I played with Skigh at liberty today in the 60′ round pen. Every iota of trust is gained slowly–and I’ve found that if I offer it right, that trust stays and builds between us. She’s made a big leap in her confidence. Even with all that, there are still some spots on her body that she’s very reactive about. When I touch, as lightly as I can, her chest, and a few spots on her upper face near her ears, she offers to bite or flinch, or move off. We didn’t get it all “fixed”, but taking the time just to be together and try things was well worth the time.
I love how all the various angles of a horse can be so beautiful.
The website is UP! More to come soon.
Source: Peggy Gurnett Horsemanship
Here’s a photo taken by the fine photographer Stephen Weaver during a branding last summer on the Chico Basin Ranch near Colorado Springs. I’m riding a young horse named Rosie, who was passed onto me by ranch manager and fine horseman Michael Moon (now head wrangler at the Home Ranch in Clark, Colorado).
As you can see, Rosie had an injury somewhere in her past that is evident on her white blaze. At first, I noticed this a bit, and thought about it, and felt sad that this girl had been scarred. However, once we had spent a little time together, I didn’t “see” the scar very often, and I grew to enjoy riding her a great deal and having her company as the months went on.
There are two things about horses that are true in my experience:
- Beauty is as beauty does.
- If you buy a horse, get one that you like looking at day after day.
I really haven’t met a horse I didn’t like over the last 19 years. But I’ve met some that I sure enjoy looking at and never get tired of watching them no matter what they’re doing.
I like to think that, in this blog, I will write things that are thoughtful, provocative, and wise. That said, I’m not interested in appearing over-polished or bulletproof. What interests me about other people includes their faults, warts, and baggage, and so these writings will include such stuff.
My Thoroughbred mare struggles with things she perceives as threatening (today, it’s the stock saddle she’s learning to carry). I am weaving a web of trust with her, and this afternoon I watched her trying to work out whether to allow her fear of the saddle to take over, or to trust in my presence and reassurance, and accept that I won’t expose her to something that will hurt her. The bond between us slowly strengthens with each experience that ends in calmness and learning for Skigh. I have to remember not to rush these steps, and to keep clear my desire that our relationship will provide confidence and freedom for her.
Here is a photograph of Skigh with me taken by the award-winning photographer, James Atherton. Through a sweet coincidence we met at a Christmas gathering and he’s taken an interest in what I do with horses. His website is http://www.jamesatherton.com.