The Last Week of Class

Snapshot 3 (5-4-2013 9-50 PM)This is the last week of my class with Carolyn Resnick. Yesterday I sent in my last video for the coaching call on Monday. Galahad and I will continue to work with this material through the summer, and then have another go this fall, when the next class starts.

It’s been a pretty amazing experience! My relationship with Galahad has shifted in wonderful ways, just in these last six weeks. The biggest change is that I’m beginning to see his playful nature more and more—it’s subtle, still, but there’s a sparkle in his eyes that wasn’t there before. He enjoys my company, and seems to look forward to our interactions.

Here’s an example. A couple of days ago, he and I were sharing space in Midnight’s paddock, where we do some of our work with clients.

Midnight was temporarily locked in his stall so that Galahad and I could work. Midders was NOT happy about that, but he had simply walked UNDER the rope that I was using to keep the two horses separated. The rope stopped Galahad, but not the little black horse—he’s WAY too smart! So I closed his rear stall door. Here’s Midnight in jail, kicking his stall door.

Galahad hadn’t been in the paddock for nearly a month, and you know horses—any time anything changes, it needs to be investigated. In this case, the trees on the south side now had leaves that danced in the breeze, and there were buttercups (inedible but lovely) growing in the center that hadn’t been there before. He took half an hour or so to explore everything.

I sat quietly, reading my book (love my Android phone!), for the first half hour. Then I decided to clean up the paddock, so I got out the rake and went to work. And lo and behold, I had HELP! Or at least I had company. Galahad was so funny about it, so curious, so friendly—here’s the video. Not something he would have done two months ago! I love the change.

The other noticeable effect of the course shows up not with Galahad but with HRH Princess Nevada: She’s royally pissed at me.

It seems to have started when she realized that I was spending a lot of time hanging out with Galahad, and not with her. Because of time constraints, pretty much all I’ve done with her lately is bring her food, and then only if she is willing to come to me and get it. Nevada is jealous—seriously. Anyone who thinks horses don’t get their feelings hurt and sulk hasn’t been around them much! Nevada is the queen of sulkiness.

Day before yesterday, she and her friends (the lead mare and the second in command) were hanging out near the shelter, napping in the shade. I went to call her in for dinner. She looked at me, pawed the ground with her forefoot in the way that means, “Come over here! Come pay attention to me!” or, in this case, “Bring it over here! I’m hungry!” I called her again; she didn’t move anything but that front foot. I set the pan on the ground and stepped back to “draw her in.” She pawed a couple more times, then turned her butt to me and walked off.

Pretty clear communication! Maybe she’s not hungry, you say? Nevada is ALWAYS hungry.

Yesterday, she and the other mares were halfway across the pasture when I got ready to feed her. I whistled to her, and watched her head come up to look at me. She’s always easy even for me to spot, because of that wide white blaze. Usually, once her head comes up, she’ll start walking over to see me. But again, no dice. She put her head back down. I whistled for her again. Not only did she ignore the whistle, but she turned away and walked over to her friends.

I have been dissed. There is no other way to read this.

Honestly, I do believe she’s punishing me. It’s not the first time: I remember the time I embarrassed her in front of her friends, and the next day she refused to be caught. So yes, horses do get their feelings hurt.

Now that the Carolyn Resnick class is over until fall and Galahad and I don’t have video deadlines to meet, I will go sit with Nevada, too. I do feel a little bit bad for her… but she is such a stinker!