Such little stories tales and comments by me have to do with my own pain and isolation at experiencing the barrier between myself and the horse. For all my "understanding," of the horse there is still that to contend with.
So I imagine.
What really takes place in the horse's mind, though humans tend to think of it as simple and primitive I see as another language, somewhat like Chinese where one can think in ideograph - pictures, rather than symbols such as our letters and the words they make.
I don't know how Chinese children learning language think but recall as a child when I was much exposed to Cantonese language finding it easy. I believe because children think so much in pictures. When I heard the word for horse in Mandarin I did not think horse, the word, but rather pictured "Ma." Which is the horse.
Now I tend to extrapolate this to the horse and their thinking yet cannot grasp it in my conversations with them. My damn words, characters, get in the way. If I say "excuse me," I do not envision the horse moving over to let me by in the narrow confines of the stall, but rather stop with the words.
If only I could remember that the horse must connect these odd grunts, weazes, inhales, and exhultations, snorts and pops that are out speech, with pictures from memory, as is their speech, I know I could do better communicating.
I so often forget even when I do my breath talking/listening with them, and start sending words instead of pictures.
I don't think of a scene where I am hugging them, and giving them treats, and grooming them, but rather say to them, "I love you and will always care for you." The former is horse language, the latter just babble to them.
I must practice, as I've preached
, remember to speak words that are congruent with my internal feelings AND PICTURE THEM in some practical fashion. Then I am speaking horse.
So my little story really should have been told in pictures as the horse's mind would form them ... I tried as best I could with this clumsy foreign language, human, to show the elegant language of the horse - the pictures they form.
Which is the wiser language?
I believe the one that is most direct and less possible to misunderstand.
The old adage that a picture is worth a thousand words rings very true to me when I try to think like as horse in their language.
Temple Grandin, she claims, does this, and I believe she is correct in relating her pictures to animal thinking and so connects so profoundly with them. It doesn't make her their kind of animal but it opens the door to deeper understanding.
Personally I'm selfish. I am actually less interested in understanding the horse (that was my goal when I exploited them for 20 years) but more in communicating two way so they have the opportunity to explore ME, and understand me.
If one looks at AND practitioners one in a certain way one sees this happening a great deal.
Watching videos I so often see the horse look speculatively at the handler, the AND horse handler that is, rather than anxiously as I see so much in past and present standard horse handling.
I so love that look the AND horse gives. It appears so provocative in that the horse wants to be with this human. Wants to figure out not just what is being asked but what this creature is that is asking.
From the time we chased them down with rocks and spears and killed and ate them to the present when we moved to riding and driving them they have been asking, but mostly from a position of fear.
Why DO horses find human children so fascinating? Because they do not ask much of the horse but rather present themselves so often for the horse to inspect.
You might guess from that, and you'd be correct, that I recently once again got a chance to watch Bonnie and Altea with a child. This child in particular is special. In developmental terms she is labeled, but in my terms and on my terms, she is fairy like, gentle, speculative, takes books and climbs 40 ft up in trees and sits and reads for hours.
When she met Bonnie and Altea (she new Altea before Bonnie came along) she was drawn to them strongly. For two hours recently she spent her time quietly being with them, Altea mostly given room to Bonnie to explore the child. And did Bonnie ever.
She tasted up and down her clothes, mouthed large amounts of her hair, felt her face and arms, tasted, even bit down a slight bit, on her shoes. Listened intently to the soft voice of the child, and though the child did not know about my "listening breath," exchanged breath with her too.
This child likely thinks a good deal in pictures.
I know in the past she has met new horses and gotten on them with no saddle or bridle and just sat and let them carry her around.
I have been looking for an apprentice. The model I sought was some child of riding and handling skill that is very different from this child. I think I was wrong. There is no reason to look for a convert as an apprentice, but rather I should seek out an innocent gentle child that wants to be near the horse.
I, in fact, may consider sending Bonnie to live with this child. Or invite her to live with us and Bonnie for a time. She's the daughter of friends so it's possible. She is what Bonnie believes humans are. And she is so much more in communication with Bonnie than I.
Yet she is not brave around horses. If they are energetic, as Bonnie can sometimes be, she is afraid and does not want to be with them.
Bonnie would have other horses to live with as well, two of them. And I understand the father is about to rehabilitate his pastures and improve them. And I could visit a great deal if I wished.
What do you think?