ahhh, not a single tea bag anywhere in sight….

Posted: September 20, 2009 at 7:53 am

i have not started the day without a cup of tea in more than 30 years, weird. i will go out later and pick a few much needed things.

the kitchen and computer room were totally afloat..the only dry spots were the islands of occupied dog beds. rosie’s and max’s bladders were in hyper overdrive last night.

last day of vacation..back on early shift tomorrow…can the well handle the daily laundry and a bath for me as well?

guess we’ll find out.

the post i wrote last night was a combination of grief and thinking. it was sparked by something that the ferrier said to me last week. she said that lahanie was a shut down horse. he was one of those horses that had tried communication with humans for all of his life before he finally just gave up. now he doesn’t even bother any more.

i took that further to why, when other humans have told me their stories of their deep relationships with their horse..why have i not developed the same deep bonding with any of our guys.

i spend a fair amount of time with them…i work hard to ensure they like their life. i am kind and respectful and i am totally in love with them all. but to them i am just the very nice human, but totally horse clueless one who they try hard not to hurt.

someday ask mo how often i do things that i should not do…like throwing open the barn doors and gates and letting everyone together rush in or out. i do believe those horses recognise the innocent idiocy of me, and consequently take care not to run over top of me.

i also am thinking that besides mo’s explanation, that since i don’t work them or ask them to work with me…the relationships don’t build here because we are not working together towards something. but i think there is more to it than that.

i think that maybe like lahanie’s communication shut down…after decades of investing the effort into engaging in human relationships that in the end were not honored..they just decided…ok, this is pointless..these humans will not stay by their bond.

horses are not like that..once part of a herd, they stay part of the herd. they don’t send each other way, and they don’t ever just get bored and walk away either. the herd is their family, they honor that well. even if the relationships are difficult, like with lahanie. the bonding and committment to each other stand firm.

so i think the reason our horses like us, but don’t love us is because we humans have over the years taught them not to. it is not worth it because at some point we will send them away.

isn’t that sad? we taught them that humans are just not worth their love.

anyway…while i would love for our horses to love me..i am not going to ever make them feel anything special for me. they don’t have to to suffer my manipulation attempts so i can feel special to them.

i kind of like the fact that they can take me or leave me…it means they have enough strength and power and emotional connections with each other and themselves to not need to foster an emotional relationship with me.

after all of their years of living and giving, it must be a relief to finally be free of our endless needs.

21 Comments on "ahhh, not a single tea bag anywhere in sight…."

  • Have you heard of Monty Roberts? He has a non-violent system of communicating with horses in what he calls the language of Equus and he advocates for a system he has created called “Join Up” and it actually offers the horse a chance to relate to you the way they would relate to other horses and thereby enjoy real trust and a joyful reliance on humans, many for the first time. Check out his website http://www.montyroberts.com to see if this process interests you. I believe it is little work for the horse and potentially a transformative experience for both horse and human. I suppose some horses are damaged beyond reach but Monty’s approach allows a horse to understand you in his own language and that’s the astonishing thing about Join Up, in my mind.

  • lynne says

    not on the subject but dawn i lost your daughters email address could you phone me at 8267287 and give it to me again or leave it on my answering machine i have not forgotten about the pics i promised you. how is life like without este pretty empty i would guess but brafull. lol carol i cannot believe how sweet rose is, she is like a little rose. how could someone abuse her, it is beyond everything i can comprehend i had a good time out at saints today, i am so happy to be a part of their lives can not imagine my life before saints.

  • Hillevi says

    Carol, I know Best Friends swears by the Parelli method when dealing with horses. Check out the Parelli site at http://www.parelli.com

    Hope the site helps.

  • Mo says

    i am very familiar wth both monty & Parelli, both are great I have seen Monty & he truly does understand how horses communicate, so much of it is body language & posture, eyesight… you really need to spend large amounts of time over long periods of time to truly start to see how they use everything about themselves to communicate within the herd , they are amazing…

  • Carol says

    i have heard of both of them too..but i ask here..they both require my intrusion into their world to get them to connect with me. they both require that in the end, i want something FROM them. and they both require the belief that it is in their best interests to form a deep relationship WITH me….is it?

    is it wrong just to finally let them be with the only intrusions necessary to give them the care they want or need?
    wouldn’t they seek out an emotional relationship if they felt the need? they sure as heck come seeking when they actually want something, like bedtime, apples or feeding. they communicate pretty well those things that they deem important.

    am i neglecting them emotionally because i don’t ask them to give more to me than they want to give?

    i don’t think i am, i think i am respecting that they don’t have to consider a humans needs anymore.

    don’t both of these “horse whisperers” deal with horses to solve their problems in connecting to humanity, so they again can be comfortable in the human world and fulfill a human need? is not the goal to encourage them be useful to us again in some way?

    our guys are not mean, they are not angry, they are not lonely or sad….they have just decided to spend their retirment years doing their things, and not paying too much attention to me unless they need some kind of service from me (like meal prep?)

    i am like the waitress at the nice resort…they know my name at breakfast and dinner, they know my name if i wander by with a bunch of mid day treats. but the rest of the time, i blend into the backdrop of the sunshine, the rain, the grass, the wind in the trees and the quiet companionship they share together without me.

