T-Minus 5 (18Jun2017)
I will try to get as much information about the background of the horse I will adopt. However, I know it’s going to be sketchy at best. Questions that I’m pondering include:
- What is the history of the horse? Where was he born, raised and captured?
- Was the BLM “gathering” process traumatic for him? Did it leave him afraid or distrustful of humans?
While I think that knowing the answers to these questions would be initially helpful, I believe that in the long run they don’t really matter. There is nothing I can do about the horse’s past. It’s my job to understand where the horse is now and what I need to do to develop a trusting partnership with the horse.
My first horse, Cody, apparently had a not-so-pleasant experience with humans before I got him. He was very clear in expressing his desire that I just leave him alone. I had to learn how to earn his trust and respect. We have had an amazing journey together and I will forever be grateful that he was my first horse. We have ridden in many states, alone and in large groups. He has been my mount in doing professional photography for several nationally acclaimed trail rides and I have had some of those pictures published in national magazines. He has been my patient school horse for introducing new people to horses and horsemanship. However, even after 17 years I still sense that he would really prefer to be let out into the pasture and just be a horse. He now knows there are humans he can trust and follow. But, given his “druthers”, he would be just fine if he never had to carry another human on his back.
As I noted above, while knowing a horse’s history may be initially helpful, what needs to happen is to take the horse where he is and move forward. I think the same applies to humans. Many people have unfortunate pasts. And they think that they need to “deal with” their past before they can move forward. But, I believe the best thing they can do is to accept the past for what it was, learn from it if they can and move forward. People don’t need “closure”, they need “opensure” – the positive attitude that there are open doors in front of them if they will just look for them and go thru them.