Listen: Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Thanks to Finn, I listen even more carefully when my wonderful horse has “something to say”.

You’ve heard of therapy horses, but how about saviour horses? One cold fall day I went out for a ride on my 13-year-old Morgan-cross Finnegan, and as usual my dog, Tir accompanied us. The wind started to gust violently but I didn’t realize just how hard it was blowing until it almost knocked me out of the saddle while posting. Needless to say, I decided to head back to the barn, and, looking for Tir, I noticed she was running along in a neighbor’s back yard.

With the wind swirling around us, I quickly scanned across the field to check for flying debris but when I turned my attention back to Tir, she was nowhere in sight. This wasn’t unusual as she likes to range far while we’re out riding, so I continued on. But when Finn and I got level with the yard where I last saw Tir, he slammed on his brakes and looked nervously toward that property. Concerned with getting home, I asked him to move forward, but he only moved a couple steps and stopped again.

I always try to listen when Finn communicates so I looked harder. Although I didn’t see Tir, I did notice water from the pool spraying into the air and initially thought perhaps the pool filter was clogged with leaves. Then it struck me – Tir was in the pool! We galloped up to the area and there she was sinking below the surface with little bubbles coming out of her nose. Jumping to the ground, I hooked my fingers under the collar and yanked her out of the water. She immediately threw up and then started running around like crazy, probably trying to warm up.

Realizing I had left Finn all alone, I turned, half expecting him to be gone, but instead there he was, standing quietly with his head down watching the commotion. I placed Tir in my jacket, and leaned into Finn for warmth for a couple minutes before heading back to the barn.

Thanks to Finn, Tir still accompanies us on our rides. And I listen even more carefully when my wonderful horse has “something to say”.

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