I often think back to the time the next door “neighbors” made themselves at home in our teaching area.
I had recently moved and wasn’t quite used to the sound of heavy metals and whistles from nearby trains and the screams and yips of coyotes wandering in the distance. On this particular night I was abruptly awoken from my deep sleep by a mixture of new sounds and confusion. I jolted awake with a sense of panic that horses had broken through a fence, and gathered fragments of awareness enough to go check on my horses. They were all safe and sound out in a pasture, so I returned to bed and fell right back into a deep sleep.
It hadn’t been much longer, maybe an hour or so when the sun started to shine through the windows and morning sounds started filling the house. Greeted by my little dog, I got up as I would any other day and scanned the property from my window. Piper and Cantata, my two horses that we had been working with in the program, stood in the pasture as usual, but there was a third horse with them. I had to make sure I was seeing clearly and then realized they were actually all standing in the mid-property paddock.
Upon further investigation, I found that six horses from the next door pasture had indeed broken free and were exploring our sandy teaching area. I recognized them from seeing them watch and analyze our every move and session throughout the week. Three bays, a paint, a grey and a small palomino had been wanting to experience their own hooves on that ground and they brought that desire to fruition.
I always had a feeling that some of those horses wanted to be a part of the program. I knew they were curious and wanted to participate in the idea of a horse being the teacher for the human. They could have chosen to venture out and eat all of the rich green grass throughout our pasture, but instead chose to stay in that sandy teaching area where we had created grounding and presence. This made me so very happy and as I approached they came to me. They smelled my clothes and looked right into my eyes. I made sure to thank them before walking them back to their own pasture.
I will always remember this experience and those horses. It was so special that they wanted to come be a part of what we do and, who knows… maybe someday they can come teach in a program!
A version of this blog was originally published in 2011.