Danny soon established himself at the bottom of the pecking order! I did feel sorry for him! He was all but ignored by Magnum and Ducati – unless he was in the way. Still he seemed to be in a world of his own.
The friend who had looked at him, had decided she would put her horse plans on hold – so Danny was mine. I rode him once or twice in the small paddock. He had no idea of direction and he didn’t really respond when I tried to turn him. My other friend came around to observe. Yes – he did seem vague…. but I was riding him!!!
Then something happened one day. I had to go down to the bottom paddock to get him. He certainly wouldn’t come when called. He would also stop every second step and refuse to walk – then finally he would come – only to stop again – it took a long time to walk up the hill! On this day he was lame – and on this particular day the friend who had originally looked at him was coming to ride him!
There was no way I could get him to the top paddock – so when she arrived we headed down just to brush him etc. Now I had noticed he wasn’t very happy to be brushed – and on this day he lunged at my friend when she tried to brush him. We left him alone…
The next day he came up for a feed – no limping – he was fine. I took him over to the small paddock and thought about my own behaviour since he had arrived.. What was I thinking?? How could I be so selfish??? Danny had arrived here from a place that I can only describe as hell for horses. I had proceeded to want to ride him – almost straight away. There had really been no consideration for his wellbeing. Was I any better than his previous owner???
I took a good look at him – in particular his coat. His skin was flakey. He obviously had rain scald all over him. He didn’t have bare patches – but his coat looked dry and rough. Rain scald is quite common in our climate but Magnum and Ducati had never been affected. It was hurting him each time he was brushed – and I imagine the saddle was really uncomfortable.
I looked at his feet. Our farrier was yet to visit so his hooves hadn’t been trimmed. The hooves were split – again – not uncommon in our climate – but it would add to his discomfort.
Then I thought about his mental state. Who knows what he had been through. I shudder to think what sort of training he’d had. What suffering had he been through to have the degree of scarring on his legs – and what about the permanent halter mark…. And now he was at a new home – I didn’t know what sort of adjustments a horse had to make.
I apologised to him. I was ashamed – as someone who had recently started communicating with animals I hadn’t even taken the time with him – I hadn’t tried to connect with him – I had used him like a selfish human – just to satisfy my own needs.
I then tried to right my wrongs. I wasn’t going to ride him again until I had his rain scald under control – and his feet trimmed and examined.
I felt quite different about him compared to Magnum and Ducati. I was aware of my lack of feeling for him. Why did I feel like that? Was it because I didn’t feel scared of him, because he was almost a herd outcast?? Was it because he didn’t seem very smart??? Was it because he was exactly the type of horse I never wanted??? I didn’t know. At least I was aware of how I felt.
Ohh – I had a lot to learn!!!
I tried to talk to him …. no response….. okay…. fair enough….
COMING UP – DANNY – REPAIRING THE DAMAGE DONE…
IF YOU ARE NEW TO THIS STORY, PLEASE START HERE AT THE BEGINNING – Part 1 – An Introduction