Monday, October 16, 2006

Can You Hear Me Now?

Pokey looks positively ethereal in this photo, doesn't she? She looked equally placid and angelic the day she dumped me unceremoniously on my hindquarters in my own field and left me there to gasp and moan while she trotted back to the herd. It was that dichotomy that drove me to make my first contact with a horse psychic.
Tell me that you've never wondered what your animals were thinking, and I'll tell you you're lying. It's not possible to live surrounded by critters whose care and emotional well-being are in your control and not occasionally ask, "What is he thinking?" I'm sure they wonder the same thing about us, but they don't have access to telephones, so they're left without resources for uncovering our deepest desires and quirkiest idiocies.
I am not so evolutionarily limited, however, so when I reach a point where my horses and I seem to be butting heads upleasantly, I call my favorite animal communicator. My current choice is Ginny Palmieri, here in New Jersey, and I had cause to speak to her just last week. My problem? The two new boys.
Dakota, the Appy western pleasure horse, simply has not seemed interested in bonding with me. Quite the contraray, he appeared to be drifting farther and farther away until, on a recent sunny day, the prospect of being ridden sent him into a frenzied gallop around the barnyard, cries for help from his herd mates splitting the air.
Duke, the mini stallion, on the other hand is entirely too bonded with everyone and everything around him. From appearances, he believes he owns the entire place and has a bill of rights that he exercises daily, much to the consternation of family and herd.
So, I made the call. If you haven't tried this yet, let me assure you it's an experience worth the effort. The first thing Ginny told me on this particular night was that Dakota had never been read before, wasn't entirely crazy about the feeling, and asked, politely, that I stop trying to get into his head. He doesn't want to be figured out. He wants to be given a job and left alone to do it. And he'd like clarification, please, as to what, exactly, his job here is.
This made sense. I had a goal in mind when I bought Dakota. I wanted to be able to ride down the road alone on a horse with all his brain cells intact. That was it. Zip's squirrel phobia is unnerving when in strikes just as a tri-axle dump truck is whipping past on a blind curve. Leo is lovely, but he analyzes everything on the road as we go, reporting loudly and often electrically on changes in the scenery. Rat, my daughter's Morgan gelding, was the all-purpose caution-to-the-wind partner everyone chose for rambles into new territory, but he'd moved with her to Pennsylvania. We needed a replacement, and Dakota was it.
But as luck would have it, we hadn't done any trail riding at all this summer. None. Oh, we wandered around the property on the deer paths in the woods, but nothing like the ten mile jaunts on the rails-to-trails system at the end of the road. So, with my focus gone, he was confused. "He says you think his head is ugly," Ginny said. Not true, but an indication that I wasn't fussing over him the way I did the other horses.
Duke is a whole other kettle of fish. "He says you all think he's a horse, but he's only a horse sometimes. Sometimes he's a unicorn--a mystical beast--and really big and powerful," she laughed. "A unicorn. . . Zip says he's psychotic." I asked Ginny to discuss with Duke the idea that he might not be so mystical and ought to mind his manners before one of the really big horses stomps him into the ground. She tried, but he wasn't buying it. "I'm telling him," she said, "that it's not polite to come to a new place and take over. He's not getting that. You need to take him down a peg before he gets hurt."
The reading went on for an hour, and I recorded it all for later reference. The next morning I started on the right foot by grooming Dakota to a gleam, focusing on his head and his itchy spots. The boy was so happy, he couldn't do enough for me. No blasting around the barnyard, no screaming. We had a lovely ride in the ring while I discussed with him what I wanted to do, and when I turned him loose to join his buds in the pasture, he opted not to go. Instead he stayed with me in the barnyard, just hanging out and grazing. Score one for the Herd Mommy!
Duke . . . well, Duke will get his "down a peg" experience tomorrow when the nice vet comes to geld him. We're not going to breed him, so there's no point in leaving him intact and all of us at the mercy of his hormones. Ginny asked me during the reading whether I wanted her to warn him, but I thought not. Nothing says, "Calm down" like a couple of doses of Dormosedan and having your privates disassembled.
It's been ten years since my first foray into animal communication, and though I'm not always sure the information is accurate, and try as I might I often give too much information in my rush to enlightenment, still, if it only serves as an opportunity for me to focus a bit on some aspect of my horses that I've been missing, it's worth every penny.
Try it! You have nothing to lose and the insight you'll gain--if only in the sense that you realize you're someone who will call a psychic to talk to your horse--is astonishing.