Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays’ take on things and experiences

Seriously, Horses

with 6 comments

Not all that long ago I was living in a suburb of the twin cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, in Minnesota, where my wife and I raised our children, and I was driving a mere 11 miles to a day-job that occupied my weekdays. As often as I could, I would participate in team sports with a couple gangs of like-minded friends, playing soccer and floorball for fun and exercise. I can honestly say I had no idea about the changes that lie ahead for me.

Seriously. Horses?

Turned out, yes, horses.

DSCN2824eNow I find myself spending each day tending to our herd of 4 horses. In a short time I have gone from having no experience with horses to having a personal relationship with 4 of them.

Last week there was one night when the temperature dipped below zero, and it felt even colder due to a brisk wind. I gave the horses a night inside the barn.

We usually move them in one at a time using a lead rope temporarily draped around their neck. I succeeded without incident with Legacy and Dezirea. As I attempted to bring Cayenne in, Hunter quick-stepped his way through the gate before I could push it closed behind her, getting past Cayenne as I held her in place with the rope.

She did well to remain calm and respect my control as he entered her stall despite my verbal objections. He went straight to the feed bucket in there and chomped up a mouthful. I stood at the opening to her stall with her on my right shoulder and tried talking him out of there. My mind raced through options.

It wouldn’t be the first time we swapped their positions because of something like this, if I just put Cayenne in Hunter’s stall. My intuition moved me to do otherwise. Risking potential disaster, I walked Cayenne into the stall along with him. She went right for her feed as if he wasn’t in there, basically wedging him against the back wall. He looked totally stunned.

Suddenly he went from the frisky little “I can do whatever I want” guy to looking like a confused child. Since Cayenne was ignoring him, I stepped in to push her butt over so he had space to exit, which he did without hesitation. Hunter rushed out of her stall and headed directly into his own, appearing very happy for the opportunity.

For some reason, I don’t feel a tendency toward panic when things don’t go the way I intend with the horses, which may just be a function of my relative naiveté. I give credit for some of my control to Dunia and Cyndie for the horse wisdom they have provided me. It also helps that I have the benefit of daily interaction with our herd. Our horses seem to recognize my contributions of serving up their input and cleaning up their output, and demonstrate total comfort with my presence in their midst.

DSCN2823eYesterday, Cayenne came to me as I exited the paddock through a gate while holding Delilah on a leash. Similar to the precious shared moment she gave me a while back, Cayenne pushed her cheek into mine and we lingered together, breathing in each other’s smell while Delilah patiently waited her own turn for my attention.

My life has changed a lot from 4 years ago, and I couldn’t be more honored to be doing what I do now.

Yeah, horses. Seriously.












Written by johnwhays

February 7, 2015 at 7:00 am

6 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Awwww, sweet moment with Cayenne.

    Chris W

    February 7, 2015 at 9:08 am

    • Exactly. She serves up a lot of these “Awwww” moments, charmer she is. Certainly hate to play favorites, but…


      February 8, 2015 at 9:11 am

  2. So awesome!


    February 7, 2015 at 8:14 am

    • With horses you learn that the shortest distance between two points may not be a straight line. They’d make you aware of the infinite nuances in between. Hence, your relaxed approach, John, will pay dividends and give you plenty to write ‘home’ about. P.S.: you were smart to let the horses sort out just desserts.

      Ian Rowcliffe

      February 8, 2015 at 8:27 am

      • Thanks, Ian. The horses certainly do give me plenty to write about. You are so right about the infinite nuances. Experiencing that is easier than later trying to describe it with words.


        February 8, 2015 at 9:15 am

    • Yes, Jane, superbly awesome. 🙂


      February 8, 2015 at 9:12 am

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: