I am turning into a mom. For those that have already experienced this life phase with actual human children - have you ever felt yourself repeating an important life lesson to your kids over and over and thought you were being irrevocably ignored? Then, you catch your child heeding your advice (sometimes subconsciously, because they definitely didn't listen to you intentionally), and your heart has a moment?
Between the influx of spring grass in the last several weeks and the perfectly timed onslaught of rain every time the ground is almost dry, most horses in the area have not been able to graze out in a pasture for months now. The lush green acres at the farm are starting to become unruly, and with April just days away, the ground might soon be ready for the abuse that excited, fresh horses are wont to give it. Horses have notoriously fragile guts, so the sudden consumption of an abundance of rich grass can cause a bit of mayhem. To combat this, the horses are hand-grazed for steadily increasing periods of time to prepare their stomachs for the day they can finally be turned out.
Short neck problems = grazing with one leg bent pre-dumpster-scare
As I was hand-grazing Kasa earlier this month on a windy day, we meandered about as he attacked every blade of grass in sight. Suddenly, the dastardly Rumpke dumpster's lid blew open with a deafening 'bang,' startling both of us. As he began to bolt, and I spent my last moments pondering how this would affect my deductible, he did something I didn't expect. Instead of smashing me to the ground in his spooked state, as his trajectory predicted, he pivoted to give me a wide berth, started to circle, and stopped before hitting the end of the rope, looking over at me with an "OMG" expression on his face. Considering that mere weeks ago, I had resigned myself (minus a thumb) to the probability that it would take a while to get the concept of personal space through to him, I was more than a little surprised that I was still standing. He hadn't done so much as tug on the rope, even overridden with momentary fear, and I had a definite mom moment (he really was listening!).
Kasa and Allie - First Ride
Those few seconds of pride have repeated themselves over and over again in the past weeks as his personality has gained more color and depth. The groundwork we do centers him. On the days that he gets a little more stressed (enter massive trucks building a house next to his small gravel turnout lot), five minutes work in his rope halter re-activates his lungs and his brain. He has changed the way he thinks through life, and it simply amazes me how present he is in our everyday activities. As Kasa blossoms, I can't help but be in awe of his beautiful mind (and be thankful that God gave me a passion that allows me to appreciate these things!). After our rough start together and his initial resistance to coming out of his shell, he problem solves spectacularly and looks to myself and Allie for direction and praise. Just today, during a free jumping session, he walked over to stand with us while getting the heights changed or followed around while we walked, never crowding, but simply being. As we left the arena, the tire pedestal caught my eye, as we haven't worked with it since the week he broke my thumb. With his new state of awareness and respect, it will make for a good test in the next day or two to see just how different he has become in the last month, and I'm confident that this time around will produce a much different result than the last.
Kasa Free Jumping Today (3/29) - up to 3'9"