'Non-verbal communication' skills

The last couple of days were hot here in the Zollernalb, unusual hot at all and very unusual for this time of the year. We are at the very beginning of June and had several days in the upper 80 close to 90 F.
So after Moritz showing signs of laminitis we changed the course with the meadow time and flipped to hourly grazing in the morning. Because of the heat no one was complaining.
Usually in July Point has it own reasons to flee the meadow. It started several years ago and took me some time to understand. Moritz and Point overreact with insects and start scratching feet's and heads furiously. There is no help at all and Point start to run from the meadow. Last week I spotted the first horsefly, also very early this year. I think it's around 2 to 4 weeks earlier than last year.
And here a nice story what clever Moritz is doing when I'm close and a horsefly lands on his back. It happened the first time when we were in the forest and he was the one who was allowed to run free. With a horsefly on his back, at the spot where he is not able to catch it, he trotted fast and very direct to me and positioned himself so that I can reach or catch the horsefly. That's some story for a horse, isn't it? Every year there is a first horsefly and every time I have some shock when he is coming that directly to me, and than I remember ...
So Sunday morning, I was later than usual. Ponies on the meadow, and I had my mom in my ear (on the phone). I was walking to the meadows and wanted to collect some nettle for the guys. I spotted Point grazing on a point where the grass is really short, and had a flicker of thought that this looks not right, but I was distracted with talking. Than I heard galloping hooves and a screaming Point. More galloping and I told my mom, I think I have to look ...
An all exhausted Point was sprinting along the upper part of the meadow. Pepe got it all wrong and chased Point and started a serious fight. Moritz in some kind of the middle looking left and right when the wild ones passes. When I reached the meadow Point was at the far end and looking in the direction of the safe paddock. Pepe behind him. His halter dangled from his neck, he lost it while fighting. He looked wild! I called for Point and he came in a wild gallop to me, and stopped just in front. He had several small wound from the fight with Pepe and was wet with sweat. Poor Point, the insects has driven him crazy.
I brought them all together to the paddock and took care of Point. He was exhausted and enjoyed the extra grooming.
For myself I thought, OK next round: Now the time started where Point just eats grass during our walks through the wood or in a ritual I started last year and call: 'Wayside grazing'. I have two meadows which are separated through a small 'street' out of concrete. There is no traffic. I bring Point to the bottom end and make him loose. He eats, hooves on the concrete at the wayside. And goes slowly up, until he can't stand it anymore and than trots uphill to the paddock. The shortest time is 10 minutes. He don't cares what the others are doing, just want to reach the safe heaven of the paddock.
Last night we had a thunderstorm and rain and the temperature dropped. It was a heavy rain when I reached at the paddock this morning. Point and Moritz stood in the rain and looked as if they enjoyed a shower. Last chance to bring Point to the meadow, before the temperature again will raise. And it worked this morning! I also started our jogging tour first time since Moritz hit of laminitis. The shortest round and I ran in a rain jacket and a rain hat because of the heavy rain. And you know what, when we were back at the paddock the rain stopped!
Summarizing: I'm very proud that my Ponies are able to communicate and are able to make choices for there better being. I think it worked in both directions, they learned to communicate and I learned to listen and to react. So there is a reward. The thing is with these 'non-verbal comunication' skills, it works also with humans. I very often 'know' or 'feel' things I don't know why. But I think it comes from my experience of being a part of a flock for several years and surviving on reading the signs right. After all there is a real stallion in this flock.
But among humans it's an unpleasant gift .... and this topic is worth an own post or posts. With this thoughts I'm swimming in topics like Watzlawick, gender and antrophomorphism.

At the end I have this short video from Point. I made it during one of the hot days. He was the free one and he is so relaxed. Looks like in a dream ... a white Pony comes right to you!


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