I don't mind if you do.
Cady was in the small paddock yesterday because I was keeping an eye on her fat leg (It's gone down, phew, and today she's back with the girlies)
She had initially settled well but by the time I got there last night she had decided only the bottom corner was safe to stay in. She was effectively patrolling a 12ft by 12ft invisible enclosure. We had put hay and water out but she hadn't touched it because it was on the side where she didn't want to go.
When I went in to poo pick she got a bit braver. If I was near the hay she would run up and snatch a bit and take it back to her safe corner. I often feel Cady doesn't trust me much but this made me think perhaps she does a little bit.
I put her headcollar on and led her to the trough, knowing she must be thirsty. She did a lot of snorting and was looking everywhere all at once if you know what I mean.
"She never really looks at me or makes any eye contact" I thought, and a little voice in my head said, "Why don't you try just gently looking at her?"
At that moment I realised I very rarely make any eye contact with her. I've sort of bluntly adopted the view that all eye contact is behaving like a predator and I tend to look everywhere and anywhere but directly at her.
|This is fairly normal, her looking past me - but have I trained her to do this?|
For a few seconds I just looked at her quite softly as if she was someone I was having a chat with. A moment later and she looked back at me for a few seconds and seemed to relax a bit and then had a drink out of the trough.
I'm going to have to investigate this more but I think she has actually been mirroring my behaviour. She never looks at me because I don't look at her and then I get confused because I feel she never focuses on me. Probably another example of having to look at yourself (pun intended) first, before criticising or judging the behaviour of the horse.
Has Cady been feeling like a ghost for the past four years? As if there's some mad woman fussing around her but kind of ignoring her at the same time?
I hope this makes sense.
It was a bit of something and a bit of nothing but it felt weirdly momentus.
Happy horsing everyone x