10 Leadership Secrets Whispered by Horses

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Annie Diaries

This is a collection of posts that I started in late November, 2000 for my blog with The Horsemen’s Voice, a magazine we used to own.

I spent the night last night with a pretty young girl who is not my wife. It was not very restful, certainly exciting, and more than a little stressful. The experience could have been hazardous to my health, but I seem to have survived unscathed.

Our PMU foal arrived on Friday. She came on a truck with ten other foals. We let all of them out into one of our pens so they could rest and feed. It was fun to have eleven little horses running around us.  We loaded nine back into the truck so that they could continue on their journey to their new homes. One that stayed went to our friends Marguerite and Bob. The other that stayed is our little Annie. She is a pretty little blue roan, about six months old.

Ever since we decided to get this filly, I had said that I would sleep outside with her to bond with her. I didn’t do it the first night because I got home from a basketball game late. But last night I was all prepared. I took my futon, sleeping bag, blankets, flashlight, gloves, and stocking hat out to Annie’s pen. It was chilly, so I quickly settled in to my sleeping bag and tried to sleep.

Annie has not let us really touch her since she got here. Nancy and I figured that we could make her endure our touch with little or no psychological damage, but why? We decided that we will let her come to us. I sat outside in her pen yesterday and read most of a "New Yorker" magazine (and we all know how long THOSE articles are). Annie would wander past me with just a little sniff while she cruised on by. I figured that I would sleep out there for a couple of nights before she would come near me.

But I hadn’t been in my sleeping bag for more than a half hour before she came over to investigate. I was looking up at her sweet face coming toward mine, then all of a sudden a hoof was on its way toward my head. I had to object to that, and she backed off. She came back, pawing at different parts of my body. I was nervous and made her go away. I realized that if I want her to trust me, I have to reciprocate and trust her. So when she circled around again, and pawed at my feet, I tried to not move. She quietly investigated, but didn’t actually touch me with her hoof. The next thing I know, her knees are buckling and WHOMP! Six hundred pounds of filly hit the ground. I couldn’t believe that she had lain down with me. I was thrilled.

For about thirty seconds.

When she was coming down, I instinctively bent my legs to get them out of her way. This is not surprising because a predator tends to curl towards a fetal position when scared. The only problem was that I had to stay that way. Annie had effectively cut off the bottom third of my sleeping bag. I was stuck in my fetal position, and not all parts of my 6′ 3" frame were fitting inside the bag. I’m used to kicking an 85 pound dog out of my way, to make room for my legs in bed, but I didn’t think it would work with a 600 pound filly. I did my best to try to get comfortable with this big lump at the end of the bed. After fifteen minutes or so of me tossing and turning and wriggling, Annie gave up and got up. I was disappointed and felt bad for running her off. But, dang it, I was cold and cramped. I could not have spent the night like that.

A while later, Annie decided to try again. This time I made sure that my legs were straight, but she still ended up at my feet, half on, half off the futon. This lasted long enough for each of us to doze off, but she got up again. Who knows why? The third time around, I realized that what she wanted was not to be near me, but to be on the futon. It’s the best place in the pen to sleep. I scooted over to the edge of the futon, and she once again plopped down, but this time parallel to my body and all the way on the futon. I was staring at a big grey butt ten inches from my face.

This was not exactly relaxing, though. I had figured out that Annie would not hurt me on purpose, but if she got spooked, she could pummel me in heartbeat. She doesn’t look that big when I stand next to her, but she looks mighty big when she is looking down at me in the dark. And those hooves seem mighty hard. And the ground shakes when she hits the ground. I’m thinking: What am I doing? Am I going to get myself killed? Did Pat Parelli really ask Andy Booth to sleep with that zorse to bond with her? Should I be wearing a helmet and a flak jacket? Is this worth it? Am I stupid? I just about gave up and almost went back into the house.

What was really interesting is that I figured out that she and I had swapped roles. I was the one saying, "Please don’t hurt me." I was the vulnerable one. I was at Annie’s mercy. I had to trust her, rather than the other way around. I think she also did her own approach and retreat when trying to get down that first time. I was afraid that she would bash me with her hoof, and I would wave my hands and speak sharply. She would back off and then approach more slowly and quietly, but I would still push her away. She had the agenda and a goal (lying down on the futon), and I had to stop resisting and trust that it would be OK. When I did, she plopped down. It was worth it for me to risk life and limb to let myself be in that position and see what it felt like.

