Almost everyday I write here about the importance of relaxation and giving your horse chance to relax with you. But those are only my thoughts on the subject, and all the time I’m agreed that I may be wrong.
But today… Oh, today was a very important day for me. Today a thought that this is a good way really began to sprout in my head.
Today our horses were very alert in the paddock. It was very windy, and it was snowing for a while. At the same time the sun was shining and it was quite warm, so the weather was very mixed-up, and horses somehow felt it and were quite full of energy.
I had just finished work from the ground with our mare, and I asked my groom Marzena to bring from the paddock our Blacky. She went to get him. Blacky came well to her, he was calm and with her, but somehow for a moment the paddock’s gate must have remained open.
One of the horses, our 3yo Gelding left the group which was cantering well in the paddock, and suddenly cantered through an open gate and stormed out on the path. I heard Marzena calling “horse out” and I run to see what was going on.
I stood still thinking what to do. I saw our young one cantering so fast, that I really didnt know if he would stop seeing me on his way. I decided to stand by the path, and not to cross it.
When he was about 10 meters before reaching the point were I was standing, I released all air I had in my lungs, and I lowered my knees. For a brief moment I saw in his eye that he was very alert, but at the same time he was desperately looking for a chance to calm down. When our eyes met he immediately stopped by my side, lowered his neck and started breathing like a race horse after crossing the finish line.
I was breathing deeply and calmly myself, and as soon as I felt that I can control my own heart beat again, I walked myself to the roundpen, and he followed me. He was not wearing halter, and I had no rope.
In the roundpen we walked for about 30 minutes or more. During all this time I was keeping my hand on this withers and I tried to relax and control my own breathing as much as I could. I waited for him to ease his breathing and relax with me. When he did, we went to his box.
When we were walking in the roundpen, he kept his head down and he was breathing so deeply, as if he had just finished a 3 mile race. He was not alert any more, he was looking for comfort and relaxation – states he knew and experienced by my side so many times.
It all felt special, and unbelievable at the same time. He was like a sailor who throws the anchor and hopes to reach the sea bottom. And he reached it by my side.
I’m sure he will remember this day for ever, and so will I. Today I’m pretty much sure this kind of work…works….