Last week, inspired by someone else, I began a series of real tries to fight my bipolar symptoms by getting up and outside with Zil. I’ve missed her so much, and blamed the cold. All I have been doing is hurting myself and her by blaming the cold. It was me.
When I first went out to her she was standoffish. I recognized the behavior. It’s the snooty thing Arabian horses do when you have left them alone for too long.
You’ve been neglecting to worship me, so why should I come to you now?
It lasts about ten minutes, max. Then it’s rubbing, nuzzling, loving on for the duration.
I could not stick around to wait for it. I had to find her halter. Not “a” halter, her halter. I couldn’t find it! Me, who’s always so concerned about everything equine being put away just so! I tried not to freak out, and grabbed a random one of red rope (she looks good in red).
Once she saw the halter, oh, boy, it was a different story. Halter? You’re going to halter me and do something with me? Oh, here I am, please hurry!
Oh, the joyous loving then! I took her to water (hers was frozen and she refuses to drink from the stream), and then let her browse around some for hay and whatnot. Then I took her out on the county road for a walk. After so long (since before Christmas) she was good as gold. Loose lead, shoulder or neck beside me, turning with me, moving over without being asked, everything–thank goodness, since I was wearing Bogs and the snowpack was trying to melt…had she flipped out there, we could have had quite a wreck!
She only spooked a little past one of the neighbors’ houses, where our Pomeranian, who I did not know was following us, got into a tiff with their dogs. Zil jumped, I did my usual fruitless yelling at Hardhead (aka Dumb-As-A-Rock) and got us past there. Up at the next mailbox we turned around.
We walked briskly back to our place and right on past. Her ears stayed forward and she was clearly smiling and interested all the way down our fence line, despite the frantic geldings in the pasture. Only once we passed our property line did anything change. Her ears swiveled backward, staying in touch with what was going on at home. We spent a happy hour together.
I led her to the candy store (feed shed) and gave her a couple of treats, took her to water again, and put her away, with much scratching and rubbing. She is allowed to rub on me. Though it’s a sign of dominance normally, and not a loving gesture (as many horse owners would like to believe) Zil has learned to do it only when invited, and her reward is that I rub and scratch all over her head.
Later I busted the ice out of EVERYTHING that contained water, even the trough of the rescue horses who had already made it plain they disdained it…they were all 100% committed to the stream….
That wonderful hour made a lot of difference, out in the bright sun, walking with my forever friend. Human friends can hurt you, but your horse always forgives and never stops loving you. There was the benefit of the sun they always talk about (I don’t know how that works when you are so bundled up that the most sun you get is the stray ray that might occasionally hit part of your face), but mostly it was the time spent with Zil, and the feeling of accomplishment that went along with pushing myself out of my cocoon to enjoy the adventure!