First Bodywork session – without haltering, without touching. Results were astounding. Watch closely.
Casper Day 7
Day 6, I moved Starry in with Casper. Starry is my 20 year old gelding, he lost his mate in 2017. He lives with 2 mares and a gelding, but he gets pushed around and feels disconnected. He is an amazing guy, but lately he has lost his sparkle. I’m hoping he and Casper end up as best buddies.
With a new horse in his round pen, Casper is thrilled… We had gained a good connection, yet after 6 days, he remained untouchable, in his mind and senses. The first goal in our partnership is to stand close to him and have him feel comfortable with this. We’ve achieved this. Next is to develop trust, and with his permission – touch him, groom him, lift his feet for the farrier.
After trust is developed, another goal is to be able to move him from the round pen to a sheltered paddock – closer to the house, off the road. A bad storm could hit anytime, and his comfort is my concern. Bonding with Starry is helpful as I will lead Starry where ever I want them both to be, and Casper will follow, he will not run off or leave.
This is an immediate relief and gives us time to follow the right path. Casper is highly sensing… his level of trust is minimal, and must be gained one step at a time. Over faced, he will back track. Yes, there are ways to ‘train / desensitize’ him, but those ways don’t honor and enhance his spirit, intelligence and integrity. Casper is special, slow and sure will win his heart forever.
In this video – Caspers level of comfort is less than it was before I moved Starry in with him. He is grateful for companionship, but is more hyperaware of everything around us. His ears are moving faster, in all directions than when it was just him and me. I took this opportunity to demonstrate his body language when I acted rudely, then how he changed when I gave him more space.
Casper Day 2
Building trust one step at a time. He came right up to me first thing and bumped his nose to my hand in a clear Mutual Greeting! (High Five)
Lots of Mirroring – I felt and followed what he did, where he went and in turn he followed me too. He met my dogs – all is well with that. Did I mention this guy is amazing?
Casper Day 3
This time Casper met my cat and revisited the dogs. We started off with just uncovering his hay. I went out several hours later and gave him his morning meal, with cut pieces of carrots and I brought a jolly ball. We started off clicker treating – touch the ball and get a carrot. The reasoning is – to play with me – get close to his face, take a treat from my hand. He is so polite… More play, More mirroring… I asked several times if he would allow me to remove his halter. No…
This evening I took him a bucket of water, and asked to remove his halter. He stood still, looked left, looked right, looked left and stood there, I touched the halter, he was uncertain, but I touched the strap, he stood still, I undid the strap and took the halter off… No treats, No Coercion, No Compliance – just trust… Magical…
Beginning of connection 12-7-19
I am now owned by 5 amazing horses. I love and care for them, day after day, year after year. Last week I fell in love with #5 – Casper – by the look in his eye.
Horses abandoned to live on their own, on land… Then they needed to be removed from that land – a private case, not BLM removing horses from Public lands. A rescue organization stepped up – took them all to their facility. The horses were brought back to health and given amazing care. Thousands of hours of care, love and patience. These rescue organization women and their team are astounding humans – offering their heart and soul to horses in need. The last of this group – Casper, had been at the rescue a year and a half – all the others adopted out. While caregivers fiercely bond to horses, life is taken up by many horses and a mission. The most difficult part of being a rescuer is knowing they are the middle of the horses life plan, with the awesome responsibility to keep those special ones long enough to find the perfect placement. Casper needed his forever person, and his forever mates, and things came together perfectly for us all.
When I looked in Casper’s eye, at his facial expression, mannerisms, I saw a sensitive soul – his communication is clear, every action speaks volumes. Many people who adopt horses have a job for them to do, an idea of how they should behave. Some/ most horses want to have a say in how their minds and bodies are used. Horses have every right to be treated as a partner and with decency. Humans are fully capable of listening to horses – and working in ways that enhance, not kill their spirit.
I know I have the patience, training, education and empathic nature Casper needs to connect to and gain trust. Also – most importantly – I have a lack of a goal for his ‘usefulness’ in what he will do for me. My goal is to see him blossom, and let us know how/ if he wants to fit in, share his gifts, interact, share his curiosity… I so strongly felt this adoption was the right thing to do, without considering family naysayers and friends who would say “How many do you ‘have’ now?”. We don’t “have” each other – we are here, and we seek how our lives are better together, than not.
Understanding that my life goal is saving every wild horse on the planet… this is a whole ‘other’ story… Casper created a spark in my mind… What I can do for each domesticated horse is really simple. I offer a perspective that gives horse owners, caregivers, horse handlers and the public who simply observe horses – simple ideas, communication hints for better understanding each other. I am highly empathic, I’ve done bodywork with horses since 2003, having studied constantly – almost every modality, I have lots of tips to share for others from brain science to connection, along with courses showing light touch and horses responses you can do with your horse.
I create online courses teach to evaluation areas of discomfort, and how to release tension. As far as the body work I do with horses – it is a high level of care – find primary cause of body’s issues and fix them- realignment. I’ve just completed Renee Tuckers program – Tucker BioKinetic Technique – Six of us have completed the last course – TBT Multi – Layered Alignment Course.
Casper has inspired me, I look forward to him connecting and meeting the other horses. His nature is sweet and pure. I now plan on creating online courses to teach horses’ communication and behavior. Casper’s communication is so clear – he will be the best teacher, along with my other horses interactions too.