Hello, my name is Linda and there are 2 horses that are a part of my family. I'm in my mid-50's and have been seeking a gentler, more cooperative way of being with them when I found this forum.
First I'd like to introduce River, my 12 yr. old gelding. I believe he is a Haflinger/Saddlebred cross. I had become timid in my riding and bought him to be probably my last horse. His former job was in a children's summer camp and his most excellent point is taking care of people. When I ride him and get scared, he says "just grab mane and I'll get us out of this." I can always trust him. Here are 2 pics, one of a head shot that shows his personality so well and one of him carrying my granddaughter, a beginning horseperson.
My other horse is named Savannah. She is a Lipizzan/Thoroughbred cross mare, 18 yr. old. She was living on the farm where I board River and the barn owner was looking for a home for her. Unfortunately she was considered to be psychotic and dangerous. Only the most experienced people were allowed to lead her, which was mostly with her rearing and dancing about. When the barn owner (BO) told me about her, I said I didn't realize there was a Lipizzan here and would love to see her, having NO desire whatsoever to have a second horse. Well, there was a look in her eye: wild but forlorn, wanting to be loved. I asked if I could lead her around for a few minutes and just talk with her. I've had horses for over 40 years and I truly wondered if this one was going to break away and gallop off. But after a few minutes of walking and talking quietly, occasionally stroking her neck, we both suddenly stopped, looked in each others' eyes and shared breath. I sighed because there was no question but what we loved each other.
Not everything was rosy from the first. Savannah fought and was still pretty dangerous for awhile, but I could see her becoming softer and gentler as time went on.
She actually played a joke on me a couple months after I bought her! She does NOT like enclosed wash stalls, but one day as we were walking together she stopped and looked into the wash stall. I said "What? Do you want to go in there??" She nudged the water hose and said "Drink." [we do talk to each other all the time] So I turned on the hose at a low pressure and offered it to her and she said "you drink first." So even though I wasn't thirsty, I drank first then offered it to her again and she said "take another drink." That's when I knew I'd been had!! Silly girl! I flicked the hose towards her and splashed her front hooves and she jumped back a step and I said "Aren't your hooves so pretty and clean now!" And then we both just laughed and laughed.
I don't have recent pics that show how much more beautiful she is now that she knows she's loved and has relaxed but I will try to get some. These 2 are from very early on in our relationship.