by Kathy Rogers
“You know horses think in pictures”.
Tracy made the statement in such a matter of fact tone, I didn’t even bother to question her.
“And if you want to communicate properly with them, you have to think in pictures too”.
Well of course you do. Made sense to me. Horses are herd animals. Watch a herd of any animal traverse an open plain and you can clearly see they are well aware of each others coordinates, direction, intentions. And since they don’t have language of course their thoughts are driven by pictures.
“There’s Hajji”, I pointed as we turned the big corner at Calero Reservoir Dam. She stood among a dozen horses scattered across the huge pasture. Just a little chestnut dot on the landscape.
“It would be great if Hajji would meet me at the gate instead making me hike into that pasture”, I mumbled.
“Well, then you need to ‘communicate’ with her”, Tracy suggested.
We chuckled as Tracy maneuvered her Ford Explorer up the long and winding driveway. But I was already thinking, picturing, imagining.
As I closed my eyes I could picture her there — my pretty little apricot Arab, Hajji. I squeezed my lids tight — here I am Hajji. I’m standing at the gate. I can see the aluminum gate with its chain in place. The old bathtub with two goldfish and the big oak tree casting needed shade and cover. But ahead looms a formidable 30 foot incline to the pasture level, and then several rolling low hills with oak and scattered brush — at least 1/4 mile to where Hajji chomped her grass.
We parked and parted ways, as Tracy had her mare, Lytica in a easy to find paddock. I grabbed my halter and headed to the pasture gate, hoping to find Hajji waiting there for me.
Dream on. No Hajji. Just the gate, the tree and the bathtub.
As I began the hike up the 30 foot incline towards my destination, disappointed in my abilities to “communicate” with my horse, I was still picturing her.
She was running – fast. Mane and tail flying. Hajji is cute to look at, but her true beauty is in her movement. As I climbed the bluff, I was dreaming about a great ride.
Then, just as I popped over the summit of that first hill, a thundering blur plowed into me, pushed me back and nearly toppled me backwards down the hill.
As my vision cleared and the dust settled, there stood Hajji. Her back end down in a slide stop, and I’ve never seen such surprise on a horse face.
Apparently somebody communicated something….