After she got up the third time, I moved the futon so that I felt safer. I had been lying there with my head against the wall of the shed (just a tin roof closed in on two sides). I turned myself around so that I was parallel to the wall. I figured that if she got scared, she would likely move away from me, instead of over me. I felt much less vulnerable.

During the course of the night, Annie was up and down about a dozen times. I don’t think I ever got more than a half hour of uninterrupted sleep. She usually positioned herself with her butt near my head, and only a couple of times with her head near mine. I got to where I trusted that she knew exactly where she was putting her feet and would not step on me – and she didn’t. She would sniff my face, and even sneezed right in my face once, but I could not touch her face with my hand. I did rub up under her mane a couple of times, but I didn’t want to rub her body. The dew, and later the frost, was collecting on her back, and I didn’t want to rub that cold moisture closer to her skin.

Just as the light was starting to come up over the mountains, I was lying facing the wall with my legs crooked at about a 90 degree angle. Annie wandered over toward me, and instead of putting her front legs near me, she swung the back legs my direction. I cringed wondering what was next, and half expecting to be stepped on. However, she plopped her butt down in the V behind my knees. It’s the closest that a horse can get to spooning, I guess. It was also the closest she got to me all night. With the backs of my legs against her body, I could feel her breathing.

So, as the sun was about to peek over the mountains, and hundreds of sand hill cranes flying over, I got up and shivered my way into the house. It wasn’t the most restful night I have ever had, but it was one of the most wonderful. Annie let me rub her just a bit after I fed her this morning, but eased herself away. Again, I think I could keep pushing her until she stopped and faced up to me and make her accept my touch, but since I have the luxury of all this time, I will still wait until she is ready to come to me.

I think this is the start of a beautiful friendship….

jay

11/26 PM

Annie, our newly arrived PMU foal, found out today that humans are good for something after all.

We had Annie and our two other foals in the arena with a couple of grown-up horses this afternoon. We were just playing around, not really doing anything but enjoying the horses and watching them play. Our two foals who we have handled since practically the moment they were born, were, of course, not afraid of anything and were sniffing the people and playing with the lead ropes and halters hung on the fence. Annie was trying to be a part of their group, but they haven’t quite let her in yet.

At one point, I approached Annie slowly and reached out and started rubbing her butt. She decided this was not such a bad thing. As a matter of fact, she backed toward me to get more. I would move my hand further up her back, and she would move so that my hand was right at the top of her tail. Since she just moved here from New Mexico from Alberta, her coat is long and thick. It was nice to touch it. Soon, I was touching her all over, and she really enjoyed it. Maybe these humans aren’t so bad.

A few minutes later, Nancy was rubbing Annie’s butt, then stepped a few feet away. Annie followed her and offered her back end once again so that she could be rubbed. This is a long way from yesterday when we couldn’t even touch her without her moving off. I guess when you decide to take the slow and easy route, the training and acceptance comes faster. How many times do I have to re-learn that lesson?

I took Annie’s travelling halter off, which has probably been on her for two months, which is a long time for a six month old filly.

At one point our other two foals were getting a little rowdy, so Nancy sent them away and got them running around the arena, which they thought was great fun. Annie would wait for them to get ahead of her then dig in and run really fast to catch up. She was having fun. It was probably the first time she was able to really run since she was sent to auction two months ago. Before that, she was born in a Canadian pasture, and was with her mom right up to the day she was taken to the auction house. Since then, she has been locked in corrals with as many as 140 other foals awaiting transport to the US. So, we know that it must have felt good to run like the wind. And she did. I think I may have a really fast draft horse someday.

Annie’s rear end is maybe three inches taller than her shoulders, so we can see she has a lot of growing to do. Our friend said this evening that if Annie is half draft horse, it must be the back half!

jay

11/28/00

I only spent the night with Annie once, then skipped a night, and she has already jilted me. I spent most of last night out there, and she chose to sleep by herself at the end of the pen. Typical male, I don’t know what annoyed her. Typical female, she’s not telling me.

"But, Annie, what did I do?"

"Oh, YOU know."

"Know what?"

"You just know."

"No I don’t".

"If you don’t you SHOULD."

"But I don’t!"

"I can’t believe you are so insensitive."

…and the silent treatment continues.

When I went out last night, I uncovered and unfolded the futon, and Annie came over and stood on it. So far, so good. I straightened the blankets and the sleeping bag, and she was still there. But when I started to crawl into my sleeping bag, she walked off and never came back. I really don’t know what I did to make her go away.

