I think I am starting to connect with my human. There could be two reasons for this.
1. Working together in the building with sand on the floor has really improved our communication.
2. She’s the only thing that holds promise of a half decent meal while I’m being left to starve in the barren lands of Weight Watchers.
Time will tell which it is when my belly is full again!
In the sand building Kat uses her body to tell me where we need to turn, when to stop, what to step over and what speed to do it. She has to fully concentrate and focus on what she’s asking as much as I have to listen, understand and do.
On a good day we can have a clear and continual conversation about how, when and where we are going to move, together.
She makes a great fuss of me when I listen well and try my hardest. It’s only verbal treating at the moment but I’m hoping it will move on to something more acceptable in time.
In the beginning I really didn’t like the sand building. We horses feel safer when we can see all around and far into the distance – living on a hill is ideal! We can fling all our senses out far and wide to check if there are any approaching dangers.
I can’t see anything when I’m in the sand building. I can only hear noises and let my flight animal imagination do the rest.
As I couldn’t rule out the noises being dangerous – and always believing it’s best to be alive than dead – I kept myself good and ready for flight mode.
Kat would say I charged around at high speed, not listening to a word she said and making a dive for the door every time we passed it…. she’s not wrong to be fair.
I’ve really progressed from that now. I feel calm and purposeful inside the building and can put all my effort into trying to understand Kat – I need it really, she can be a bit woolly.
This is our recent session with Ross, the man who can talk horse.
I did get my feathers in a fine old twist when I couldn’t understand what Kat was asking me to do. Then again, I don’t think she really knew either so I won’t get so worried about it next time.
I wasn’t sure how these new training sessions would help our trail riding but Kat said they would improve our trust in each other, especially when we’re away from home, and help make me strong so I can carry her all day, every day.
I was hoping she’d forgotten about that to be honest.
For now, I’m really looking forward to going back home next week – to Macy and Tiger and finally some decent grassy munchies !
In the holy name of Pegasus have I been through it these last weeks.
Kat wrenched me away from my lush green grassy home and best friends, Macy and Tiger, and dumped me in a small patch of barren wasteland down at the Farm.
When I asked why in the blazing green grasses was she doing this to me, she said I was too overweight and needed some time in the Weight Watchers field.
My first days in Weight Watchers are a blur – I think I was in shock. Not only was I being starved, but I could see my field in the distance and hear my friends calling me.
My security and safety had been wrenched away from me – by my trusted human! – and I was left reeling with anxiety and uncertainty.
Things started to look up when Tia joined Weight Watchers. I have been out on training sessions with Tia and her human Jeff, so I already knew her. She is so nice that I quickly elevated her to Aunty status, alongside Tills.
Aunty Tia really helped settle my nerves and get me focused on the challenging task of finding a decent meal from the hoof sized scrap of earth I’d been deposited on.
However, when Kat started taking me away from Tia to do some training, I got my fetlocks in a real old twist. I could hear Tia shouting me this time but I couldn’t see or get to her either!
What kind of punishment is this now I thought as all self-control slipped away from me? Continually being taken away from my friends, my home, my new Aunty, my herd, my safety, my patch of wasteland?
Kat insisted on taking me away from Aunty Tia over and over though and eventually I realised that I was okay, I survived and would always get back to her at some point.
This whole experience has made me realise I am not really the girl about the field I thought I was. I am still very young and inexperienced, with much to learn.
Since this realisation, we have been joined by a third member of Weight Watchers, Freckles.
This is me welcoming her. I think she’s a regular member and a pro in finding a good square meal from a bare patch of earth.
There’s more though…
On top of all this, I’ve had horse hay fever, making it hard for me to breath properly.
The human called Vet came to see me and gave me some medicine. Vet also tried to put the stick up my bum again, but I was ready this time. The serious level of clamping and clenching I was able to produce left her in no doubt that that area of my physiology was not open for business. Literally.
My breathing is now back to normal but I do have to wear this ridiculous nose net to stop something called Pollen getting into my tubes and clogging them up again.
Big Col in the field next to ours does provide a welcome respite from the starvation and annoying head gear – he is very handsome and knows it.
His human says he thinks he’s The Dog’s Bollocks. I have no idea why he is likened to the anatomy of my canine foes, but something tells me she’s got a point.
This is Big Col demonstrating his canine credentials.
When all is neighed and munched, I am really looking forward to getting back to my lovely grassy home and herd up the hill but I think my time at Weight Watchers will be an important experience – one that will hopefully decrease my size as much as it increases my wisdom.
I wonder what Macy and Tiger will make of this new slimmed down grown up version of me!!
It’s my favourite time of year – no cold, no flies, just an endless sugar hit.
Not only does it taste mouth-wateringly amazing but, after a long hard Winter, every bit of my physiology is shouting ‘eat up all this goodness and don’t stop for anything – especially your human!’
Who am I to ignore such a direct instruction from Mother Nature?
Attempting to entice me away from this feast to embark on any amount of toil and effort for human entertainment is simply absurd.
Despite this, Kat is insisting we carry on with our training schedule – unfortunately these have now resumed after the welcome break due to the human loo roll crisis.
