Though Ruby is still showing some nervousness when I’m riding her, she was perfectly contented to stop and eat grass for ten minutes with only me and the dog for company, a quarter of a mile distance from the other horses.
Kathryn, a follower of my blog, made this comment on the blog a while back, “I like that you’re listening to your own thoughts about fixing this, trying to think like your horses and move things away from their co-dependency. My tendency would be to Google it to death and find out what worked for others. Your readers are riveted!”
I’ve been considering and doing some soul-searching regarding this. The truth is I never even thought of the Internet as an option. My brain never went there. I do go to the Internet for other questions on a regular basis. Why didn’t it come into my mind this time?
I was having a beer with some friends Saturday night and brought up this question and/or comment. Forest, my adult son, said, “Yeah, dad, why don’t you use Google? When I’m fixing my BMW I can Google the problem and it tells me exactly what to do plus it shows illustrations of the parts and the tools I need and what I need to buy. All I have to do is follow the instructions”. I said, “But a horse is not a finite thing with a definite fix for a definite problem. The horse and I are both unique individuals. The way we relate to each other is unique. I can’t find a broken part and replace it. It requires psychological discernment and physical solution and usually some practiced athletic ability is required for the trainer. An individual could read all about it on Google, understand it perfectly, but not be able to accomplish. If he doesn’t have the physical skills and experience with the horse generally, he would be helpless. It would be likely that the only thing he could do is cause more problems, not excluding possible physical damage for either the horse and trainer.”
The next day I went online and googled ‘buddy sour’. The trainers recommended the same solutions I’d already put in action, with an emphasis on gentleness in exposing the horse to it’s fear (in this case ‘separation anxiety’).
I do go online for horse problems sometimes. For instance, I needed to castrate Dunamus. Our veterinarian is far away and comes out just twice a year. I went online and found all kinds of YouTubes and information about what was needed. After studying I opted not to. The difference between Dunamus’ and Ruby’s problem is mechanical (physical) versus psychological.
To add a little context I am including a quote from “ALL THE PRETTY HORSES”. If you don’t remember the story, teenage boys traveled down from Texas deep into Mexico to become waddees on a huge Mexican Hacienda. While the boys were talking with the Mexican cowboys over the dinner table about cattle ranching in Texas, the Mexican cowboys “…nodded solemnly and they were careful of their demeanor that they be thought to have opinions on what they heard for like most men skilled at their work they were scornful of the least suggestion of knowing anything not learned at first hand.” Cormac McCarthy