  • Carol says

    and one last question…do these men, for all that they can communicate so well with horses..still do the one thing that horses will never, ever willing do…..split them off..one by one..over and over again…away from their herds, their friends, the ones they do deeply love because they are only uselful to humans if we repeatedly over their entire lifetimes, refuse to see how much their relationships with each other mean to them?

    we are the thieves of these incredible animals hearts…we manipulate and steal from them in order to get what we want…a good horse to ride, to be our friend, to work, to sell, to buy,to show, to breed.

    we don’t care that they have friends they love whenever we decide to send them to where ever we want them to be.

    i think that at 30 years old and more and many broken bonds…our guys are pretty damn smart not to come looking for anything of real emotional value from me.

    we are not capable of honoring not only our own bonds with them, but the ones that they form with each other.

    would we eventually be glad not do have to deal with a species who has never given us anything we could really count on? wouldn’t we be glad to finally be obligation free?

  • Marisa says

    Yes, yes, yes, Carol. These are the questions I always ask. When I read Monty Roberts’ book, it was always about helping horses with behavioural issues so humans could once again ride them, enter them in competitions, breed them, etc. It was always about utility (as is so often the case with farm animals).

    Do horses enjoy the saddle and the bridle even if they are deeply bonded with a human? Perhaps some do. But for others, would they prefer to just be as they are at SAINTS? Nothing expected of them. No human agendas.

    Even in speaking with horse lovers they often give me a quizzical expression when I ask, “Well, do you have to ride them? Couldn’t they just live with you?” The answer is often, “Well, what’s the point of that?”

    On many days, I do not think humans are worthy of any animal’s love. The way we treat our fellow creatures is appalling. From their perspective we must seem the embodiment of evil.

    The wonder of animals is that, despite our numerous failings, they do think some of us are worthy of love and, to me, that is incredibly humbling.

  • Dawn says

    Lynne, I will get that email for you asap. The house is so quiet without Este, we all miss her so much. She has left such huge hole in all our hearts.

    Este, you were a great friend to all that meet you!

    What days are you at saints? I have something for you.

    dawn

  • Hillevi says

    Didn’t mean to open up a can of worms. I get that the horses at SAINTS are happy in their herd and don’t necessarily need to communicate with us humans for anything other than their needs. I merely suggested the site in case you wanted to communicate with them. You said Lahani is a shut down horse. Maybe one of these methods has a way of letting Lahani know its okay to open up again.

    Riding horses is definitely a human thing – horses don’t need to be ridden. But what is we can enhance their lives by stimulating their brains; showing them another way to communicate, and then both human and horse benefiting from that.

  • Linda says

    this is fascinating! opened up some new ideas for me and the horses I share my life with. I am familiar with both parelli and monty roberts, but you are right – they are based on communication with the desired end result of riding the horse.
    I agree with Hillevi – they do need to communicate with the human to a degree – we took them from the wild state where they looked after themselves – confined them – now have to look after them – so we need to communicate – I have to be boss hoss here, as I cannot be part of the herd and let a 1400 lb gelding push me around. They have to have their feet looked after, so need to be trained to allow that for my safety as well as their health.
    One of mine is a “pocket pony” – the other is one that was bred and trained for work – he is standoffish, he has never bonded with a human. He accepts me, but he isnt mine.
    They definitely have personalities – my old horse bonded with my husband more than me, but still liked me. Another old guy I had was so used to being ridden, he felt abandoned if he wasnt – he loved to have his bridle put on and he carried my small grandchildren around the yard for very short rides so proudly, even when he was too arthritic to be ridden by an adult. Someone trained him for that, and it was part of his life.
    It all depends on them – their personality, who trained them, what they were used for. Often with these old guys, we never know what their stories are. I just try to let them be themselves, and live out their lives here as they wish, while caring for them.

