And Allah took a handful of southerly wind, blew His breath over it, and created the horse…. Thou shall fly without wings, and conquer without any sword. Oh, horse.…Bedouin Legend
Some say that the horse was created in such a way that their life is about developing a relationship with humans to help us accomplish whatever it is we feel the need to do on the back of a horse. People spend exorbitant amounts of money to find their special horse.
I believe horses at times are looking for their human. They really want that relationship, but they don’t often get the right to choose their human; they are the prospers or victims of what some may call fate. Sueño kind of fell into my lap. I wasn’t looking for him at all yet there he was. After seeing so many yearlings in kill pens this year, I knew that I needed to bring him home.
His journey was long and not always easy. Waiting was intolerable at times depriving me of much sleep wondering if he was stressed, was he scared, was he eating enough, drinking enough, and was this trip doing any damage to his gut despite being given ulcergard? Of course I couldn’t help wondering, will he like me? Will he be willing to develop a relationship with me.
When Brandon dropped the ramp, he at first didn’t want to step off the trailer. I stood their waiting for him to make his choice as he surveyed his new surroundings. The cottonwood gently swayed with the afternoon breeze. His gaze seemed to be locked on the tree’s dance. After a few minutes, he stepped off, and he came to life. Lots of energy wanting to walk and explore.
My other horses were on the upper pasture alert to the fact that something was going on. They couldn’t see him right away, but once they did, they erupted galloping around with the occasional buck or crow hop.
I walked over to my truck, and that’s when I saw it. Sueño wanted to walk with me. The first sign of a choice. We took him into his area, and I said goodbye to Brandon. I immediately refilled his water bucket, because he decided it would be fun to spill it. I showed him his hay, and I introduced him to his barn. He was skittish, not very aware of me, but such sweetness oozed from his demeanor.
My horses immediately took to him, and he globbed on to them. It won’t be too hard to bring these guys together, although I may take my time due to his small size. He is 13.2 hands and 724 pounds. Dulce and Chaco are 17 hands and 1150 pounds. We’ll take it slow.
I spent the night with him, and most of the night I listened to him eat his hay right next to me. Dulce and Chaco stayed close. Harley acted like he didn’t care, except every now and then he would chase off Dulce and Chaco wanting Sueño all to himself…or the hay. Not sure which.
Over the past two days I’ve spent a lot of time with him. Not much work has been put into him, which is fine by me. I don’t have to untrain and retrain many things. He finally lets my hands run down his hindlegs and lift his hooves. He is easy to catch. He was extremely head shy on both sides, but we have worked through most of that already. He now loves it when I scratch behind his ears. He easily accepted a fly mask, and he is getting better about being fly sprayed.
When I first walked him, he had no idea about giving space. He was either dropping his shoulder into me or trying to go over the top of me. After a lot of walking one day together, he is now fantastic being led. I can be light with the lead rope with him after one day of working with him, which is exciting. He is smart and learns quick. He also lets me put my arm over his back and put a little weight on him. At first his head flew up, but he immediately relaxed and let me do it a few more times. He can be stubborn at times, but when that streak shows up, he is telling me how insecure he feels.
Today I turned him out on the pasture for the first time. I wondered if I’d be able to catch him. I walked right up to him, and he let me scratch him. He dropped his forehead to mine, and we stood there for a long while together. I whispered to him, “Yes, I’m your human. You found me.”
When he was done cuddling, I walked off, and he did it. He began following me all around the pasture without a lead rope.. He got to make his choice.