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

Thursday, December 30, 2010

George Softens Up

A couple of days ago, the sun was shining cheerfully. It was still cold, mind you, but armed with new (thank you, Santa) insulated gloves and various other items of warm clothing, I decided to spend some time out with the horses while they were eating hay.

They were intent on eating and did not interact with me, except for Bridget, who always can spare a few minutes to play. At the moment, her favorite thing is to have me hold one of her forelegs while she chews and tugs at various parts of my clothing in the vicinity of my head and neck. At this time of year, there are plenty of bits and ends to chew on - the drawstring of my anorak hood, my hat, my scarf, my collar.

Later on, I came out and found George unmistakeably asking to be taken out, something he hasn't done for weeks.

So on with the halter, and out we went. We wandered around, George finding enough green grass still available to make the excursion very worthwhile.

For some time now, he has had his prickly aura. You just know if you touch him, he's going to stiffen and look sour. But this day he was emanating a much warmer, more inviting vibe. I could put my arm around him and lean on him, and he placidly kept on grazing.

For the rest of the day he kept it up. Maire posted a blog entry the other day, where she talks about experiencing an urge to hug her elderly pony mare. It's hard to know sometimes where the feeling is coming from, as there are two psyches involved, and the present situation sometimes is at odds with the past.

Yesterday the day was much warmer - all the way up into the high 40's - and George was very mellow again. Every time I saw him, I felt the desire to make physical contact, and every time I would feel a twinge of reluctance just before touching him - a feeling conditioned by his recent aversion to being touched. But in this case, my attraction toward touching him was the "truth," while my anxiety was an out-of-date hangover from a past situation - because once contact was made, he remained soft and receptive.

However, if I went ahead and petted him on days when he was not in the mood, then my decision to touch him would be an untimely attempt to change the "truth" of his current distaste for contact.

Yesterday, I could have interpreted the slight anxiety before touching him as a signal from him, and I really had no way of ascertaining which it was until I made contact. Except that in the moments when I was most aware of the anxiety, I believe my attention was turning inward on myself and away from George.

He stayed and was cozy with me for a little while yesterday. It was nice.

George has been playing with the dogs. Here's a blurry picture of him fence-running with them.

My daughter's miniature schnauzer is staying with us for the holidays. He and George are making friends and sniff noses through the gap in the gate. I need to get a photo of that.

And speaking of photos, here is a marked-up photo of Rose's hoof, showing the slit where the abscess erupted. New wall will grow down above it, but the slit will remain, as the hoof wall grows, until it reaches ground level. Apparently this won't cause problems. She's still a little sensitive around the coronet band area, which will make it hard to hold her foot for trimming - something she really needs.

Pretty wide, huh?

1 comment:

  1. That is a nice bit of togetherness you had with George. You were obviously right to go with your first instinct to make physical contact.