I moved Amber back in with Rosie and Lady today, having decided to do most of Amber’s work primarily alone, and in the round pen, away from the herd. We went on a very long trail ride this past weekend which helped us to get passed the “bump” in the road. We reconnected as a team and things seemed just a little bit softer in the process. I would speculate there has been growth, though it is not glaring as of yet. I have come to realize due to Amber’s depth and our long established relationship, I need to be more patient. I need to lower my expectations. Just as Amber is growing, so am I. While it is easy to move forward in new endeavors with horses I have not so deeply bonded with and worked as closely with over the years, I have come to understand that is because our relationship is “new”. We are not changing anything. Change is always tough, not matter what species we are.
In the round pen with Amber today however, we companion walked without a halter, and I led her from behind with no issues, and no attitude. What I have to do with her however is maintain a physical connection with my hand. That is what I discovered today. I either place my hand on her back or her hip and I massaged her as we walked together. She loves massages so she seemed to gradually start to like what we were doing together. When we finished those exercises, I walked away from her in the round pen and clucked and with body language asked her to come to me. She did. We ended on that note. Now mind you, before we began our new journey together she would come to me. Then that changed. But….the connection is coming back and we are on track again, even with the new exercises. I just have to adjust them to fit her and our relationship as we go along.
When I put her back in with the herd, she was noticeably jealous of Rosie whom I have become much more connected to through these exercises. Rosie if you recall, whole heartedly participates. I asked the whole herd to companion walk with my body language and as always, only Rosie immediately complied however today was different in that Amber decided to join us with in about five minutes and then moved Rosie away from me so that she was the only one walking with me. Very different from Amber choosing to simply watch Rosie and I from the barn, as she was doing a couple of weeks ago. After a bit, I pressed for a little leading from behind. Amber allowed me to do so off an on and then would move away. But there was much more willingness. I pressed on and walked away and stopped. Amber was completely focused on me and I asked her to come to me, but she stood firm. I could feel the energy of the connection and I was directing that energy at her whole heartedly….but still she stood looking at me, ears perked. However, Lady, who never comes, did. She stopped short however as Amber clearly sent her a message with her body language to do so. I continued. Then Rosie who was on the other side of Amber walked around and came to me. I believe they were responding to the energy. Amber reacted to Rosie and instantly came, again moving Rosie away from me, which I chose to allow. I petted and rubbed on her for a bit and decided to say good-bye to go muck stalls. As I was walking back to the barn I heard a swooshing sound and low and behold all three were galloping past me and beat me to the barn. I missed an opportunity to run with them. There was clearly joy and fun in the air and one more thing. Amber I am quite sure instigated that as the lead horse of the herd. It communicated she didn’t want me to leave. When I reached the barn all three were standing there waiting for me to arrive. Amber’s actions further communicated her desire to spend more time with me as I went to work.
Amber stayed right by me, watching every move I made, interested in everything I did until I finished. She was choosing to just be with me through my work, every step of the way. Naturally, when I was done, I didn’t want to leave her either so I just stayed for a while, standing outside the stall, with my head on hers. She closed her eyes and I did too. Nothing but peace. Nothing but quiet. To me, there is no better form of meditation and rejuvenation for one’s spirit. In those moments, our connection was so strong, we were “one” sharing peace. Endorphins were running high!