But, seriously, the wonderful thing about Annie is that she is totally calm. She doesn’t shy and jump. If she has had enough, she just walks away. Yesterday, Nancy and I were playing with the foals out in the pasture. The two we have that we have been with since almost the moment they were born this spring, were of course right with us and playing around. Annie stood off a little bit and just watched. Nancy and I were able to go to her and rub her most anywhere. But she still says, "Rub my butt!" A while later, she was picking up and playing with a lead rope on the ground. I picked up the other end and was playing with her. One time she grabbed it and moved around so that the rope was dangling across her back. She seemed OK with that since she did it herself. But when the rope fell off, and I put it back over her, that was all she the playing she wanted. She didn’t jump, flinch, or complain. She just walked away and went all the way around the arena and back to the pens. Annie is the calmest horse I have ever seen.

So, we’ll see tonight what happens when I go back out there. Will she plop herself down on the futon with me? Or will the cold shoulder silent treatment continue?

Ya wanna know what I really think? I think that a couple of nights ago, the ground was wet enough it wasn’t comfortable to sleep on, and the futon was a welcome respite. But now the ground is drier, and even though it’s cold, it’s OK to sleep on. At least for her. I will still use the futon and sleeping bag.

It is so cool getting to know this little filly.

jay

11/29/00

A friend of mine wrote me today asking me how it feels to be marginally better than wet dirt to sleep with, and not even as good as dry dirt.

Oohhh! The truth hurts sometimes. I guess if Annie would rather sleep on dry ground than with me, it must be true.

And my own mom said, "I can’t believe how either brave or stupid you are!!" I’m getting support from everybody, it seems.

I spent some time with Annie last night. She would wander over to see me occasionally, but didn’t seem to have any interest in cuddling up to me. I might be projecting (Me? Anthropomorphize the actions of a filly? No, not me!), but I think she just wanted to annoy me. She pulled my jacket down that was stuffed into the feeder. She picked up and tossed my boots around. Then she came over and sniffed my face. I gave her a big kiss on the lips, hoping she would want to make up to me. Then she started grabbing at my sleeping bag. She was just aggressive enough to scare me a bit, so I had to ask her to stop.

Annie will quietly and sweetly come over and nuzzle my face as long as my hands are in the sleeping bag. But if I try to reach for her, she’s gone. It’s also sweet that she knows to only sniff my face, but that the sleeping bag won’t be hurt by a little bite.

These cold, sleepless nights in the sleeping bag (or sleepless bag, as the case may be) are taking a toll on me. I’m not getting my work done, and I’m getting crabby. I think I need to sleep inside for a couple nights to get caught up. My wife and the dogs might make a space for me in the bed. That filly will just have to sleep on that cold, cold ground without me.

Yeah! That will show her!

I’m sure she’s heartbroken.

jay

11/30/00

An e-mail I received:

I must have missed the beginning of this whole thread … How did it come to pass that you decided to bunk in with Annie?  Or are you trying to get Annieto bunk in with you?  And how does your family feel about this newrelationship (LOL)?Okay, I’ll try to get serious, but the cartoon image that I have of you and Annie trying to get through a night together with her pulling at yoursleeping bag is hysterical and I can’t quit giggling about it. Really,  is this about trying to meet her where she is? And I would love to see the original post(s) if the group could stand seeing them again.  Would make a great short story, don’tcha think?

Still giggling,

              Jayne

My reply:

Jayne,

Thanks to you and everyone else who has taken the time to respond to my goofy little anecdotes.Annie is our PMU foal that arrived almost a week ago. My goal is toget her to bond to me and see me as a pretty cool guy to be with. She has had very little positive human contact until this week. I knowthat we could force ourselves on her, and using pressure and release,approach and retreat, and everything else we have learned over the last few years about natural horsemanship that we could get Annie to like us, just like we have with our other horses. But Nancy and I are trying a different approach to wait for Annie to come to us. Andy Booth, Pat Parelli’s top protege, told us that to bond with the  zorse he plays with, he slept outside with her for a week. distrust and flightiness built in to her than our half-draft filly. But I thought I would try to sleep with Annie to see what would  happen.

It’s really hard to not push her envelope, especially when we really want to throw our arms around her and give her a big hug. We still touch her right after we feed her and put a hand on her until she stops moving. And the "Rub my butt" stuff started when we were playing around in the arena with Annie and other horses, and I approached her and reached out and started rubbing her butt. So, I invaded her space, but she liked it.

