We have been getting a lot of rain lately and the horses are standing ankle deep in mud in the paddock. These are not ideal conditions, but it is what we have for now and probably the weeks to come, as well. The down side of this is that the horses don't want to move a lot when they are outside, since it is a bit icky. The plus side is that I really don't have to worry about soaking Little Love's hooves anymore.
Every day we have been walking down to the end of the dirt road. If we are alone, this is a twenty minute walk one way. If, like yesterday and today, we are with Manta, it is more like 25 minutes one way. That is how much slower things get when there is another horse with us. Despite the rain and wind, Little Love has been very calm. I used think twice before taking her on the trails when it was windy, but now it is just another weather pattern among other weather patterns. Weirdly the horse that used to be the "freaky one" at the big barn in Switzerland is now known as the "calm one". Just the other day the barn owner said it was good she was paired up with Metku, since when they are out in the paddock Metku gets nervous about so many things, but since Little Love doesn't, Metku calms down fairly fast. Little does she know she is talking about a horse that used to jump the fence when the going got tough.
A week ago I was talking to one of my son's sport coaches and he asked me, since he knew my decades of experience in coaching children, if I thought that it was possible to know what kind of an adult a kid would become by just looking at them at age 9. Or could people change? So, could the kid that was an unfocused troublemaker in elementary school become a goal-driven and hardworking athlete in high school? My answer was yes. Under the right circumstances.
The same obviously applies to horses and my horse is living proof of that. I know I have mentioned this change in Little Love before and you must be getting sick of hearing about it by now. But for me, not a week goes by that I don't find myself marveling over the fact - again. I'm sure when one day the "novelty" has worn off it will all be just part who she is, but for the moment, I'm still in the "OMG this is unbelievable" - state. It has made me look at every single horse I know with fresh eyes. Who are these horses really? If they were no longer in pain because of their feet or if they didn't live in a stall 24/7 or if they did not get ridden in drawreins every day, who would they be?
Of course, this only leads to the next thought; what else could I offer Little Love, what else could I do for her to help her be the horse she was born to be?