Today I became a horse owner. I'm at the same time both freaked out and excited. I'm afraid my expectations are too high, but the sensible part of me knows that this will probably be one of the hardest, but most enlightening journeys of my entire life. Tomorrow I'm moving Little Love to her new home. I have no idea what will happen after that...
Let the adventure begin!
Well, it has been an adventure and it certainly has been hard and enlightening, so I got that part right. My expectations were high, yes, but I really had no idea what to expect. Did I ever really understand how much a horse can and will change when given the right to have opinions, when allowed to live with other horses, when not forced or yelled at or punished? No. I think if there is one thing this past year has given me, it has opened my eyes to understanding how humans oppress horses and how this oppression changes the very being of the horse, inside and outside. Little Love is not the same horse she was a year ago. She used to be a shadow, a shell of a (often misbehaving) horse and now she is the real horse, a wise and kind animal with an exceptional soul. I believe there are still more changes to come, but these changes require her to live and operate in an even more natural environment with as little human intervention as possible. I hope I will be able to provide that for her down the road, it is definitely my goal.
Last year, when I came back from my holiday in the US, I was met by a frantic horse standing prisoner in her stall. The whites of her eyes were showing, her face was tense and pained and she looked like she would jump out of her skin any moment. This was the horse I put in a trailer the next day to start our new life together.
This year was different. After being gone for over two weeks, I came back relaxed and rested. I was met by an equally relaxed and rested horse, who was visibly happy to see me! Melissa made it to the barn before me on my first morning back and when she went to get Little Love from the paddock, she came to the gate over the frozen ground confidently, as if she knew today was the day her other person was coming home. And of course she knew, since she knows everything better than us humans do. When to the barn in my car, I could see her head from far away as she stood looking down the road, waiting for me. The joy of seeing her again, of being able to be in her company, filled me completely. We were both smiling.
Since I have been back we have finally gotten some snow and I was able to take Lilo on a long walk/ride in the woods with Vicky and her owner. The horses, who have been suffering from the stormy weather and icy conditions, were overjoyed to be moving. We walked to the end of the road and then trotted up the hill to the lake, where we let the horses go at the canter. Lilo was so excited that I thought I would completely loose her in the process, but despite a few bucks and accelerations, I managed to hang on somehow. We walked back with steam rising off our horses and I swear Lilo was smiling again, she was so content. She really needed to just let go and run a bit.
This morning the weather was pretty cold (-16 Celsius which is 3 degrees Fahrenheit) and since I have jet lag like you wouldn't believe it, I was up early enough to make it to the barn before the sun came up. Here are some pictures from my walk with Lilo in the cold and crisp winter morning as the sun was rising over the trees. Bbbbrrrrrrrrrr...
|Sun rising over the field|
|Walking down the road|
Here is one more picture of Little Love, looking into the future, as I would like to see it with my human brain. She, of course, was probably just looking at a car driving on the road on the other side of the field :-)