I've read though the Groundwork Exercises book and it will help me so much with Breeze. Thank you again!!!
As you know, she is my first horse. I took riding lessons for several years in middle school and high school and have always wanted a horse but never lived where I could have one.
Those riding lessons were forty years ago and I finally realized my dream by getting Breeze in August.
What Bev wrote, “I didn’t cherish this dream for all these years to say ow that hurt and quit,” prompted me to share this story about Breeze. Feel free to share if you'd like...
Since August I've hung out with Breeze while she puts on weight and gets healthy - she is a thoroughbred rescued from the track a week before being put down.
I spend time grooming her, feeding her treats and working on little things - like leading. She is very sweet and gentle.
She loves to have her forehead scratched and follows me around like a BIG puppy.
However, last Friday (it is now October) she was in a mood that I've never seen before and it really scared me. She laid her ears back and tried to nip me when I tried to brush her.
And, she sort of kicked out when I rubbed her sides near the back. I had never experienced this behavior with her before. Reading her signals that she didn't want me touching her, I backed off. It was very cold and windy so I thought maybe it was the weather and she was cold.I know I get a bit ornery when I'm cold.
Not completely listening to what Breeze was telling me though, I tried brushing her again. She started to swing her back end around to kick out again but I pushed her off. Her ears were back too. I fed her a couple treats and scratched her forehead but she didn't seem herself. She was preoccupied with something but I didn't know what. So, being the stupid human, I tried to groom her again. This time she swung her back end around, ears laid flat and planted a kick in the metal fence right next to me at the same height as my head.
This scared me to death and I left the pasture immediately. I was very shaken and didn't know what to do. My sweet, gentle horse was showing behavior that I'd never seen from her before.
I asked a few horse people about her sudden change in behavior and one told me that I spoiled her with treats and she'd become a brat. Another said that maybe it was getting close to feeding time and she was hungry. A third said that maybe she was in heat. I had not even thought about that! And, my instincts told me that it wasn't the treats or being hungry or cold - although I doubt my instincts all the time because I am not an experienced horse person.
I researched horses' estrous cycles and, sure enough, what I found described the situation completely! Being a human female, I know how miserable I can feel during my period. So, I can totally relate to Breeze's behavior and not wanting to be touched!
After the incident with Breeze and before I realized she was in heat, I had serious doubts about whether I could be a good human for Breeze. But I was not going to give up on my life long dream!
Now that I understand what she was telling me I feel so much better! I have learned to respect what she is telling me and and to trust my instincts - Breeze is an amazing creature and I am so fortunate to be a part of her life!
Just goes to show, Horses have bad days too.