If you just peeked in on me in the midst of my chores, you’d think I was a real cowgirl. But if you stood there a little longer and looked a little closer, you’d see me kiss every nose in the herd. You’d see me lay my face on that beautiful flat spot between their eyes and talk to them. You’d probably hear me sing “My Girl(s)” at the top of my lungs with my arms around Beau’s neck watching his harem with him – or worse yet, “Candy Girl” (Sugar, ahhhh honey, honey) while laying on Sugar’s back enjoying the warmth of the sun. If it was a hot Texas day, you’d most likely catch me pulling out the hose to cool off my water lovers (even though they have two large ponds to dip in). I have, quite accidentally, taught my originals (Sugar,Beau and Belle) to come to the back door and knock for a carrot. When we sit out back in the evening, Derby and Kit come on the patio and try to join us at the table. Kit wants a sip of wine. Derby wants to sit in your lap.
In other words, I violate the personal space rule by allowing them to invade mine constantly. This is against all Cowboy codes. The reasoning is simple:(1) safety is not possible when you’re laying your face on the head of a 1200 pound animal that may decide to look up (2) boundaries are essential when you are establishing who is in charge, which leads to (3) it's imperative that you are the alpha horse if you want to avoid broken bones and unnecessary bruises. Horses, however sweet, are bigger and heavier than, well, YOU. Compare horsing around with a horse to see-sawing with a sumo wrestler - unless you convince him to put you down gently, you're in trouble.
I have basically turned our herd of horses into big dogs. Now that it’s time for our youngest ones to go into training, I am worried about how they will do with a real cowboy - someone that expects them to act like horses. This is especially a concern with Rey. She is all cow horse – born and bred to work with cattle – no doubt she’s going to excel and LOVE her job….but she’s sensitive and sweet so I’m worried about her "f e e l i n g s”. (I can hear the cowboy population howling with laughter.) Even as I'm typing this, I'm hoping my horse friends don't read this far.
I’m professing this whimpiness to you because it’s time for me to COWGIRL UP! Putting it in writing makes me somewhat accountable. Our herd is well-bred and bright. They are healthy, completely socialized with humans and horses alike, and move beautifully. They amaze me every day with their communication and problem solving skills. The only thing holding them back is ME - a proud mom having a hard time letting her kids grow up. It's time for me to stop protecting them and allow them to shine. I’m taking back my personal space and throwing them out into the real world!………....tomorrow.