Sunday, June 19, 2011

Day 162 100%

Today, when I was brushing Little Love outside, I got a call on my cell phone.  I took the call, because it was from a young student of mine, who had some news about the regional floorball team try outs.  He had made the team and could not wait to tell me about it.  So, I listened to his account, but as I was in a bit of a hurry, I continued to brush Little Love, put her boots on and tack her up at the same time. 

How would you feel if you were out with your friend and in the middle of say dinner, she would suddenly start talking on her phone with someone else?  Not happy, is my guess.  And that is exactly how Little Love felt, too.  She pinned her ears back, she stomped her foot, she swished her tail, she yanked her foot out of my hand when I was picking the hooves.  At that point I should have had the sense to walk away from her, but since I was more focused on the phone conversation, I kept on working around her.   And it was a long conversation.  By the time I was done talking on the phone, Little Love was tacked up and ready to go.  But she was also so irritated with me that I took one look at her and decided that going out with her "alone" (read: without Col) would not be smart.

So - I took Little Love into the arena, thinking she was anxious and overly energetic and that we needed to assess the situation before venturing out.  The weather changed two days ago and after the rains set in, the temperatures had been much lower.  Today there was also a fairly strong wind, which I immediately pegged down as another cause for Little Love's "irritation".  Obviously I didn't have the brain space at that moment to think very creatively.  In the arena I asked Little Love to trot on the long rope.  She literally looked at me and sighed, then started trotting around me with a sour face.  I got a funny feeling in my chest, as if I had forgotten something important.  At first I thought I was feeling nervous about going out with Little Love, but soon realized this was something else.  Actually, the thought sort of hit me in the head like a ton of bricks: the phone.

If you are with Little Love, you need to be with her 100% or not at all.  This she has taught me in spades, as you know.  Staying in the moment is paramount.  When you are on the phone, staying in the moment becomes impossible.  I believe I knew that, but somehow had forgotten it.  Yet again.  Obviously it was time for me to "relearn" it today.  The realization of how rudely I had just treated my horse came over me like a huge wave. 

"I am so sorry," I said out loud.  "So, so sorry.  I can't believe I did that to you." 

She licked her lips.  I swear she was thinking "well duh, finally you have a clue!".  I am a little dense at times.

We walked out of the arena and through the gate.  I felt a little nervous and I told Little Love that straight out.  She told me to stop being such a basket case.  And so I did :-)  We went out for 45 minutes and because of the cool weather and the strong wind, there were zero bugs.  The sun was cracking open the clouds and it was absolutely beautiful.  I had the saddle on, but never used it; walking side by side was enough for both of us.  When we came down to the edge of the forest, we jogged for about half a mile, the longest continuous "run" we have done together.  Little Love stayed behind me, trotting slowly in my step.  I have been sick with a sinus infection for weeks (in fact, it still is sort of there) and haven't been able to run.  It felt so good to run with my horse, I can't even describe the feeling.  It is my dream to some day be able to jog for miles with Little Love.  It would be even better if she could be lose, running along with me without any restrictions.  Maybe one day?  I will hold onto that dream.

And what comes to phones and horses?  We so often don't think twice when the phone rings and we are brushing a horse or  riding it.  I think next time I will not answer or perhaps just tell the caller that I can't talk for long, because I'm with my horse.  Because, when I'm with my horse, I want to be with her 100%.  She deserves nothing less.


  1. Ha! That is priceless! And she forgave you when you listened.

    The other day I was trimming a miniature gelding, and the owner and I started talking about politics. The little horse got progressively more and more uncooperative, until I finally said - "Oh sorry, we shouldn't talk about politics when we're supposed to be paying attention to you." And then things started to get better again.

  2. June, I love your story about the little miniature. And so many people don't even realize what is going on in such a situation. Little Love gets upset too if I'm talking with someone and not paying attention to her, and well, the phone is obviously even worse... :-)

  3. Yeah, Bridget nipped me the first time I talked on the phone while I was leading her.

  4. It's like when you grab the phone and your human little one decides at that exact moment to climb the bookcase or run out the door! See me! Hello!
    Horses are the best teachers and Little Love certainly got her message across... you got it!
    If I'm doing bodywork on a horse, things are really good. As soon as someone starts up a conversation and takes my attention, the horse will let me know (tail swishing, a stomp, etc.), or simply walk away. It took me a while to get that too!