I don’t know where this is leading. It’s just fun spending time with her. I am enjoying letting her set the agenda and just watching her. I think most people don’t spend enough time just doing nothing with their horses. I expect to have a long and fun relationship with this young horse. I  am considering putting all the silly things I write about our relationship on our web site. If I keep getting positive feedback from people who like my posts, it will keep me writing. Writing all of this stuff down is good for me, because it forces me to think about what happens with my horses.

Jay

12/1/00

Easy to be Hard

I don’t have any cute anecdotes about Annie today, but I realized how easy it is to fall into predator mode and forget to Consider the Horse. Not once, but twice today, I pushed Annie a little too far.

As I mentioned before, we have two other foals that were born at our place six months ago. Nancy and I have been around these foals almost from the moment they popped out. They will let us do just about anything to them, and they are in no way afraid of anything we do. When they are lying down, sunning themselves, we can not only sit beside them, but sit astride them. We joke that they are dead broke at six months.  Of course we can’t really ride them, but the fact they let us sit on them while they are down is a testament to how much they trust us. Today, Nancy was loving up on the filly, and I was sitting on the colt. I can’t really put all my weight on him, but enough that he knows I’m there. He was lying with his legs tucked under himself, and he stuck a front leg out in front. I thought he was getting ready to stand up, so I started to get off him. But what he did was plop over on his side and stretch full out.

After having such a nice moment with that colt, I went over to Annie who was munching on some hay. She now lets us rub her all over her body, and is starting to enjoy a good rub between the ears. Without thinking, I kind of slumped across her back, just like I do with the other foals. The next thing I know she is crow hopping to get out from under me. I felt bad that I pushed her a little too far. I don’t think any harm was done, or at least not any we can’t undo eventually. She still lets us in her space to rub her.

Then when we were feeding this evening, we pushed a little too hard again. Nancy heard that if you measure from middle of the knee to the coronet band on a six-month-old foal, that length in inches is how tall the horse will be in hands. An old wives tale for sure, but we thought we would try it on Annie. So, poor little Annie is trying to eat her dinner, and I am standing beside her, and Nancy is trying to kneel at her feet and measure her leg with a tape measure. Annie has never seen a tape measure, and she doesn’t like it. She kept moving in a circle avoiding us, but still trying to keep her head in her food. It only took us chasing her three revolutions to realize that she isn’t ready for that. It’s so easy to get a goal in mind and think we should be able to do it, and then forget to listen to the horse.

Why is that a lesson that we have to learn over and over again?

In a little while, I am going to go out and spend a couple of hours with her, and see if she will lie down with me again. I’ll keep you posted….

jay

12/3

The honeymoon between Annie and me is over. I have decided that it is better we sleep in separate beds. I will opt for a warm bed shared with my wife and several dogs. Annie apparently prefers to sleep on the cold, hard ground by herself.

Fine. See if I care.

The last time I spent some time out with Annie during the night, I was out there for two hours, and she never even bothered to come over and sniff me. When I woke up, she was sleeping alone at the other end of the pen.

 Fine. See if I care.

While this sleeping together business seems to be getting nowhere…

Actually that’s not exactly true. I have gone somewhere: back inside. Where it’s warm.

While this sleeping together business seems to be getting nowhere, Annie and I are making progress on other fronts. She will let us now touch her all over. I wondered today how close I could come to getting a halter on her. While I didn’t exactly get it on her, we had a lot of fun. At least I did. When I first showed Annie the lead rope she picked it up in her teeth. I let her pick it up and drop it several times. When she was playing with the end of the lead rope, I took the other end, with the halter attached, and gently put it over her back. The halter was hanging halfway down her side. I laughed when Annie reached around, grabbed the halter, and pulled it off her. She looked pretty proud of herself with the halter in her mouth, and the lead line still over her neck. I thought this might be a cute trick to teach her, so I did it again. And she reached around and pulled it off herself again. I waited a couple of minutes for Nancy to return from the pasture with a horse she was going to ride. “Hey, look at this cute thing Annie does!” I dropped the halter over her side one more time. And Annie walked off.

Fine. See if I care.

I’m still chuckling at her spoiling my plan. She’s a hoot.

