Kaheka, our thoroughbred, wasn’t feeling well. I suspected colic which he experiences to a minor degree from time to time, and usually a little bodywork gets him through it quickly. This time his symptoms weren’t as clear to me.
It was a rainy night and I put him in a large paddock area with 2 other horses for the night. Before I had a chance to settle him in and do some work with him, Apolinaire, the herd leader, decided to chase him around the paddock. I felt conflicted. It seemed so cruel because he was forcing Kaheka to run. Definitely not a gentle walk nor even a trot. On the other hand, if Kaheka was in fact colicky, movement is often the best thing so Apolinaire was in fact helping by keeping him in motion. It also made it easier for me because I didn’t have to walk Kaheka in the dark.
Apolinaire asked if I would trust him. I wanted to, but my fear was surfacing and creating muddy waters for me. Through the years I had learned he was a wise leader and I’d been able to be at peace with his herd behavior. Trust this time, however, was difficult.
I finally made the choice to remember who we are on this journey and decided to take a chance on trust. I felt better. A few minutes later, Kaheka pooped, a good sign if a horse is colicky. My fear was alleviated. Things were moving in his digestive track and all was well.
Off to bed.
The next day, trouble was brewing.