Monday, May 24, 2010

Trust Restored

Dr. Josef Knipp, FEI "I" judge, as quoted in Dressage Today: "If you go to the barn and the horse doesn't nicker to you . . . why do you want to go to a horse show?"

I, Fenway Bartholomule, would add that a bray beats a nicker, but the idea is the same. This whole thing is about the relationship, isn't it, between us equids and you humans? Enjoy the bond.

Today, I gave FarmWife a little demonstration of my affection to make up for several days of silent treatment. You see, going to see Dr.— scared me more than I would like to admit. I was shaking like a leaf in his torture chamber, and FarmWife was there asking me to hold still and tolerate things that no one should ever be asked to tolerate. I ran through her, shoved her aside, ignored her requests in the general pursuit of self-preservation, and generally acted like an unmulish flibbertygibbet. She could have cried at the sight of my flaring lips and my trembling legs. I really thought I would die.

The next day, and the next, things were not quite right between us. For the first time in the history of forever, I did not stand for halter-free blanketing during Saturday's rainstorm. For the first time in many months, I made a gesture of threat in FarmWife's general direction during Sunday's hoof-picking. For the first time in the history of our relationship, FarmWife saw it necessary to give me some lessons on obedience. We spent some time yesterday rehearsing our roles: me, as subject, bending to the whim of FarmWife, as ruler. She made me yield my haunches, back up in hand, tolerate grooming of my ticklish places, and so on.

Today, we trust one another again. She can do what she wants with me. As a demonstration of this, I remained in repose as she approached with breakfast. In a bold move, unprecedented in the known history of Fenway, I allowed my human to come to me while I rested. I let her crouch beside me, stroke my ears, hold my head. I breathed in the smell of her, and she of me, and I told her I was sorry. She said she was sorry too, but that she hoped I would trust her to perform Spring Cleaning 2011.

I'll think about it.

Your friend,

(Photo: the weanling human with Oliver, Citizen # 15 1/2, enjoying a quiet moment not unlike that enjoyed by me and FarmWife this morning.)


  1. Good job Fenway. In 2011, choose submit - it will be much less worse than you anticipate and in time you might even come to enjoy it like my Brown Friend whose enjoyment of a spring clean requires complete privacy from prying eyes, lest they think "something untoward" is going on!

    Also reposing together with your FW is a great strategy to adopt. The humans are usually so overcome with joy at being involved in a mutual snoozelet (especially if you have made it a hard-won thing) that you can rest safe in the knowledge that they will allow you to remain upon the ground for as long as you wish to (and beyond) out of sheer amazement and wonderment at the splendour of being in the close proximity of a curled up mule.

  2. Pants,

    I walk in your footsteps.

    Er—that is, I sprawl in your flat spot.


  3. Fenway, you are the trailblazer, lest you forget!

    Humbly yours, Pants the Mule


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