2014-06-03_17-41-12_601Summer weather here in Missouri is definitely not a favorite of mine. I do not function much at all when the temperature and humidity are up, so not much “training” gets done. That is, if you’re looking for training as in “directed activity outside the pasture.”

Feeding, sometimes, gets done outside the pasture, but mostly not. Walking around outside the pasture sometimes happens, but not often. There are too many days where I do a “drive-by” feeding: mix the food ahead of time and run by the barn to deliver it to each horse, along with a dose of fly spray and a quick check of each one’s physical condition.

The only other interactions are sitting around watching the horses, walking slowly around the pasture with the herd, or standing next to Galahad while he naps. This is his favorite summertime activity other than eating. Sometimes he will pester me into standing still and letting him nap with his head on me.

Yesterday it was miserably hot—mid-90s with the dew point in the 70s. The trimmer came to check Galahad’s hoof (he developed an abscess in his right front foot a couple of weeks ago), but we managed to find a shady spot to work in. Afterwards, in between bouts of grazing on a line, he came over and napped for a bit with his nose buried in my armpit.

Hmmm…. A curiously intimate moment, for sure, and strange from a human perspective. But it’s pretty heartwarming, too, given that the first thing he does when he goes back to the pasture after an absence of more than a few hours is to roll luxuriantly and get the good herd-smell back onto his body. My smell apparently is good and comforting to him.

Is this “training”? I think so: It’s relationship-building, for sure. And I’m happy that he’s developed that kind of trust and comfort in my presence.