She says that I need to go back to work because my Winter field of Broccoli has turned into a Spring field of Haribo and it’s making me too round and too naughty.
I have no idea what she’s on about. Although, I did bite her bum the other day – right cheek to be precise.
If I’m going to be dragged away from my so called ‘Haribo field’ and asked to flout a direct instruction from Nature herself, then I need to be asked politely. Several times. Probably over the course of about 20 minutes. Or maybe 30. Depending on what day of the week it is of course. With the proviso that I may still just refuse.
Kat, however, is showing an exasperating amount of determination and patience. She loiters about, trailing after me and being so irritatingly persistent that I am completely put off my feasting. Often, I have to let her catch me, simply to stop the persecution.
This is an example of her harrassment.
See what I have to put up with?
Luckily for Kat, I’m the good-natured, easy going Cob I am. She’d be having all kinds of trouble with me otherwise…..
Because of the loo roll crisis Kat has been spending more time just hanging out with me in the field.
As a bonus, I’ve been finding out more about the trail riding journeys she has planned for us. Any bonus stops at enlightenment, I might add.
Rather alarmingly, Kat wants to go on long journeys for days on end (or even weeks!) where we travel all day and stay out all night. She says they will be her Great Escape from the hurly burly of modern human life.
I rather like the journeys I do already – from the grass, to the water trough, to the hay and back to the grass. Throw in a stop on the way for some mutual grooming with my pals and it’s time to hit the shade for a doze.
Apparently, humans also embark on such journeys to try and find themselves. I reminded Kat she was right next to me in my field so there was really no need for all the toil and hardship.
She said it was my fault she wanted to spend so much time with me because I offered peace and calm – something that isn’t readily available in the human world.
Well honestly, humans can be a bit dense at times.
If they only managed to replace their endless noise and motion with a good dose of our peace and calm, not only would they stop interfering with the balance of the planet but, they might be able to discover that elusive thing known as Themselves.
No arduous journey required. I get to stay at home and enjoy the quality grassy munchies I’m accustomed to. Job done.
Maybe an increase in my peace and calm dosage might give Kat the escape and discovery she wants without all this journey nonsense.
I will need to be a bit nicer to her, but I can work on that – a sacrifice for the greater good.
So, it appears the human loo roll crisis has changed into something more serious. Now humans can’t even leave their homes unless it’s for essential business.
Luckily, Kat visiting me once a day with my grassy munchies is classed as essential, because there’s no one else to do it.
Although the loo roll crisis is difficult for humans, I seem to have come out of it rather peachy.
Training has been replaced with endless pampering sessions in the sunshine and visits to the big building with sand on the floor for some silly antics over poles.
This is the result of one of my pampering sessions.
Look at me! Aren’t I the swanky girl about the field? I just love the way it bounces against my neck when I’m running.
As well as new hairdos, Kat’s been spending a lot of time scratching my favourite itchy spots. I’ve got a lot – my entire hairy body really. Turns out human fingernails are superior to horses’ teeth when it comes to grooming. Who knew?
I’ve also been going to the building with sand on the floor where there are lots of poles on the ground. Kat walks by my side and uses Horse talk (body language) to tell me which direction we’re going in and which poles to step over.
She does put a head-collar on me that’s linked to her hand by a long line, but she doesn’t use any pressure to guide me. I wish she would to be honest – it’s exhausting trying to understand her inept version of Horse. Shoddy is all I can say.
When we’ve practised this a bit, she’s going to take the head-collar off and I’m meant to walk by her side, going everywhere she does. Really? Can’t see it myself.
Once free of the head-collar my plan is (obviously) to go straight to the door of the big building with sand on the floor and request permission to immediately leave. Who wouldn’t?
I’m not convinced about the weird pole stuff and the less said about Kat’s slapdash efforts with Horse the better – but the pampering gets a big hooves up from me.
In fact, I’m sure Kat and I would become firm friends if she was prepared to drop this silly riding business in favour of a daily full body groom and weekly new hair style.
So, here’s a turn up for the hoof. On our training session today Tills and I discovered we might not be going on our trail riding holiday in May.
Apparently, there’s some kind of human crisis in the world and it’s got something to do with loo rolls.
So, instead of going on holiday and riding us all day, every day for 3 whole days, turns out the plan is to stay at home – and ride us all day, every day, for 3 whole days.
And, instead of carrying their underwear and toothpaste we are going to be carrying their food. If the lengthy deliberations on what to take are anything to go by, there will be much of it.
Anyone would think they’re using food to make up for the disappointment of not going on holiday… Who would do that?
They’re also planning on bringing G & T to these holiday substitute day rides. I don’t know who G & T are, but I reckon our group of 4 is fine how it is. Then I found out G & T could fit in the saddle bags, so they must be really small. I just hope they don’t cause us any bother – me and Tills have enough to cope with already with our humans.
Eventually Kat and Sara had to stop wittering on about food and riding us into the ground, and just focus on riding us – it was cold and blustery, so Tills and I were on high alert.
You can see my blond locks being blown about below.
