As Kaheka recovered I started letting him back out on the spring pastures for short periods of time until he adjusted. We seemed more attune than we had been. I noticed that he and I were experiencing a new synchronicity between us. Kaheka is the one horse I’ve had those experiences with more than the others. Tucked inside of me like a special note placed in an inside suit pocket, I believe that ultimately our interactions with animals can become synchronous more often than not.
The first day back on the green grasses, I felt that half an hour was right…I think it was Kaheka that decided on that. At the end of the half hour when I came to check on him, he came back into the paddock on his own. I was intrigued with the concurrence. And this pattern continued. The next day I let him out in the pasture again for about a half an hour. In 27 minutes, he came swinging his tail behind him as he returned to the paddock area.
When I was doing chores in his paddock area one day, Kaheka was lazily hanging out. His times in the pasture were not at any scheduled time. This day, simultaneously we both had the same idea. I had thought he could go out in the pasture for another 1/2 hour meal. I looked up and felt a little shot of joy as Kaheka was walking toward the gate that leads to the pasture. Perhaps he communicated it to me, or I to him, but I’d rather think we both came to it together. Whatever the case, there was a lighthearted feeling of moving in sync with each other. An effortless flow, smooth like satin.
The following day, the 1/2 hour came and he didn’t come in on time as he had the past two times. I was looking for that harmonious timing between us. However, I wasn’t absolutely sure about the time limit because most likely he could have tolerated a longer period of time. I decided to trust him. Being especially nervous about his clover intake, I would check on which pasture grasses he was eating. What I discovered in support of what I believed to be true of Kaheka, is he knows how to take care of himself. At first he nibbled in the clover patch, then moved to a mix of grasses with some clover, and finally to grasses that had no clover. After an hour came and went. I began to get nervous. I was hoping for true cooperation, not one of us always accommodating the other. My tendency was either to accommodate too much, or the opposite, being too authoritarian and controlling. Today I listened to what I felt, and I valued it as important as his. I went for the halter. With that shift in energy, by the time I got the halter, he was back in the paddock. Another lesson in finding balance.
After his first full day in the main pasture with the herd, Kaheka didn’t want to come in, nor if in his place would I have wanted it. Even the supplement didn’t seduce him. He ran away when I got the halter. I pondered the lack of synchronicity which had become the norm with this horse during this period of time.
With this quiet time of looking inward, I heard him telling me he wanted to stay out all night. I vacillated between overriding him, or allowing him to stay out even though I wasn’t happy about it. I sighed and released the either/or decision. Breathing more freely, I told him I was sure he was able to do that but it was too big of a stretch for me. I wanted to believe it, but just couldn’t act on it. I stood there holding the halter as I talked. He moved away from me and just as disappointment and frustration were surfacing in me, he circled back around to the stall and went right in… on his own, and purposefully without the halter. Remarkable. I felt the love welling up inside of me, that he was willing to work with me, to honor my own limitations (or perhaps my wisdom) and to accommodate me this time. But first I had to acknowledge my own desire.
At last Kaheka was full of life again. Running, bucking, crow hopping, and happy (me, too!). It was the first vigorous movement he had shown since his recovery! His animated and dramatic communication was exhilarating. Later Kaheka came to me in the studio and kissed me.
The vision of the colorful balloons I’d had from the start of this journey with Kaheka, reminded me of a watercolor painting I had done years ago. I looked for the painting for the prior post but couldn’t find it. I was so disappointed because days ago I’d planned to use it when I came to my prior post. Yesterday while standing in my studio, I noticed an old crinkled brown bag I’d been ignoring. I pulled out the contents and there was the painting. The timing seems synchronous with the writing of this post, as well as events I’m experiencing with another horse. It has become a symbol of triumph for Kaheka! A celebration of life.
Intro Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5