Feed on

So what do you do if you need to store hay and other supplies before the forecast rain comes but the horses are blocking the entrance to the feed rooms, as they bask in the sun after a yummy lunch. Chase them out of the way? Put a halter on and lead them to another spot? Or simply explain the situation and ask for some cooperation?

The sun hung lazily in the afternoon sky, its soothing glow inviting all and sundry to rest and be lulled under its warming rays. This Anaïs readily did and was soon dozing while Farinelli stood sentry before the entrance in a virtually similar state when I arrived. Our feed supplier had dropped off a consignment of hay and other supplies at the top of the drive down to the feed rooms and walk-in shelter, because rain had made it impossible for the large lorry to negotiate it without becoming bogged down. After a few dry days I was now able to ferry the supplies down in the car.

I stopped about four car-lengths from the horses, got out of the car and approached them calmly but with intent. The horses simply carried on dozing. I went up to Farinelli, explained the situation to him as he turned to me and seemed to listen, and then, using a combination of energy, speech and body language, asked him to move a horse-length away, so that I could have access to the entrance to the feed rooms. After an initial moment of hesitation, he shuffled forward the requisite distance and stopped to resume his slumber.

Farinelli and Anaïs completely unfazed by the arrival of the car

Farinelli and Anaïs completely unfazed by the arrival of the car

Then I moved to Anaïs, crouched down next to her head and explained the situation to her. She need not move, I told her, and explained that I would drive the car fairly close to her but at a safe distance. And she did not bat an eyelid when I did just that. I reversed the car, stopped at the entrance about a horse-length away from her, and proceeded to unload it. I wished that I had a camera with me to record this, another moment of the extraordinary becoming the ordinary.

The horses were still in exactly the same position when I returned with the last load. This time I had my smartphone with me. As I had already explained the situation to the horses, there was no need to repeat this and I did not. Instead, I reversed the car as I had done before but started to take photos before I unloaded it. Eyelids drooping, the horses remained vaguely aware of me as I moved around them. After satisfying herself that all was safe, Anaïs even lay down completely until she was entirely stretched out on the ground.

Anaïs utterly at ease with the presence of the car

Anaïs utterly at ease with the presence of the car

All was silent as I stood with the horses for a while. When I moved to open the back of the car, Anaïs raised her head and then proceeded to have a roll while I unloaded the car. When I saw that she might roll into the vehicle, I intervened to persuade her to change the angle, which she did. By the time I got back into the driver’s seat, she was on her feet and Farinelli was heading towards the path of the car as I moved forward. He stopped within a whisker of the vehicle as I slowly drove off, before continuing his leisurely walk to the old bath which functions as a water trough.

Anaïs just as she was about to start rolling before I intervened to change the angle

Anaïs just as she was about to start rolling before I intervened to change the angle

This sort of interaction between horses and humans is something which has not required training to achieve, yet it is something that I have come to accept as completely normal. All that is needed is mutual trust, connection and communication between sentient beings that are fully present with each other. This is an approach that is open to every human and their horse. So why then are we not all doing this sort of thing as the norm in our everyday interaction with horses?





Equine Touch

Our Equine Touch business is called Humans for Horses, you can find our website at:


and our Facebook page at:



Horses and Humans on Facebook

May I remind you that we now have a Horses and Humans group on Facebook. If you would like to leave a comment, you can do so on this blog or on the the Horses and Humans Facebook group page. All new posts will feature on that page along with additional content posted by any of our members. Please feel free to join us at:


There is also a Horses and Humans publications page, which contains information concerning the publications released under the Horses and Humans imprint. Some of those publications will be free of charge. You will find it here:


I also have a Facebook page through which you may contact me. You will find it at:




Comments are closed.