A little over a week ago, I had a big emotional shock. I’m not going to get into what happened; suffice to say that it upset me so much I couldn’t eat a thing, and ended up in bed almost before dark. My mind raced, I played Twister with the duvet all night, and finally called the night a total washout at six in the morning. How did I feel? Exhausted.
But exhausted or not, I still had to go and take care of my horse. I set off in the car around nine, my stomach struggling with two pieces of dry toast. I felt nauseous and slightly dizzy. I took a squazillion deep breath and chugged enough Rescue Remedy to zenify an elephant, yet still reached the yard with my heart pumping and my pores oozing argh.
Qrac met me at his stable door and nuzzled my hand. I unfastened the door, went inside and stroked his neck. He turned to look at me, gently sniffed me, nuzzled my hair, his ears flicking back and forth. Then he lifted his tail and let escape a tiny dribble of liquid poop.
At that point, I just thought: “how weird, that’s never happened before,” and went to get a cloth to clean his bottom. I set about grooming him, talking to him the way I usually do. However, I obviously wasn’t coming across as my usual chirpy self because, as I lifted his back feet to pick them out, he lifted his tail again and almost buried me under a giant mound of seriously loose manure.
That’s when I realized what was going on. My horse was so sensitive to my state of mind that, almost instantly, it had affected his stomach. I was stunned, because although I’ve always known that horses are incredibly sensitive, I’d never imagined they could pick up on our emotions to that extent.
Qrac and I went on a long trail ride with another horse and rider that morning, and during the ride, when he lifted his tail again, I turned in my saddle to ensure everything was back to normal (it was). Moreover, Qrac really impressed me during the ride. I must say that, initially, I’d been slightly hesitant to go on a trail ride. I thought that if my horse had had such a strong reaction to my emotional state in his stable, going out into the big wide open might really upset him, especially since it was cold and windy, with snow flurries blowing in from the north-east. But Qrac was angelic, only spooking once at an old rusty bath-tub sitting by the side of the trail.
That trail ride did me a world of good. The cold air cleared my mind, allowing me to put things into perspective. But most of all, the entire experience touched me profoundly, strengthening my love for Qrac, and heightening my awareness of how incredibly sensitive horses really are.
Have you ever had a similar experience with your horse?