Hi, I'm Ev. I'm training to become a horsewoman. These are my adventures and misadventures. I'm green as hell, but so far, so good. I'm now learning from Bo (and sometimes his wife DeDe) at D&D Ranch in Pope Valley. I am extremely lucky to have this opportunity, I feel quite blessed, and I feel that they, and horses, have really turned my life around.
Solomon is my baby- a big old flea bitten grey Appendix gelding who is very kind and way too smart! I love him so very much. He is a rescue and was meant to be co-owned rehabbed, and maybe rehomed to a good home. He turned out to be over 25 years old with injuries that ultimately do not make him riding sound, so he is retired.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Mirroring- the other direction.

It is said that horses mirror us. If we are afraid, they will be afraid.
I think they are very sensitive and will most certainly react when they sense fear!
Some also become afraid.
Some become aggressive, because if the person won't be a leader, somebody has to!
Today I brought a friend to meet my horse, Solomon. She was afraid of him. She's a city girl and not used to being around animals bigger than dogs. Solomon could sense that she was afraid and unsure.
How did he react?
Very very gentle. Very carefully. He was so incredibly quiet and calm with her. I could tell that he knew she was afraid. She was broadcasting it loud and clear, though she wasn't always aware of it. He watched her quite intently, and was ginger with his movement. But he responded with serenity. He made an effort to reassure her. We talk a lot about being a calm, confident, consistent person for horses. But sometimes I think that there are horses who will do the same for us.

When Solomon and I were in horse hell, we often looked to each other for mutual comfort. There was a lot of touching and lightly leaning on one another. Solomon could always tell when I was about to have a panic attack. He could smell the chemicals my body produced as it prepared for fight or flight. Sometimes my unease made him uneasy, but as time went on he came to react differently. When I began to feel the panic welling up inside of me, he would crane his neck around and press me up against his body with his head. I would shake and hold on to him, tears soaking his mane. But he would hold me there and just breathe with me until I came back to myself.

So when my city friend was afraid, he did what he had done with me. He became a rock. A secure, reassuring, steady calm presence. He told her, though most of the time she didn't understand that he was communicating at all, that everything was fine. That he would not hurt her. That he was friendly and not threatening. That he could be strong and calm if she needed that.

So tell me a story about a time when you needed a friend to support you, and your horse was there to comfort you.

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