I followed her a ways until she stopped and I started showing her the rope again. I dropped it on the ground and dragged it around Annie, and Pony Boy who had since joined us. (Pony Boy is also six months old, and he needs his nuts nipped!) The two of them would pick up different sections of the lead rope at the same time. I’m not sure how to teach them to play tug, but it would be fun.

At one point, Pony Boy suddenly lunged at Annie and tried to bite her neck in an I’m-the-boss-of-you way. I was not able to prevent it, but I did chase him away. “She’s MY girl, and you had better not do that.” He tried again a couple of times to push her around, but I stepped in each time between them and made him go away. All of a sudden, Annie is following me around. I think I got some leadership points by protecting her from Pony Boy. At one point Pony Boy came off the ground on his front end before he realized he shouldn’t mess with me, and I got the little I’m-moving-my-mouth-in-a-chewing-submissive-motion-to-show-you-I’m-just-little action, and Pony Boy backed off. That boy REALLY needs his nuts nipped. He’s finding out that I am very nice, unless he wants to hassle my girl.

But Annie is starting to think I am the cat’s meow, the bee’s knees. She is following me more. I bet she wanted to sleep with my tonight. No way, Babe. You’ll just have to suffer. She’s saying,

“Fine. See if I care.”

jay

12/8/00

Castration, Colic decisions, and Annie’s Zen halter fitting.

After all of our discussion last week about nut-nipping, huevos, and cojones, Wednesday was Pony Boy’s day. (Of course we are talking about our little colt, not the Gawani guy who trademarked the term “Native American Horsemanship.”) Some guys seem to get squeamish about such an operation, but I don’t really. It’s something that had to be done.

What was bothering me was that my wife, our vet, her technician, and another female friend, who happened to stop by, all seemed to enjoy the procedure a little too much. There seemed to be much frivolity and gaiety around the procedure, and enough joking to make me uncomfortable. They seemed to take just a little too much pleasure in emasculating one more male.  Just when Kay, the vet, was making the incision, I was staring off into the pasture thinking about something else we had discussed (and I’ll talk about in a minute), and Kathy, the tech, slyly said to me, “You can see better from over here.” I think Kathy thought I was just trying not to look, and was trying to goad me a little. It’s gonna take more than that to gross me out! Pony Boy got up after the operation and seems no worse for wear.

The question I was pondering as I was looking at the other horses, was which ones we would spend thousands of dollars on emergency colic surgery. We did not hesitate to do it for Sadat, because he is a special horse. When Julie got sick a few days ago, the thought flickered through both of our minds, “Would we pay to have emergency surgery for Julie to try to save her life? Would we make an economic decision to put her down?” It’s a question that we really don’t want to answer. When we mentioned it to Kay, she said that we should make that decision ahead of time in case we are out of town when one colics and whoever is here can’t get ahold of us for a decision. Wow. That’s a hard one. Which one of our horses would we unquestioningly pay for surgery for, and which would we put down because they weren’t “worth it”? That’s what I was pondering when the castration was going on. I’m not sure I’m ready to make that decision.

About a year ago, I almost decided to put down a dog that had been kicked by a horse and his pelvis was shattered. He was a pit bull cross that I had picked up in the middle of a busy road. We knew he couldn’t stay because he fought with some of our other dogs. We called him Tempo, for Temporary. I came close to not doing the $1600 surgery and just putting Tempo down. But Nancy talked me into doing the surgery, and a few months later we found Tempo a wonderful home in which he is doted upon and sleeps in bed each night with his parents.

But somewhere in between a $1500 hip surgery and a $5000+ colic surgery is a line that may become too much to swallow. But if one our horses that we are planning to sell for , say, $1,500 needs a $5,000 surgery, what would we do? Again, I don’t know.

On to more pleasant things…

As part of Pony Boy’s recovery, we need to make sure that he gets out and at least trots every day. Yesterday, we took Pony Boy into the arena when a couple of other geldings were in there. We swung our lead ropes at them and got them running around the arena. The older boys were really taking Pony Boy for a good run. Today, we tried it with the three foals. None of them really wanted to run, so we brought in a couple more big boys and got them going. My big gelding, Cody, my main mount, was looking gorgeous has he trotted, cantered, and galloped around the arena. The foals got into it, as did the other gelding. It was fun to watch the five of them move around the arena. There’s nothing in the world more beautiful than watching horses run.

What took my breath away was that when we stopped, and I asked Cody to come in to me, he trotted right up to me with his head high, then dropped it down when I rubbed him some. Then he was sticking to me better than ever. He was following my every step. If I am in a round pen, or have him on line, he will come to me reluctantly after I have asked him to circle around me. Today, there was something different about him and his willingness to come in. Maybe it was because we sent them out with more energy and allowed them come in for rest.

