The opinions expressed in previous entries may or may not express the current opinion of the author.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Try Try Again

The other day I wrote:
[Bridget] kept getting ahead of me (not pulling, but very much focused on what was in front of us), and I felt (perhaps mistakenly) that she wasn't maintaining an awareness of my presence. So every so often I asked her to do something to remind her that I was on the other end of the leadrope.

Jenny aptly commented:
[H]orses are aware of all things going on around them, people (with their 'tunnel vision', comparing to horses!) tend to focus all their attention in only one thing at a time. So when our attention is pointed away, horses tend to feel they have to take care of themselves as we are busy doing something else.

Today I took Bridget out for a little walk by herself (Chloe having declined to accompany us). This time I was determined not to "mind" if she got ahead. On our last walk, I was busy focusing on Bridget, while Bridget herself, of course, is always very attentive to everything going on around us. This time I tried to not just pay attention to her, but to notice what she was noticing. I might not see exactly what she sees, but at least I can look in the same direction.

I observed that she doesn't just barge ahead willy-nilly - that she will make a slight adjustment in her stride to wait up for me a little, and every now and then she will turn and "consult" by gently touching me with her nose.

On our way back down the drive to the barn, I proved what a numbskull I am. Bridget suddenly turned around - there was a horse and rider coming up behind us which I totally hadn't heard. Guess Bridget is the right one to be leading after all!

1 comment:

  1. Yes, and I think it is quite all right to let them do the tasks they are better able to take care of, like this one, obviously! Then they learn to ask us, "what is that? Should we run?" instead of just leaving us standing there :) <3