Being pulled from pasture friends…

After my last competition for the spring season, I brought Minnow home to the ranch. As we pulled through the front gate, the two geldings in the School House pasture came running to greet us. The big trailer has gotten a bit squeaky and announces our entrance. I stopped on the road and let everyone calm down. When the geldings had their heads down eating, I got out and unloaded Minnow. He was tired from the trip so I cleaned out his feet and then took his halter off and he walked out into the pasture with his friends. “Just be a horse for the next week my friend “, I said. He has been working hard for me for the last few months. Well, he sure enjoyed being a wild pony! When I went out to find him yesterday and the day before that and the day before that he was hiding I think. It’s time for us to start getting in shape with an occasional ride beginning June 1. September will be here soon enough so I think a couple of rides a week in the early morning will keep us in pretty good shape until show season begins again. So when I did finally find him, I was driving around in my little car. When I got out of the car to put a halter on his head he and his friends took off running into the brush. Great… I thought to myself. Here I go walking into the brush without boots on. And I will probably get covered in chiggers… When I got the halter on his head and we began to walk back to the car, his friends did not follow. His eyes got big and he started walking sideways trying to turn around to see if they were going to come as well. At first he didn’t think so and became upset. He called to them and then they began slowly walking along behind us. He became a little more relaxed but I saw a potential for a problem in getting back to the barn if his friends did not come with him. He becomes pretty attached and I didn’t want him to pull away from me and go running through the pasture trailing a lead rope. So we worked on a few things to get his attention on me instead of his friends. I was a little frustrated by his behavior but then I remembered he did not want to leave his friends. It didn’t have anything to do with me and I shouldn’t be taking it personally. So I began to breathe and try to become emotionally neutral. That way my energy does not add to the already created drama. I remember Steve Halfpenny talking about remaining emotionally neutral. If you are not familiar with him look him up. He is an excellent teacher. Anyway, once I felt like Minnow was focused on me, I slipped the lead rope through the open car window, got back in and we slowly began driving back towards the barn. It was about a mile away. Minnow walked alongside occasionally turning around to see if his friends would follow. When he would try to turn I stopped the car and waited for him to get focused back on me and moving forward down the road. We got there safely by taking our time and not getting upset. It’s hard to be pulled away from your friends and leaving something familiar.

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