  • Linda says

    this is fascinating! opened up some new ideas for me and the horses I share my life with. I am familiar with both parelli and monty roberts, but you are right – they are based on communication with the desired end result of riding the horse.
    I agree with Hillevi – they do need to communicate with the human to a degree – we took them from the wild state where they looked after themselves – confined them – now have to look after them – so we need to communicate – I have to be boss hoss here, as I cannot be part of the herd and let a 1400 lb gelding push me around. They have to have their feet looked after, so need to be trained to allow that for my safety as well as their health.
    One of mine is a “pocket pony” – the other is one that was bred and trained for work – he is standoffish, he has never bonded with a human. He accepts me, but he isnt mine.
    They definitely have personalities – my old horse bonded with my husband more than me, but still liked me. Another old guy I had was so used to being ridden, he felt abandoned if he wasnt – he loved to have his bridle put on and he carried my small grandchildren around the yard for very short rides so proudly, even when he was too arthritic to be ridden by an adult. Someone trained him for that, and it was part of his life.
    It all depends on them – their personality, who trained them, what they were used for. Often with these old guys, we never know what their stories are. I just try to let them be themselves, and live out their lives here as they wish, while caring for them.

  • Mo says

    Oh Hillevi you haven’t opened a can of worms… this is good stuff , and thank heaven there are people out there who can help us understand horses , simply because we ( humans)do ask things of them… I have seen many a damaged horse because the person asking had no idea how a horse thinks or even communicates.. of course with mankind it usually goes like this… I don’t get want I want I ask HARDER.. I still don’t get what I want Okay how much can you take …unfortunaley those types of people don’t normally go out looking for a better way to do things.. or even think that they are the ones creating a problem. I love the fact that our guys just get to be who they are … and I am not sure I agree completly with our Farrier , Lahanie has changed quite a bit since he 1st came, he is softer & warmer & more considerate … Okay so his patience is not so great at feeding time… but again.. what is his real story .. and those horses do care for Carol…

    On a side note.. I believe that in order to communicate effectively you have to understand who or what your are communicating with… and it doesn’t need to be about fulfilling a human need.. to me the same applies to people … seek 1st to understand before seeking to be understood.

  • Carol says

    now there is a thought…maybe because i don’t understand them as easily as i do the dogs for instance…i feel a distance between us. so maybe the whisperers can teach me more about understanding with them without my doing it so much to have them connect with me.
    does that make sense?
    i don’t want them to ever feel, that the purpose is to have them give something back to me.
    i can’t use them for my own personal gain.

  • Hillevi says

    I completely understand your last comment, Carol. That is what I was trying to say. It’s us that need to learn their language.

  • Mo says

    Makes perfect sense … and that is how I think about trying to understand them & …. BTW… and I hate to say this ….when you do things that I think are wrong…. it is not you I am most worried about it is them… one thing I have learned over the years & in many sad circumstances is when a horse is freaked .. remember they are flight animals , they get what I call ” no blood in the brain… meaning they go stupid , and will run right through gates.. run striaght into solid walls, try to jump and/or climb over obtacles in their path… I have seen a horse in a trailer try to get out the escape door meant for a human… they are beautiful… but not always so bright.

  • Carol says

    hah…like that is a great big surprize!
    this is how it works around here…carol and cole suffer a heart attack at the very same moment…i am closer to mo…she would yell at me to get the hell out of her way while leaping over top of me to get to cole.

    i swear to god this is true!

  • Hillevi says

    Somehow, I believe it too. But it works both ways. If it were Mo and Cole, I am willing to bet that you, Carol, would yell at Mo and Cole for poor planning and timing and then tell Mo to move while you save Cole.

  • Carol says

    lol,…no, cole is palliative, mo is not..i would have to toss her over my shoulder and run towards cole while calling 911 on my cell, drop her near to where cole was, and start CPR. and between compressions and breaths on an unconscious, no respirations, no pulse mo, i’d stroke coles lovely face and tell him he is a very good boy.

    hows that for multi tasking?!

  • Hillevi says

    Gotta love it. I can actually picture you doing it. In the end, though, I know that you would do what is best for the SAINTS! As for the multi tasking? You ARE the BEST!

  • lynne says

    hi dawn i am at saints on sat and sunday. i got your message or rather my husband did thankyou

  • Mo says

    Lol….

    ” lol,…no, cole is palliative, mo is not..i would have to toss her over my shoulder and run towards cole while calling 911 on my cell, drop her near to where cole was, and start CPR. and between compressions and breaths on an unconscious, no respirations, no pulse mo, i’d stroke coles lovely face and tell him he is a very good boy.”

    This totally made my morning … I picture a comic strip with great cartoon caricatures .. thanks for that !

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *