Furry, Feral ponies and the working bond.


This winter the horses have had the last two months spending as much time as possible in the field, I have not had time for family, Christmas and horses. They have grown thick coats and rolled in mud. Maya’s gloriously muddy coat !  this is the second year I have done this.

Being aware that things may not be where I had left off, I couldn’t wait to Share Territory, expecting nothing. Both girls seemed very keen to engage with me, this was not my aim at all, I just wanted to be with them. We have started this way every day and sometimes it has lead to more and sometimes not.

Today Maya showed me she wanted to do more, she went over to a whip lying on the ground and kept playing with it with her foot, I just let her and waited to see what she would do, she looked over at me and picked it up. She came over and gently pushed my hand with her muzzle. We went for a walk together, and a trot, and played go away run run !! come back and chase me! Lets trot slowly and now lets really move together. I was a bit puffed out…. The bond was still there, I had got a bit unfit! I learnt an important lesson, just like with another horse, time apart doesn’t break the bonds we have built with our horses. What we do and how we are is the only thing that does that.

Today was the first time I have ridden Noo noo in more than 2 months, we always start with liberty and this week the bond with her has been as strong as ever, when I started my journey into the Waterhole Rituals with her I had no idea just how strong the bond between us could be. This follows through to a strong ‘working bond’ Noons loves to work, she makes me feel so very grateful and humble that she wants a working bond, and riding is something she chooses.

after lesson1

I felt a little nervous.  As I put the tack on she stood at liberty, giving me no signs that she was unhappy about it, we walked around the arena, I felt excited and I think she did too, was I rushing? I asked her,  how do you feel about this? I knew she trusted me, did I return that trust? I doubted myself. Then I felt her so close to me I could feel it was alright.

We went to the mounting block, she stood and I could tell her ear cocked back was saying here’s my back come on! I knew I had no reason not to trust her, the bond is still there when I get on, we stay connected. Loose reins, just so happy to be back in this particular dance. Our bodies blending together and it felt like we had never had a break, where ever I looked we went,she stopped when I breathed into halt and went from a thought. Afterwards I took the tack off and thanked her, she always enjoys a good roll at this point.

My horses give me the wake up call they need to. The lessons I need in how much I should trust in them. Its a two way street, trust, and its one we need to cultivate to really have that dependable working bond that comes from focus on the relationship.

We kept that relationship alive even when not spending much time together, in small ways, a pause here next to their stable, a scratch there when I saw them with an itch. A reminder not to be pushy when I feed them. A little walk in the field as I move fences. The little things that horses notice, I will accommodate you, now please can you do the same, this is the dance of relationship. I am present when I am with them . I greet them and acknowledge their space and energy, they reciprocate.

Doesn’t this work the same for us?  If we acknowledge others, in small ways even. Show we appreciate them, just for being them,  people are far more likely to enter into a relationship with us. It can keep a relationship alive.

I do hope everyone who seeks a relationship finds it and enjoys keeping it alive.

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