Saturday, May 21, 2011

Hands on Horse Bodies

Figuring that, since the end times were to occur today, or some such hoohah, there was no place I'd rather be than with the horses and the person of my life, H.G. and I drove through the rain to the barn.

Among things I'll have to adjust to there, protocol at the new barn keeps horses indoors during heavy rain. I'm not yet comfortable with that, but nevertheless, it meant Saxony and Scout were loitering in their stalls, dry and ready for a diversion. It's been a long time since I gave Scout an epic grooming, and I've really missed it. So has H.G., or perhaps I should say that Scout has really missed him. He's very tall and early on formed the habit of placing one hand on her back, withers, neck, wherever, while brushing her with the other. Scout loves this; she relaxes completely into her inner horse. I have the notion that H.G.'s resting hand, coupled with his height, takes her back to a body memory of being a foal kept close by her mother, bumping along her side, ducking under her neck. I never see Scout so peaceful as when H.G. and I groom her together. We polished her dusty red up to a fiery auburn.

H.G. does not know Saxony well yet. I told him how she loves to have her face groomed. He spent a lot of time shedding her whole head with a soft rubber curry, whisking the loosened hairs away with a soft body brush, and this was magical to her. She stretched her neck long and low, extending her face flat beneath his long hands. I heard him talking to her softly, murmuring praise. Saxony shifts in cross ties, always wanting to be in direct visual contact with her person, but eventually she surrendered completely to the face massage and forgot about me. In time, we had her burnished to a dark liquid chocolate.

I wonder if they know how good it feels to me to groom them. I wonder if it matters to them to be put away clean and cared for, contented; I wonder if such concepts can exist somewhere in their awareness. Maybe it's just the time and attention that matters, for all of us. I owe them.


Calm, Forward, Straight said...

Loved this post :) I also rest my other hand on Val's chest or back while grooming. We usually groom ground tied, so it helps if he's feeling restless at first... and works as an early warning system if there is anything he needs to charge out and investigate :)

Wolfie said...

I, too, groom with one hand resting on Gem while I am grooming...usually on his withers, rump or back. I absolutely believe that he feels more content when he is groomed before he is put back in his stall after a ride. I think Gem likes to be groomed as much as I like grooming him. ;-)

twohorses said...

I groom them at liberty, either out in the field or in the stable with the door open, so they could leave whenever they feel like it, but they almost always stay with me when I groom them. I think they do love it as much as I do.

Once Upon an Equine said...

Scout relaxing into her inner horse is a nice image. And sounds like Saxony enjoyed her face message just as much. Lucky horses.

allhorsestuff said...

Yes, I do think they know the feeling that is RECIPRICLE(sp?) it is what they do to each other and though they are just recieveing from us, they are fine-tuned-into us too!
I have to have my hand on my mare's chest when I start grooming- if i start there...she rather dislikes the process...I use only the softest bruches and touch with her and she just mostly doesn't like the process.
Some rare days, as I allow her to much hay or grasses...she can forget what I am doing, and allow me to be filled up with grooming her, to my happy brim!