Chloe is getting into the morning routine. Now, she always comes to the gate, with the donkeys for a carrot or apple. Chloe reminds me of Simon, she can be a bit pushy about food. But I just put my hand up and tell her no one likes a pushy pony. We’re working on it.
Then comes the brushing. Fanny and Lulu love it, they wait their turn, like cars at a car wash. But Chloe’s not always so eager to be brushed. I remember this from when we had Rocky. When I got out the brush he would circle around and walk away from me. But if I kept at it, If I just followed him brushing as we walked, he finally settled into it.
Most of the time Chloe seems more interested in grazing than being brushed. But this morning was different. I had to follow her like I did Rocky, but then she settled in the pole barn and seemed to be really enjoying it. I got the comb and did her mane and tail. Grooming is one of those ancient and instinctual ways of bonding. Animals do it to each other, people do it to each other and people do it to animals. It’s nurturing and nourishing. It connects us physically in a gentle and soothing way. It says “I care” and “you are worthy”.
When I was done combing Chloe’s tail, unlike the other times, she didn’t run off to graze. She just stood there. So I draped myself over her back and we stayed like that for a while. Just being together. At one point she made some nickering noises. Fanny and Lulu stood quietly with us. I knew we were connecting in a new way. Just enjoying being in the presence of each other. Learning to trust.
I felt like this was as important as when I last rode her and was able to keep her from running back to the barn. It was deeper than that for sure. When she did walk away, before going to graze, she got on her back and rolled. I left feeling like something special happened and thinking I wanted more of it.