Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The joy of horses at home

There are certain things you revel in when your horses are at home with you. Things I never experienced when boarding. I imagine everyone list is different, and I certainly hope you will share yours with me, but here are two I've found.

The power of scent.  Because I can see my horses anytime at home, and because it not about riding I do things I'd never take the time to do at the boarding place. I head out to the pasture and stand with the horses, then lean over and just inhale. Suddenly I'm soaring back to my first ever trail ride as a child, riding nose to tail on a sorrel horse through the desert trail in Texas. The smell of horse, the salt, the coat, the sun, the slightest hint of wind, they wrap around my mind in a thousand dazzling lines, all telling me that this is where I belong, with this animal, borrowing a bit of its straightforward view of the world, of its appreciation of things that are simple. Water. Grass. Blue skies. I am back, yet here, Both the past and present meld into one.

Giving. When I am home, working, I step out and go deliver a carrot, or some watermelon. At first the horses looked at me and moved away, convinced that there was work. Sometimes there is. But now, because I come out as often with something to give as well as work, they are curious, often crossing the entire field to greet me.

I would love to hear your thoughts...


Allenspark Lodge said...


Looking at the way they interact with each other when they think no one is looking. Who stands next to who (whom?). What they do. Where they hang out.

I love to sit on our upper deck with a cup of coffee and just watch.


50+ Horses said...

When we had four horses at home my husband and I used to love to watch them interact and play with each other.

We'd report our individual observations back to share during dinner or chuckle at what we were watching together. I believe the horses brought us and have kept us closer.

Bob is now our only horse at home.

When we had four horses I used to watch more than I touched. Initially I made an effort to go out and interact/touch Bob because I felt badly that he'd been left here all alone. Being a very sensitive horse, I could see he was uneasy at being alone.

That effort soon became part of my daily routine which turned into the favorite parts of my day.

These days the first thing I do each morning after I'm up and dressed is take the dog and go out to visit Bob. He's always there waiting for me.

At night, the last thing I do before going in for the evening is pay another visit.

And in-between those times I hang out with Bob in the pasture. There we walk side by side in silent, peaceful communication through the fields.

There is such a gift in that silent communication.

In addition it's always fun to get a perspective of your home from out in the fields. We tend to look out on the fields but how often do we look in on the house?

Have Bob here at home has brought us closer than I ever imagined. The bond is so special. I'm grateful to have achieved it with this once wary, uncertain horse.

Lara Elizabeth said...

I miss having them at home. Just those moments of hanging out with them with nothing to do, nowhere to be. Now I've got three horses at two different locations...I spend as much time in the car getting to them as with them.

Cindy D said...

I agree with both. Sometimes I love to stand at my bedroom window and watch them out in the pasture. Especially if it is nice and cool out and they are feeling frisky.
But also its that early morning visit, when I go out to clean the stalls and feed. Anyone who is lose greats me at the fence. The others all nicker to me. Of course I know they are asking for food, but even if it isn't feeding time, they come to see if I have a treat, or sometimes just to see what I am doing.
Like 50+ said, that silent communcation....unriveled.
The smell, too. Every morning I get a big wiff of each horse. Not only is it for me but for them, if the don't smell "right" it is my job to find out why. A sick horse will have a different smell.
It is the whole package for sure!!!!
Thanks for letting me post.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

I love this post Winter.

I often hear about how hard a horse is to catch or how grouchy they are when asked to work.

I can honestly say that I don't experience that with my own horse here at home. She knows that not every time I go up to see her, that I am expecting to saddle her up and make her work.
She knows that I enjoy taking the time to just be with her.

I remember a time a few months after I bought her when she was eating hay in the barn and I carried my grooming tools in there just to clean the dirt off her, give her a stimulating and relaxing massage with the different brushes, and just be with her.

She saw the grooming tool bucket and took off running out of the barn! lol!

Apache didn't know me well then, and she obviously wasn't used to people who just wanted to hang out with her or groom her without any expectations of riding.

Now, when I carry the grooming bucket out to the barn while she's eating, she just closes her eyes and enjoys the attention. :)


Nuzzling Muzzles said...

I feel self-conscious interacting with my horses in a boarding facility where people are always around judging. When they are at home, I can be as silly as I want with them. The latest game has been butt-bumping. They like to crowd in for hugs, but I have to push through them to get my chores done, so I push against them with my butt until they move out of the way. Bombay is hilarious, because he just pushes harder against me and tries to make me lose my balance. It's like tug-of-war, only push-of-war.

Laura Crum said...

I get so much pleasure out of my daily life with horses--feeding and doing the chores, turning them out to graze, just watching them, as others have said. As much as I like to ride-- and I ride two or three times a week-- if I had to choose between having horses at home and not riding (cause they were all retired horses or something) or boarding my horses and getting to ride them, I would choose keeping them at home and not riding. I realize this is not an option for everyone, which makes me sad. I, too, have lived where I had to keep my horse somewhere else, and it just isn't the same thing as owning horses where you can keep them at home.