Thursday, February 2, 2012

A Sensitive Mind

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?


Kelly (ridegroomfeed) said...

Sorry to hear about the turn of events - I hope everything turns out alright.

I have had a very similar experience, where I was feeling numb and shaky (from lack of sleep) and my mind was not with it. I intended to just groom but it was so soothing that I went on one of the most peaceful hacks we've ever had (Leo is not exactly the bravest horse in the world).

I really believe that our horses just know to look after us sometimes. It sure makes me appreciate the relationships I have with them.

Francesca Prescott said...

Kelly, thanks for this. Everything is fine with me now, it was just a bad moment. Guess we all have them sometimes.

You're exactly right about our horses knowing how to look after us sometimes. That's exactly how I felt around Qrac that day. It was quite magic.

Thanks for reading and commenting :)

Laura Crum said...

Francesca--I'm glad things are better now. How sweet that Qrac was "there" for you. My Sunny horse takes care of me in a steady, if not exactly sweet, way, and I am always very grateful for this. I feel that we have an understanding, and I trust him. This doesn't mean he isn't sometimes a butthead, in a minor sort of fashion. Its hard to explain. But it works for me. Hope you don't have any more upsetting moments(!) And how rewarding to have formed such a bond with Qrac.

jenj said...

Goodness, I hope that whatever it is that triggered the upset resolves quickly.

Some horse (and animals) just seem to "know". It's interesting the way in which Qrac showed you this, but I'm glad that he took such careful care of you and was the solid presence you needed get yourself to a calmer place.

Francesca Prescott said...

Thanks, Laura and Jenj. I'm all better now.

Horses may be a regular source of worry for all kinds of reasons,but as far as I'm concerned, their healing force definitely comes out on top.

Dreaming said...

I remember one instance where I was very blue, many years ago. I went out to the stable and my horse gave me a 'hug' - as much as horses can, snuggling me between his shoulder and head. He never had done that before, and never did it again! It was so very interesting and comforting!
How amazing that Qraq read you so quickly!

Once Upon an Equine said...

They are amazing mirrors. I notice it the most when I get stressed or rushed, then Misty gets a little agitated and is harder to catch or load into the trailer because my emotions transfer to her.

Sorry you had an upsetting experience. Glad Qrac was able to soothe your soul. He sounds like the best kind of equine friend.

Funder said...

Horses are wonderful creatures, aren't they?

I have to say that I'm amused that even in the civilized paradise of Europe, people dump their junk beside the trails. I would never have guessed that you, of all people, would have a Bathtub Encounter. Qrac was rightfully worried about tetanus ;)

Francesca Prescott said...

Dreaming, now that you mention it, that's one of the things Qrac did: he gave me a "horse hug". I'm happy to hear other people have experienced the same "displays of affection" and that it wasn't all in my imagination! Thanks for reading and commenting.

Francesca Prescott said...

Once Upon an Equine: it's hard not to get stressed out sometimes, to try to remain calm. I often try to think myself as calm as possible because I don't want to affect my horse. We can do this to a certain extent, but they're always going to be able to read us completely clearly. After that it's a matter of how stressed we are, what we're stressed about, and how much they figure out we can deal with, and how much of our stress they can deal with/help us through. They're amazing creatures, aren't they! Hope this makes some sort of sense!

Francesca Prescott said...

Funder, you made me giggle! There are lots of old bathtubs lying around in fields here because some farmers use them as drinking troughs for the cows!!!! I agree they're not the most elegant pasture ornaments, but they still do the trick!

But people do dump their junk: where I had Qrac before, there was one beautiful trail where some moron had dumped all kinds of old electronic equipment. There was an old smashed TV, an old computer, a bunch of cables. So yucky.

Alison said...

Enjoyed your post, Cesca, although I must say I don't remember Relish doing anything sweet that didn't revolve around wanting food. I am glad you have such a strong bond with Qrac, and I hope your anxious stomach has righted itself.