Allen Pogue has huge bean bags made for horses and his horses sit in them. Before I looked at his website (www.imagineahorse.com) I’d never seen a horse sit and it looks quite strange. He teaches the foals to sit in his lap during the first two days of their lives. Older horses learn to sit as they come up from lying down.
Oddly enough, his horses seem to enjoy sitting for extended periods of time. However, I can’t imagine that horses in the wild sit. At least that’s what I thought until yesterday! I was riding in the arena and as I passed the Dutchdoor I glanced outside. There was a four-year-old sitting in his paddock. I stopped to get a better look. Yep, he was sitting. As I watched he turned his head and started scratching his thigh with his teeth. Perhaps the sitting position allows for better grooming…
Another interesting thing happened that day. The sun was shinning. It was over ten degrees (a veritable heat wave!) and I wandered into Zelador and Zeloso’s paddock. They were munching on their grass hay and I decided to sit down and watch the world go by. I positioned myself on a slight downhill slope about seventy-five metres from them. They were directly south and the pond was to my left (east). This is the infamous “pond on the hill”. When we purchased the property in 2000 the pond’s diameter was five metres. Two years later it grew to 100 metres. That’s when Bill got his hands on a very small bulldozer and dug our grand canyon from the pond to the northeast. Now the pond is forty metres in diameter. A male mallard was casing the area. He and his mate (and his parents and his grandparents and his great-grandparents, etc.) have nested here for decades. Two Canadian geese were paddling around.
As I sat on the slope Zelador glanced at me. Over the next ten minutes he casually grazed in a wide arc, heading obliquely towards me. Finally he dropped the eating pretense and walked the last eight metres and stopped inches from my feet. He looked at me. It was obvious that he was “saying” something. I didn’t move. He looked again. I didn’t move. I could hear him thinking, “Well, so much for ‘animal communication’. This lady can’t hear ANYthing.”
At that point he touched my foot with his nose. I stayed sitting. He lowered his head and nudged my foot. I stood up. He put his head towards me so I could stroke his forehead. Mission accomplished, he turned and meandered back to the hay.
I had to laugh. How many times had I touched his foot to get him to move it! And since he couldn’t “get through to me” mentally, he used my technique to communicate, figuring I should understand THAT.