Do you ever wonder what our animals may be thinking and saying? I do!
Read what our Haflinger horse might be saying :
"Locked in the stall! I knew something was amiss this morning. To be locked in our stalls at 9:00am is unheard of. She knows we want the choice of coming and going, and it was snowing, and she knows we love snow. Do you know horses prefer to be outdoors most of the time?
She put our halters on. We only wear halters at our farm for three reasons.
- when we go on walks,
- when we do groundwork training,
- when the farrier comes.
The snow has been too deep and the ground too icy for walks and groundwork, so it had to be the farrier.
He is actually overdue for a visit. He usually comes every six to eight weeks but since our hooves grow slower in winter, it can be longer between visits. Our hooves are drier and more brittle in the winter so they do tend to chip more often though.
Do you know horses hooves are very similar to human fingernails?
I think I can deal with the stall confinement for the short time it takes the farrier. We have barefoot trims and it doesn't take him long.
Until he arrives, I can stick my head out the top of the stall door and try to catch snowflakes with my tongue, or munch on my hay, drink water, or just watch her muck the stalls and rake the barn aisle.
Sometimes I get annoyed that I am cooped up and clang the stall gate with my hoof.
I should learn not to do that because she ignores me all the more.
I just want her to know I am not happy, but deep down I know she already does. Once I overheard her say to someone who thought horses should be kept in barns most of the time, "Think how YOU would feel being locked in your bathroom!". I know she *gets* it.
They call me the curious one and sometimes roll their eyes. But I can't help it if I want to know what's going on all the time and want to help, if I can. When I was a filly, they called me a *people pony* because I was always where the people were. I wanted to be where the people were. And guess what? I still do.
People should be flattered that I want to be near them. I think they are, but I also know they want me to respect their space more. I'll work on that. Truly I will.
I noticed the grooming box is nearby. I never can contain my excitement when she picks it up; the box filled with all our grooming tools, hoping she will brush me. If I stop clanging the gate, perhaps she will. Maybe if I back up and stand still she will come into my stall first.
My dark winter coat is thick and has kept me warm all winter long and now it is beginning to loosen and thin out and it gets itchy. Did you know most horses don't need blankets in winter?
I especially love when she uses the curry comb, making circles on my body from my shoulders to my rump.
It loosens the hair and dirt and gives me an invigorating massage at the same time. Next I am brushed all over. I feel relaxed, my rear leg bent and my head lowered, I could stand like this for hours, loving every minute of it.
I hear something. I straighten up, ears forward. Do you know you can tell what a horse is feeling and thinking by watching his ears?
There's the big white truck, the farrier. I give a soft, low nicker to say "He's here", and a louder neigh to him, to say "Hello". I like to greet everyone I see.
I don't know if I really like the farrier trimming my hooves. I like the results but not necessarily the process. I have to balance on three legs while he works on one and sometimes that's not easy. It is especially hard to do with my front feet.
Sometimes I try to lean on him, thinking it will help, but I get a yank on the lead rope to hold my head up. I guess a 160 lb. man really can't hold up a 1200 lb horse anyway. That's something else I have to remember, not to lean. All in all, the trim doesn't take long, and feels great afterwards.
She always takes our halters off while she still talks with the farrier. I think it's to let us know she hasn't forgotten, that it won't be long now, and she will let us out as soon as he leaves.
I stand still, listening and waiting patiently. I know she won't keep us in longer than necessary. I trust that. I trust her.
As the stall door is unlocked, I give another soft, low nicker, saying "Thank you", as I run through the new snow to my pile of fresh hay in the outdoors",
SAID THE ( Haflinger) HORSE, Lilliana Rose
Lilliana Rose (Lilly) is one of our two Haflinger mares at Harmony Woods FarmStay tuned to what our other animals have to say :)
We consider life on our land, Harmony Woods Farm, a joyful journey. We look at what we *have* accomplished, relish in the many gifts nature brings to us, and embrace the interaction and unconditional love we have with our animals. Inspiration is all around us and we are constantly improving, providing, and initiating new endeavors to live in harmony on our farm and the earth. ~marcia simonds
I'm linking to Barn Hop #1, hosted by Amy at Homestead Revival