The noise of the wind always pushes us closer to flight mode in case it stops us hearing predators creeping up. Then the leaves and branches blowing around need closer inspection than usual – just to make sure they’re the only thing moving about.
On this blustery outing we also went past the Donkey Derby field. This is where two cheeky Donkeys like to run along the fence line of their field while me and Tills go past.
I haven’t got any photos of them to show you as Kat is always too busy trying to stop me joining in the Derby. It’s quite fun as it’s a very long field…
This is Tills having a good drink while we’re out. Drinking from puddles is a key criteria for being a fully qualified trail riding horse. I personally avoid them – wouldn’t want to encourage Kat too much.
So, the loo roll crisis. Apparently, humans won’t be able to hang out with each other but they’re okay being with their animals (shame, a nice sabbatical from training would have been lovely).
Humans have also stopped using the big metal birds for travel and there isn’t as much human goings on in general.
Horses are deeply intertwined with nature and we can feel her breathing a sigh of relief for this temporary pause in human activity.
In-fact, we can just feel her breathing.
Stay safe and well humans – we need you for our soggy grassy munchies.
The male human that can talk Horse visited recently. He told Kat I wasn’t gooey enough on the inside and we need to work on improving my goo factor.
Now, he’s not making much sense here in Horse or Human language, so I’d better explain.
Gooey means soft. There is no question about my softness on the outside with my wonderful abundance of silky hair. When it comes to Kat and humans though apparently, I’m lacking softness on the inside.
Softness on the inside of a horse is a wonderful mix of calm and total trust with our human. We are happy to offer all of ourselves willingly without any resistance. When both horse and human are soft together true magic can be achieved. It’s an overwhelming feeling of pure connection and peace for both.
This is what Ross, the horse talker, means with gooey on the inside.
I’m not completely sure why I’m not gooey on the inside. I think it’s because I’ve never had a human listen to me before or ask my permission to do things with me.
I usually go along with what humans ask of me anyway as that’s the kind of good-natured, stoic Cob I am. It would be nice to be asked sometimes though. Plus, the difference of going along with things grudgingly or gooily is huge.
Kat and Echo were a big gooey puddle together. Ross thinks Kat perhaps isn’t gooey enough with me either because she’s still missing Echo too much and not giving me all of herself.
To help increase my goo factor Ross is teaching Kat to speak and understand Horse. She should then know if I’m ready and relaxed enough to do what she’s asking and if I’m doing it gooily instead of grudgingly.
If she can help me improve my goo, perhaps hers will as well.
For my first lesson I had to follow Ross and Kat by reading their body language. Ross spoke clear Horse so that was easy whereas Kat just mumbled and was a bit rubbish. I think Ross will sort her out though.
My only concern with this plan is they are cutting out my treats so they know I’m not faking gooeyness for the sake of a few hay cobs, (to be fair, I would do this).
I am however 6 now, so I’ve decided to be very grown up and work with them to try and increase my goo factor.
Back-up plan though if all fails is obviously the faking it.
Well, my days with Kat just keep getting stranger and stranger.
She put this blue coat on me the other morning.
Do I look good in this blue coat? No, I look bloody ridiculous!
Kat said rain was forecast and my own coat needed to be dry as someone called Physiotherapist was coming to check my back.
We horses need our backs checking now and again because we aren’t designed to carry humans and it can sometimes make us sore. The only thing we would be unlucky enough to carry on our backs in the wild is a lion – before it drags us down for dinner.
Physiotherapist felt all over my neck, back and general bum vicinity (yes, I know).
I was starting to feel all nice and sleepy when I heard the words ‘wobbly bottom’.
Physiotherapist was saying the left side of my bum wasn’t as wobbly as the right side and they both needed to be equally wobbly. I was just starting to quite like her.
I always thought I was the proud owner of a peachy, pert posterior. To discover it’s not only wobbly, but uneven in it’s wobbliness, is pretty shattering.
Then she pressed all around the none wobbly left side until she was satisfied it had reached an equal level of wobbliness to the right side.
Then – and you’re not going to believe this – she showed Kat how to do a wobble test on the left side – just to make sure it didn’t lose any of its new found wobbliness.
I was an ergot away from retreating to my happy place, where these insults couldn’t reach me, when Kat put my mind to rest.
She said wobbly was good as it meant my muscles were nicely relaxed and working properly. Not wobbly meant they were too tight and needed releasing a bit. Then she reassured me my bottom was perfectly peachy, wobbly or not.
Just when I was starting to get all sleepy again, Physiotherapist told Kat I might need some schooling. What? Why? I don’t think I’ve been overly naughty lately?
Apparently, the schooling she means is going round and round in circles and other fun (yes, again, I know) shapes in the building with sand on the floor.
Kat did promise Physiotherapist she would do this but the look on her face said differently. She prefers straight lines in the great outdoors, like me.
Once all the rubbing, massaging and general wobbling was done, this very strange afternoon was rounded off in a nice way. Physiotherapist showed Kat how to do some stretching exercises – with treats!
Every day I have to stretch 5 times on each side of my body and be justly rewarded with a hay cob when I try really hard.
I’m going to be trying really, really hard. A lot.