Since Remington’s move to Saddle Creek Farm and his new life as a “wild horse” (his descriptive word for being able to live in a pasture with his best buddies and eat grass, play, lounge around, stand out in the rain and never worry about being ridden) our relationship has reached a whole new dimension.
The decision to move him there was really his. During the first year after I bought Remy, he had a difficult time in his training as a Western Pleasure Show Horse in which he sustained not only physical injuries, but emotional and mental trauma. Also during that time, I broke my tailbone when I came off of him during a legitimate spook. After a 6 month recovery at a different barn in which I thought we both might be able to come back to the world of riding, I realized he wasn’t happy and I wasn’t ready to ride.
So when I asked him “Remy, do you want to go live on a farm, in a pasture with other horses where you won’t be ridden?”, the conversation went something like this: “Will you be there”. “Yes I will boy, but not every single day like we’ve been doing since you came to me. It’s pretty far away and I’ll be there every few days.” “Hmmmm”. “Remy, although it will break my heart, I could also find you a new person who can take you on trail rides and give you a wonderful, love-filled life?” (Remy loved being hand-walked on the trails during his recovery). “Will there be riding” (a very strong hint of fear in his tone) “Yes.” “NO!! NO riding”
Needless to say, and in spite of the fact that most horse people would think I was nuts to put a 5-year old horse ‘out to pasture’, I knew what I would do. Now, 3 months later I’m considering letting him live there for the rest of his life. I’ve never seen him so happy, so fulfilled…..and the Remington that was hidden inside that youngster who was forced into training at a far-too-young age is beginning to show himself.
This week when I went into the pasture to get him out for our walk and grooming, I performed the ritual I have of moving him and the other horses around with my body language and my energy. This establishes leadership and communication and is a gentle but clear way of helping all three boys know how to keep things safe when I’m in their domain. This time, instead of haltering Remy to take him out, he gladly followed me to the gate while I carried his halter and lead rope in my hand.
My heart was full as Remy eagerly pushed his head through the halter and gave me a look of pure delight and connection. As I kissed him on the muzzle and told him Happy Birthday (he was 6 on Monday), I reflected on how much he has changed since becoming a “wild horse” and how grateful I am for the blossoming of our relationship. I feel so blessed to be able to give him this kind of life. As I made the hour+ drive home, I reflected on the mystical ways in which divine intervention can change our lives. Had Remy not experienced those early years of strife and trauma, he would not have ended up where he is now. And I wouldn’t be able to experience this deepening, profound bond with the horse I love so much.