Leaving The Halter Behind

Saleem and I went for a walk today. I know, nothing to write about, right? Well, for me, it was.

First off, we haven’t left the pasture since Ablaze had those nights where he started running through the fence. I have been kind of terrified to take any of my horses away from the others, for fear of keeping that “idea” alive in Ablaze’s mind. I know that if you have a young horse, that starts doing things like that, you have to stop it, before that kind of behavior becomes second nature to him.

Apollon taught me well.

Second, Saleem and I did something I have never done before, with any horse. We left the pasture, without anything on his face. No bridle, no halter. Just a lose rope around his neck.

My phone is broken, so I don’t have any pictures, but he was fantastic. He was calm and easy, he never pulled on the rope, he just followed me. The only thing that might represent a bit of a challenge with this, is keeping him straight when there are cars.

I am so used to just moving the entire horse by pulling on his face, and suddenly having to move him by his shoulder, is something I should be able to do, really, and I can, but it displays how much I cheat, as soon as there is a halter available.

This was a bit of an eye opener for me, much like it was, the first time I rode him without the bridle and I realized just how much I actually relied on the reins.

The kids back home didn’t kick up a storm over it either, so all in all, I got away with this much easier than I had expected.

Having lived 15 years with Poseidon, I did expect my kids back home to be soaked in sweat and having run around like crazy the entire time we were gone. Having lived 13 years with Apollon, I did half expect Ablaze to tackle the fence the first time he got upset, and come running after us, but no. Sure, they called out for us, but no drama.

Another reason why I haven’t had Saleem on the road for almost a year, is because his hooves are still adjusting to being barefoot. I will say, he was sore while we walked down the driveway, because we have a lot of rocks there, but once we got onto the road, and the even pavement, he seemed perfectly fine, so I remain hopeful that we are working this out as well.

And once the horses next door started freaking out, and Saleem remembered that he was Arabian, (you know, high tail, high head, “I’m wild and free and stunningly beautiful, even in my winter fur,”) he didn’t mind the rocks in our drive way, so I take it as a good sign, that he so easily ignored it, once he got distracted.

I did feel like I was crossing a bridge today, that I have been afraid to step foot onto. Bringing my horse into traffic without a halter. One part of me keeps thinking that it is crazy and irresponsible. Another part of me, always wanted that. And everything I know about Saleem, is telling me that this is the path we have to walk.

I am not ready to burn that bridge behind me just yet, (at least not with Tardis and Apocalipse,) but just taking that first step, and leaving the halter at home for the first time, that was amazing. Especially because Saleem didn’t let me down.

He never does. I should know that by now. I should trust in that. In him.

In us.

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About Starstone

-Owned by horses. Writer, Photographer, Director, Musician.
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