Saturday, May 24, 2008

So Much in Just One Week

Well, it has been one week now since Argo stepped off the trailer and into my heart. I never thought so much could happen in one week. Argo and I have gained a lot of ground this past week. More than I had hoped for. He is extremely calm and takes most events in stride. Watching him study events that happen around him really gives one insight to how his mind works. You can see the understanding process in Argo and it is raw if that makes sense. He is pure instinct, but yet he is still willing to try and be a part of my world. It is very rewarding to me.

There is a debate going on in my head. Even though the BLM people told me to let him approach me, I am struggling with that idea. Yes, I do want him to approach, but I also do not want him to think he is the boss or Alpha over me. I believe it will be a very fine line that I will have to draw when that moment comes. He has 17 years of experience defending his mares from any threat. Granted, he has no mares now, but I am sure he will want to defend something, that something possibly being his pen, or he may feel that for me to become part of his herd, he will need to push me around. I’m not sure as to when that day will happen, but I am watching him and learning from him.

My experiences with the stallion mind have taught me to never try to predict what is going to happen next. Always have a contingency plan, and always be ready to use it. I prefer to work with them over the mares. I know certain mares who would lay their life down for their owners; I have never experienced that yet with the mares I have had. I hope to one day, but my boys and I have always worked very well together. We have earned each others respect and they have been willing to go that extra mile for me.

My senior stallion, Malarky has shown this to me time and time again. He currently is dealing with arthritis in is his knee. We didn’t know about it until just a few months ago. When we radio-graphed his knee, I cried at the damage done. He has worked his butt off for me for the past 7 years without complaint. Never has he taken a bad step or tried to say no to something I have asked him to do. Now mind you he is lazy, most stallions are, but he has a lot of try, and he would never refuse to move out for me, even in pain.

How does this all relate to Argo? I want to earn his respect, as he will earn mine. I feel his mind will be similar to the stallions I have worked with, but yet vastly different. He has pure, raw instinct, but he is still a horse. I believe if we build our relationship on trust and respect, that we will form that bond.

Argo and I have being doing a sort of dance. I walk forward, he stands his ground. I take another step and another, pausing between each one to allow him to digest what is going on, until he takes a step backwards. I take a step back and he thinks about his next move and he usually takes a step forward, if not I take another step back and then he takes his step forward. We look at each other and take each other in, and then I step forward again, he thinks about what to do and I just patiently wait for him to relax before I move again. One step at a time I keep telling myself that is how this will happen, one step at a time. No rushing, no forcing, just patience and lots of it.

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