So, I could not find Sterling anywhere in his field or in the woods. If you have followed my blog at all, you know he has become quite the explorer this year. So I was calling and I saw him down in the creek eating something. He reminded me of a moose in the water. That rope that crosses the creek in the following photo is the only thing that keeps him off the track where the girls live. I will modify that, but it does look like he would need to limbo underneath it. So, I called him and he came out of the creek to visit with me which is very easily accessed from the woods when the leaves and brush are not growing, like in the Autumn.
Then, like he was showing me what he found, he went back in the water and decided to walk down the stream. This is not anything the girls or any other horses have done for that matter in my space! He is a brave explorer! Then off he goes.
He blazed right through all of the branches hanging down across the stream. Made me wonder if he had not done this before.
He went around the corner and out of sight! I was hopeful that he would come back. Happily I noticed a large tree had fallen across the creek and he was not interested (at least on this day) in jumping it!
So he came back, foraging along the creek bank all the way, doing his best impression of a Moose with dripping greens hanging out of his mouth.
These branches hung across the whole creek, he needed to navigate them to not get stuck.
Without any trouble he came back and then I started the video on my phone as he played in the water. Sorry about turning the phone, I didn’t know I couldn’t and I don’t know how to fix it now!
At the end there when he scales the opposite bank, effortlessly I might add, that is why I can no longer use the creek as a fence. I thought there really was no inviting place on the other side of the creek to cross. Or at least there wasn’t before there was!
This is the bridge we build for the boys to cross the creek. And, until now this is how they always crossed over into the woods. You know what they say about idle hooves!
It’s the environment that we create….. That creates the horses we have.
No matter where we find ourselves, we are creating our environment and the environment our horses are living into. Just look around and see how it’s going. Is your herd happy? Do they get along with one another? Are they biting, kicking chasing each other off of the hay?
Or are they willing to share? Share space, share food, share you? Do they have real leadership?
It all changed here at In the Company of Horses Inc. when a true lead mare entered our herd. In the olden days I would mistake dominance for leadership, that is because true leadership was not present. I found out that true leaders are clear; willing to engage and willing to walk away; friendly; consistent, they observe situations and claim the space they want by clarity and intention not by force. It’s like in Star Wars, they use The force, not force.
I was recently in the company of other people with my horses and our event was over and while we packed up I threw a hay bag like the one pictured above into the arena where it was cooler than in the trailer. One gal commented that her horses would break out into a fight over that hay and not share food so nicely. I had forgotten about that since I started to play with food to see if it would be safe to use in the Equine Assisted Learning Arena.
Part of what works around here is the horses live outside together in a herd 24 hours a day 7 days a week unless I’m doing something with them. They travel together on in our track system, separated by a fence only because we have an intact boy. The boys travel next to the girls though and visit with one another through their shared windows in the run in shed. The horses are EXPECTED to manage themselves together and act appropriately and that’s what they do. I am not saying no one ever kicks anyone else or moves them forcefully; I’m saying it’s the very rare occasion when anyone forcefully moves anyone else through touch, it’s usually through other means of communication, and NO ONE is allowed to move anyone else while I’m around. ESPECIALLY if that someone is engaged with me. I learned how to be clear, friendly and share my intention by doing way less sooner rather than waiting until it’s too late. Thank you to lead mare’s everywhere!
Sterling has been eating out of these small mesh hay nets since he was 6 months old, Yesterday I found a baby tooth in the bag! I guess this is what happens to 3 year old boys!