When I got Heidi, she hated everyone. She wasn’t scary aggressive, but she would pin her ears if anyone approached her in the pasture and every now and then she would bite. Over the past year, she has totally blossomed into quite a sweet mare. She’s always happy to see me and she doesn’t mind me being affectionate with her. I wouldn’t say she was very affectionate back, but she at least tolerated my affection.
I’ve started giving her little massages, mostly on her hind quarters, and I’ve seen a whole other side to her. She has a big personality; you never have to wonder what she’s thinking. If she’s irritated, you will know. Those ears go so far back, she doesn’t even look like she has ears. If you hit the right itchy spot, she puts her head in the air and puckers her top lip. She’s very demonstrative.
Since I’ve started massaging her, she’s gone from patiently tolerating being touched to actively seeking me out for rubs. She positions herself and swings her hip toward me when I get a good spot. Tonight I was happily rubbing her butt when she stepped backwards so that I was at her withers. I gave her a good wither scratch and she craned her neck and made her duck face. She sighed, licked and chewed, farted, the whole nine. For a horse that’s been slow to trust, I thought that was a big moment for us. The whole thing lasted close to 30 minutes and that whole time she was relaxed, focused on me, and not even interested in her hay. Usually nothing stops her from eating.
She’s a very sensual horse, for lack of a better word. She’s very tuned into her physical needs. She never passes up a chance to eat or drink on the trail, never gets too nervous to eat. Now I’m discovering that she never passes up a good butt rub either!