It has been about a month now since the wild horse clinic in Cody, just long enough for me to start wrapping my head around all that I was able to take away from the experience. The techniques and skills that I learned from watching Anna in the demo’s and from her assisting me and the others on problem areas with the horses are invaluable. Anna moves with such grace, confidence, respect, appreciation and utter love for these creatures, they can feel it and so could I. I gained a confidence of my own that week, that I really hadn’t seen since before I had my children almost 10 years ago. Confidence in who I was as a horsewoman and just as a person in the world. The project that I am about to embark upon had been such a daunting and scary endeavor to me, but I now know that I have it all within me to carry on, for the horses.
The most important thing that I learned and that will stick with me forever is that when you are working with wild horses, you are truly working with a different animal than the domestic horse that we all have come to know and love. Wild horses have a spirit, gentleness and subtlety about them and listening to that was my greatest gift. The wild horse that is now brought into captivity has been through a great ordeal. They have been stripped off their land and taken away from their families, and not by gentle methods either. Round-up’s are such horrifying and traumatic events, many being fatally injured in the process. Knowing where they have been and what they have been through, respecting them for their past experiences and the new ones to come, that is the key. Once you step into and share space with them, you instantly become a herd of two and it is your job to make sure that they can trust you. Once you listen to what they are trying to share with you, the communication becomes open ended and you can then begin to work together.
Their curiosity, resilience, willingness to please and forgiveness are astounding. Working with and viewing these horses was such an amazing experience, we truly owe it to them to protect them and their freedoms. They are in such desperate need of a voice, we need to give it back to them.
Michelle Sander ~ CO