Relative Something

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

Not Money

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For several days in a row this week, we were able to give the horses more attention than they have gotten from us in a long time. I think Cyndie’s increasing mobility has paid off for our horses in boosting morale. They have never given us any indication that they like to be brushed. Actually, just the opposite, but after Swings finally reacted with such whole-body acceptance to Cyndie working her mane the other day, we have fresh hope that we can teach them all this same appreciation.

Yesterday, we did some bale-twine braiding while the herd munched a noontime snack. We figure it will help them accept our plan to wrap posts and hang braided strands if they’ve watched us making them. I am so happy to have discovered this simple reuse option for the polypropylene twine since I didn’t come up with a local recycler that collects used bale twine. Keeps it out of the waste stream for a while longer at the very least.

While I was noticing the horses looking so happy to be watching us, I was reminded again that this retired phase of their lives is the first time their existence wasn’t related to making money. The reason they were born was that people wanted to make money off of them. The reason they were trained to race was money driven. After their racing days ended, all four mares were repeatedly bred in hopes their foals would become money-makers.

We don’t know for certain but based on the horse’s behavior, we imagine the grooming they received previously could have been rather business-like as opposed to focusing on the emotional needs and desires of the animal.

I don’t mean to imply that the treatment they are receiving from us isn’t rainbows and lollipops all the time. I wrote yesterday about working on disciplining their bad behavior. We have also recently taken the annual step of closing off access to the pastures. Mia so sweetly showed up at a gate Cyndie had just closed and forlornly gazed out at the field as if to ask for a pass.

Sorry, no can do.

At this point, it’s for the good of the grass. We need the turf to firm up a bit and the grass to grow at least six inches so the field will become robust enough to support the pressure of four heavy and hungry beasts.

So, we are giving the horses a dose of our own “This is for your own good whether you like it or not.” The difference is that our decisions aren’t based on making money off them. I would like to believe they can sense the distinction.



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