look at then they would walk up to me and stick that particular leg out towards me. This was particularly impressive if it was a back leg as they would walk up to me, turn around in front of me and then stick their back leg out behind them, look round at the leg as if to say ‘can you give it a quick check’. The horses took all of the guess-work out of their morning health checks. Very sweet.
When Brody was having a bit of hard time digesting his haylage (it was giving him a bit of a tummy grumble and some gas) he presented his bum to me as I walked in to the barn….hhmmm….not so sweet !
I love that they are able to work this out with me, that we can strike up this 2-way conversation. We so often say that we wish they could talk…..well, they can. We just need to learn how to listen.
This morning as I went in to the barn, the horses came over to say good morning, posed for me and then went for a walk around the barn to show me all was well. I smiled and gave them a big hug.