If We Could Talk to the Animals
I am fascinated by means of communication which transcend our known understanding. Plato spoke of Universal Knowledge. Scientists wrestle with epigenetics – the transfer of knowledge from one generation to another, physicists ponder quantum physics, are there multi-universes? Is everything happening at the same time simultaneously in parallel universes?
On a more mundane level there is animal communication between species, and across species. That it happens is a given, the diversity of how it happens little understood.
Beyond that there is communication between humans and animals. They seem to understand us, much better than we understand them.
My partner, Gary, over twenty years ago started to ride at the Cannock Chase Trekking centre, based in Brocton back then, but now at fabulous stables at Teddesley Coppice. I rode with his daughter Sarah, then aged nine. It was where she learned the joy of free riding rather than the drudge confines of a riding school. Lisa Gregory, the owner, made an immediate impression. Vivacious, intelligent and personable, she was also clearly an outstanding horsewoman. He had been able to ride to a high standard since childhood.
Sarah loved a pony called Banner. He was never bothered about how nominally good or bad, slow or fast, temperamental or placid my horse was. Instinctively, he could just communicate. He remembers several occasions when awkward customers complained about the shortcomings of their mount so persistently that Lisa would swap mounts, giving the complainant hers, and taking the allegedly troublesome horse herself. Miraculously, the troublesome horse became the best horse on the ride, and her own mount played up the complainant something rotten!
I happened to catch the following contemporaneous blog from Lisa about a recent incident of communication between human, and horse. I share it with you verbatim:
THE BOND OF FRIENDSHIP
“Despite spending all my life working with horses there are still moments that give me goose bumps and catch at my heart strings.
Often those are moments that leave me reflecting on the bond of friendship that exists between ourselves and these beautiful and sensitive animals that share our lives.
I experienced one of those moments recently here at Cannock Chase Trekking Centre. It might seem trivial to some but it was something that really left me amazed. I will tell you the little story and you can judge for yourselves.
As followers of our Facebook page know, I am currently training our new arrival, a beautiful Andalusian mare called Nymeria. She is quite sensitive and a little bit challenging so I often work her in the arena in the evening when it is quiet with fewer distractions.
I had worked her and then turned her out. The rest of the herd were long gone so, with Nymeria loose, I walked up the field to open the gate and let her through.
Unfortunately she spotted them through a gap in the trees and became fixated that she should go the wrong way. With no lead rope or head collar I was stuck and could not persuade her to follow me through the open gate.
She was getting a little agitated when I had an idea and approached my good friend Capulate, who was grazing in the next field. As my blog readers know from when I wrote about him, he was one of the most challenging horses I have ever trained. We spent many, many hours together and as a result we have a special friendship. I love him, he loves me, simple as that.
We had a little chat and a cuddle that evening and I explained my predicament. Then I did some of my natural horsemanship join up technique and he left his grazing to follow me into the other field where Nymeria was still fretting. I really had no clue what would happen next.
I watched in delight as Capulate went straight to her and stood with her for a few seconds. Then he turned, and with Nymeria following closely behind, he led her through the gate and escorted her to her friends before resuming his grazing.
I closed the gate behind them and stood in quiet amazement. I am left with more questions than answers. How did he know what I wanted him to do? How did he understand? How did he communicate with the mare?
All I do know is that he is my beloved friend. I had a problem and he fixed it. The rest must just be magic!”