I wonder what Mark would say about this. I didn’t think of it this afternoon, but as I write about it, I wonder if what we were doing was right, or fair, to do. Mark told me that the circle game as I was taught in PNH is unfair. We make the horse do all the work while we stand in the middle. Mark showed me how to lunge the horse while I was moving to show them that I was willing to do what they do, albeit in a smaller circle with fewer steps. Was I projecting when I thought the horses were enjoying the run because I thought they were so beautiful? It looked like fun to me. But was it fun for them? Did Cody come running to me when I asked because he had a new respect for me? Or was he just relieved he didn’t have to move any more and by being near me he didn’t have to run?

Dave Seay told us a couple of months ago that part of the weaning process should include sending the foals away so they learn to respect our space. We certainly sent them today, and it didn’t seem to hurt our relationship. But maybe they just forgave quickly. They didn’t come running toward us when we took the pressure off. Cody had been taught to do that.

What do y’all think?

After the running was over, and everyone stopped, Nancy and I played some games with the foals. Our homegrown two are good at leading and are starting to yield to pressure really well. I spent some time with Annie just getting her used to having a rope over and around her. I would let her pick up the lead rope or halter any time she wanted to. She is clearly not afraid of it any more. Nancy suggested I slip the halter on. I put the halter around her neck a couple of times, and let it go and let her pick it up in her teeth. When it looked like she wasn’t worried about it around her neck, I also slipped it up over her nose and took it off. When that didn’t bother her, I just went ahead and put the halter on.

What a cool little horse. She never was afraid, always interested, and never resistant to what I was doing to her. Once again, I approached it with the attitude of not caring if I got the halter on, and with that attitude it was easy to put it on. It’s kind of like Zen and the Art of Horsemanship. The less you try, the easier it is. The more you try, the harder it is.

So, putting on the halter was no big deal, but learning to follow a feel was a little more interesting. I asked her to come toward by pulling on the rope when I was standing right in front of her. At first she didn’t know what to do and just stood there. I stepped to the side, keeping the pressure steady so that it was harder for her to plant her feet and pull against me. She searched around a bit for the answer, but finally took a step toward me. Within just a couple of tries, she would step to the side following the feel. Not only is she calm, but she’s smart.

Do I sound like a proud Daddy? Do my evaluations of my girl’s abilities have the conviction of every Dad who knows his kid is the smartest in the world?

Getting Annie to step forward was more difficult. I was standing right in front of her, and she was not wanting to step toward me, and was even backing up. Nancy suggested that I turn my back and lead her in the direction I wanted her to go. When I did that, she took a step within just a few seconds. Nancy could see, and I couldn’t, that while Annie was resisting the pull on her head, I was also putting pressure on her by staring her right in the face, and she didn’t want to go into that pressure. When I turned away, she learned very quickly to take a step to release the pressure. Nancy suggested that when Annie takes a step I should bring the life up in my body to show that a tug on the rope means we’re going somewhere.  Within just a couple of minutes, she was walking behind me with slack in the rope. As Nancy said, “There was a whole lot of learning going on in the last five minutes.” I’ll tell you again, in case you forgot: That little filly is smart!

I know this note is getting as long as a rope, but I want to tell one more cute thing that happened today.

When we were through playing with the foals, we just opened the gate to the arena which allows the foals to wander back to the area where they spend their days. The place where their water is and where they are fed is just on the other side of the fence from the arena they were in. Pony Boy followed us out of the gate and back to his place, but the fillies stayed in there. We figured that they would find their way home. Nancy came and got me a half hour later telling me that Annie couldn’t figure out how to get back. She was standing as close as she could get to the water tank, but it was on the other side of the fence, whinnying trying to figure out how to get there. I grabbed a halter wondering if I would have to out it on to lead her. Or I thought I would push the right direction. But all I had to do was walk across the arena to the open gate and show her the way home. She followed right behind me. I felt like I gained some more leadership points by showing her how to get home. Pony Boy said, “Horse follow closely.” I guess he’s been reading Gawani’s book.

Thanks for reading all of this….

jay

5/5/01

Annie these days is just one of the herd. Along with Pony Boy and Lola, we call the the Three Amigos. She isn’t getting as big as we would have liked, but she is still a sweetie.