Saturday, May 19, 2012

happy-linger: part 2

Of course, I say to myself that Shyloh is happy. Just thinking that she is happy makes me happy. But the logical, part of me wants proof that she really is happy. Actually, I wish Shy could just acquire the English language and speech capabilities to say one compound sentence, "Yes I am happy and yes I love you, too." Is that too much to ask?
Smile? Or a big screw you?
For a horse it is, so I have to look to other signs. The most notable sign lately is her eyes. Shy has gone from frequently showing the whites of her eyes (scared eyes) to much softer eyes. They almost look sad they are so soft. She has relaxed considerably. 
Soft eyes
I have to believe that Shy is happy in her little herd of horses. She has the horses that she likes, the ones she really likes, and the ones she loves. It is so cute to hear her nicker at the horses (Chick, Ryleigh, Casi) that she loves when they walk by her stall. She is funny about her horse friends, too. Chick is her love, Ryleigh is her stall love, Casi is her buddy, Notch is her trailer love, Rambo is her show love (even though the last two are not at our barn). At the same time, Shy does not have a problem being by herself. 
Whoa grass! Shyloh's heaven
Although Shy does not come running up to me when I call her name to get her from her pasture, I think she likes me. She certainly puts up with me and has not tried to purposefully hurt me! Shy is learning that people are not bad and that they are generally an excellent source of food. I hope she looks to me as a leader. On the ground that is not a problem (usually), but she struggles with that under saddle, as do I. We are both working on trusting each other.
Loving the itty bitty grass!
Is Shy happy learning to ride and drive? Well, she likes to succeed and she like a mental challenge. She has not tried to buck me off (knock on wood). The problem arises because she likes to work on her own terms. It is yeah, you can ride/line drive me, but this is how I want to do it and where I want to go. I would have to think that if Shy was unhappy with what we are doing she would concoct some way to get out of it. I don't include the scooting, going behind the bit, and the new getting her tongue over the bit part of this being unhappy. I think if it more as tactics to do what she wants, like not use her rear end. Every time, she stands perfect for getting tacked up, no fuss. And I do really think she enjoys dressage work. . .
Running with the breeze
So based on everything I can think of, the changes I have seen since I got her, and her behaviors, Shy is my little happy-linger! I think that I have created a safe and happy place for her to be a horse and be my horse. She is able to be in her herd and do all the horsey things she wants, yet when it is time to work, she is right there with me. 

And she has not tried to run away from the barn, yet. Ha! But maybe I am just trying to make myself feel better. . .  so, you tell me, do you think Shy is happy?


  1. I think there's no doubt that Shy is a happy- linger. For a human to go the lengths you do to ensure she has the very best of conditions in which to work & play is testiment to that. People often keep horses in a manner that is convenient to them, their life & needs & seldom attempt to enrich their horse's life whilst looking in from their horse's perspectives, what they need & what makes this prey animal feel safe. I commend you for the efforts in which you go to make this little Haffie happy, I try my very best for the two I am so priviledged to have in my care.

  2. Camryn here: Hey Shy, lets get our horns together and we'll have a honking duet!!! Isn't honking a hoot!!! Oh, tell your Mom that if she brings your horn to the pasture and she honks it, you'll come right away. I know I do!

    1. Haha! I was surprised by how quickly she picked up the honking.

  3. The honking horn thing is just too darned cute! OK... Doc & Pippin.... hang on to your hats - I'm getting a horn! You'll love it. You will get treats! Its all Shy's (and Cameron's) idea!

    1. Wouldn't it be great if Doc and Pippin honked in unison?! You have to do it! :)

  4. Oh my goodness!! I totally have to get Chrome a horn. That is sooooo cute!

    I definitely think Shy is a happy-linger! How could she not be happy? :D


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