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Plastic Bags and Dignity

February 21, 2011

I love my pony. My big, dorky almost 17hh pony.

And my love has grown exponentially since I started doing self care board with him.

I love self care board.

(The sun has been out for a whole WEEK, so I’m full of love right now. The sun, the horse, self care board, girl scout cookies…)

Anyways, I never realized how much my relationship with Kinetic would improve through seeing him every day. I’m no longer that girl that only comes out sporadically to interrupt his nap/dinner/meditations/fly swatting in order to make him work. Now I’m that girl who sees him every day and offers food, companionship, and escape from the stall. I’m his buddy, herd-mate, and partner. It’s wonderful. I get to see my horse as a whole horse and not just the horse that’s grumpy because he has to work.

The other day we had a sacking-out/ de-sensitizing session in the round pen. I put plastic bags on the posts and a tarp in the middle and then let Beast go to see what would happen. It was definitely interesting to see how he reacted to frightening stimulators without the anxiety of riding him. He’s definitely more curious than scared; opting for a snort, look, snort, look reaction rather than a whites of my eyes and nostrils flared while hi-tailing it around the ring reaction. He would start a bit,  but never take off. And he calmed down fairly quickly. After ten minutes he was standing quietly amidst all these scary, fluttery things. I even got him to step on the tarp! The greatest indignity he suffered was when I threaded a plastic bag under his halter. I’ve never seen a horse look so demoralized and dejected. He dropped his head, lowered his ears into an Eeyore expression, and gave me the most plaintive, pathetic look I’ve seen on a horse. It was like every bit of his dignity had been stripped away. I suppose it was the horse equivalent of going to class with toilet paper stuck to your shoe…

I’m very proud of my beastie. He braved the scary plastic and came out a champion.


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