Saturday, February 20, 2010

Come From the Heart


“You got to sing like you don't need the money
Love like you'll never get hurt
You got to dance like nobody's watchin'
It's gotta come from the heart if you want it to work “

Guy Clark lyrics, “Come From the Heart”

I’m singing that good ol’ cowboy wisdom today as I head out to the barn. The temperature is supposed to go up into the 40’s, and I detect a hint of Spring in the air. It’s not going to lull me into thinking that winter is over, especially with predictions of two new snowstorms heading towards us this coming week. Yet, I’m going to go over to the nursery today and pick up some bulbs to coax into bloom on my kitchen windowsill. I’ve got three orchid plants that are ready to flower any day now.

Siete cut herself yesterday on a sharp chuck of ice as she ran around in the pasture. I don’t know what was scarier, watching her slip and slide or seeing her back white sock covered with red blood. Once I inspected it, I knew it was only a scratch, even though it bled like crazy. After washing her leg off, I put Biozide wound dressing gel on it. For a moment, I hesitated because the gel has iodine in it and I knew that it would stain her white leg bright orange. The stuff works so well that I decided it was my safest, best choice. When it heals, I’ll worry getting her furry leg back to white again. This morning, everything appeared to be mending well. It was like when my daughter skinned her knee, only Siete was a calmer patient. She didn’t squirm or squeal and ignored me while she stuffed hay in her mouth.

Her acceptance of what I was doing was so complete that it made me realize how Siete has come to trust me in the same way that her mother does. I felt really good about her reaction when I entered her stall with my arms full of cotton pads, wound dressing gel, warm water and all the other first aid paraphernalia. She just looked it over with some interest and then, as I began to clean her leg, she turned her attention back to her dinner. We were so comfortable together, in her warm stall with the golden glow of the lights and the reassuring sound of horses munching hay. It made me happy.

It was such a contrast to the way that Siete acted a couple of years ago, when she had Lyme disease and it took two people to get her to take her medicine. Now, I can syringe anything into her all by myself without any problem. The consistent routines of feeding, filling water buckets and caring for my little horse over all these years have shown her that I do have her best interests at heart, and last night, I finally felt that she really trusts me.

It may not seem like a milestone to most people, but it was a very gratifying moment for me. These small victories in the barn can really make your day.

9 comments:

Lori Skoog said...

Isn't it amazing how they can feel your energy and know that you are trying to help them? I look forward to a day above 40 degrees. Enjoy.

Kate said...

You're right about how good that feels - consistent, calm handling makes all the difference.

Deborah Carr said...

I know exactly what you are saying, Victoria. I've been so moved at times when my Callie-dog just lies quietly and lets me tend to her - it's always touched me deeply to see the trust in her eyes as she allows me to pick and prod and bandage all those little injuries.

Since I have no children, this is the only chance I have to feel needed and trusted. It gives me some semblance of what it must mean to be a mother.

Grey Horse Matters said...

Sorry to hear about Siete's injury. It's nice that she's finally come to a place where she trusts you completely and knows you are only trying to help. Hope she heals quickly.

Victoria Cummings said...

Lori - I can see that Dream is beginning to feel that way towards you.
Deborah- I love your Callie. She is a really special dog, such beautiful eyes
Arlene - It was really just a scratch, but it made a mess. Thankfully, that was all it was! Hope you're enjoying this warm day.

Breathe said...

Trust is so incredible. I think that's an important lesson for me to learn as I move onward with horses. Thank you for teaching me today!

Glad it wasn't too bad of a scratch...

Jayne said...

I'm glad it was just a scratch. I've never heard of Biozide, I use Corona instead.

deejbrown said...

Those small victories are everywhere, especially when we win trust of horses or humans. Hope Siete is okay....

billie said...

Wonderful, Victoria - a testament to your patience and consistency and I think a HUGE milestone!