Welcome to Fern Valley
Here in central Alberta prime farm country,my husband Martin and I work together raising beef cattle and Appaloosa horses. Fern valley appaloosas have long been known for their quality of temperament conformation and color.I have recently rediscovered a love of writing and have published 2 collections of poetry. "Telling Tails" and Tails Trails and Campfire stories" . I look forward to a future spreading my wings as an author and as a horse woman .
Wednesday, 10 April 2013
its not how much they love you
Hold on to your hats gang ,I been thinking! And as always I tend to ramble and circle around , but hopefully eventually do get to my point , or points
'There is a fairly famous quote out there that goes along the lines of:
"People don't one care how much you know , till they know how much you care " John C Maxwell
Well in my opinion horses aren't a whole lot different . So many times we see folks struggling with the idea, that their horse doesn't listen for many reasons ,they are moody, or "mad at me" or ...
Or the classic anthropomorphism "He/she doesn't love me , or he/she would do what I want "
Now I realize I am preaching to the choir here for the most part, I have found most of the folks who read my blog think an awful lot the way I do , but let me go ahead anyway ( a few things I have seen on TV lately, and on other sites are what have brought this to mind )
So what makes your horse do what you ask? respect, patience trust ,food. My horses all have come to me on the run for years. It makes for great photos but having a herd of horses stampede towards you is not for the faint of heart either. The fact that I make me the safe secure positive place in their world helps a lot. Not to say I don't give them firm consistent direction and boundaries,if I didn't , there is no way in the world I would stand firm in front of them when they run towards me. I KNOW they know the rules and boundaries, and boundaries are also part of why they feel safe with me .
Imagine for a moment you are on a high staircase with no handrails , and a steep dangerous drop on each side. (OK bad example for me I am afraid of heights and had to take a moment there .) then imagine , nice strong secure handrails on either side, feels a lot better and safer right ? that's how boundaries work. They actually add security. In a herd the boss horse establishes boundaries for [pecking order and behavior, when things are frightening to the herd they tend to follow the boss mare's lead for what to do and how to respond (safety , security ) do they "love her" cant say, but they dang sure trust her.So we are back to me talking about herd dynamics and "boss mares " again lol
One on one with a horse, you get your best success with good leadership, and teaching boundaries, your ability to do so and your patience shows your love and compassion for your horse. After all training, done right is never a quick thing .
I have written about my old mare C7 Sparks Jewel in the past, she was an abused mare ,who never really overcame all of her issues, however she and I did fine together in time because I took the time,and still gave her clear boundaries, helping her to feel safe in my presence. Did she love me , NOPE , did I love her, oh yes! Otherwise why would I do it? But for the love of the horse?
That all said, it is true sometimes that love is not enough. Jewel was a case that the right combo of time , patience, resources and love got through to. But one variable taken out of the mix? her story would be very different . Another conversation about "rescue" came up recently and the huge outcry that happens when rescue horses go to auction Fact of the matter is it happens. Some do not find the "happy ending " in a foster case ,or a forever home right away or at all. Many things contribute to this , the horses age, health,and temperament. The resources of the rescuer or the governing body that is forced to seize the animal in the first place and on and on. There has been a huge outcry recently about just this type of situation. Many ready to point fingers and cry foul, and of course they could have handled it sooo much better ...
My rule of thumb about these things ,is know all of the facts before I voice my opinion, and also be ready to put my money where my mouth is , and if I am going to stand in judgement and say I can do better? well then I better be prepared to take those horses on and show that I can. Some horses , even with the best of our intentions will and do fall through the cracks, and I would far rather they met a quick end than fall into the hands of someone without the skills , time and resources to manage them . Does that mean I am pro slaughter? I don't know , It means to me I am "pro horse"
Anyhow, busy times ahead here, calving , slogging through mud, planning and preparing, with my sister for our parents 50th Anniversary party on Sunday , and apparently thinking . Something has to give, so I will stop thinking LOL and wish you all a great week, stay safe my friends