Monday, October 31, 2011

The master of emotional intelligence

This morning I received an email from Marjo, who had visited Little Love again on Saturday, but this time with her young daughter.  She had sent me a message on Saturday evening that all had gone well, but now she wanted to tell me about something that had happened, something she found quite amazing.  

After Marjo and her daughter had spent time with Little Love grooming, washing her feet and walking her in the field nearby, they walked her back to her paddock.  Marjo had a bag of carrots and her daughter was eager to give them to Little Love.  But, when she actually had the carrot in her hand, she became scared of the big horse.

"Go ahead, it's safe to give Little Love the carrot," her mother urged the little girl.

Marjo's daughter pushed the carrot towards Little Love through the fence.   Finally the carrot was only a foot from Little Love's nose, but instead of taking it, the horse stood stock still, looking at the child with her ears forward.  Marjo's daughter pulled her hand back.

"Mom, I'm scared," she said.

Marjo came to stand closer to her daughter, assuring her again that it was safe to give the carrot to Little Love.  The little girl brought the carrot slowly towards the mare again, until it was right in front of her face.  But still Lilo would not take it, she merely looked at the child calmly.  The girl pulled her hand away again, telling her mom she was too scared to feed the horse.  Marjo took the carrot from her daughter and handed it toward Little Love who immediately stretched her head out and took it.

"I couldn't believe it," Marjo wrote.  "It was obvious that Little Love could feel my daughter's fear and she didn't want to scare her any further by taking the carrot.  Now I know what you mean when you talk about emotional intelligence and how the horses always know how we feel."

I was quite moved by Marjo's email.  I was also so proud of Little Love for knowing how to be with Marjo's eight year old daughter.  Horses are masters of emotional intelligence and she is no different.  Oh how I wish the entire world could see how wise they are!


  1. That is so beautiful K. There are tears in my eyes as I read this.... ..and I know exactly what you are saying. Griffin picks up on my feelings far more accurately than any human EVER has.

    While I've always felt that dogs are truly the most "loyal" of pets...I don't think you can beat the feeling of connection that is possible with a horse. Ever. ...and I think that's why so many of us are so drawn to them :)

  2. It's stories like this that will let the world see how wise horses are. People can listen to horse whisperers, trainers, riding instructors but if we don't ask the questions, we may never hear the answers. In other words, most of us who are on our own journeys, this little community reading your blog, have started asking the questions... "what is it about my horse, or horses in general, that have my attention? What is it that draws us to horses? It isn't how many blue ribbons we can acquire, or how much we can make them do for us. It's more of "what is my horse feeling and thinking?". It is just amazing that Marjo was able to see what was happening with Little Love and her daughter. Marjo could have interpreted that in so many other ways, yet she saw it for what it was. Given the chance, horses always show up to tell us something!

  3. Carol, I had tears in my eyes, too, when I read about this the first time!
    Shelby, I actually wrote Marjo back and told her how happy I was that Lilo had such a great friend who understood what was going on with her. I'm so lucky to have both her and Melissa as part of Lilo's human team :-)
    And I totally agree with both of you, this emotional intelligence is EXACTLY what draws us to horses in the first place!