We share our property with my neighbor’s herd of Haflinger horses. Most of the year the pasture belongs to the horses and I take the occasional walk-through to enjoy the wild flowers. In the winter I enjoy cross country skiing, and the pasture is the perfect place when I don’t have time to leave home.
I usually ski with my daughter in a sled that gets pulled behind me.
A few weeks ago I headed into the pasture with four of the horses and they reacted with disbelief.
Hawk, the lead horse, took one look at me and the sled, and bolted. The others followed. They ran around getting more and more agitated.
I left the pasture and asked my neighbor if they would hurt us and he said, “not on purpose”. I went back to the pasture and checked in with the horses. I felt they would not be harmful, they were just startled.
After my second lap of the pasture they were still upset and it finally occurred to me to talk with them.
“Hey, guys, you are all driving horses. You have all pulled a cart behind you. How can this possibly be so foreign to you?”, I asked.
A calm look came over all of their faces. “Oh, you’re driving!”, Hawk said.
“Yes! Now please stop running around, you are making me nervous”, I said.
After that they slowing walked behind the sled, enjoying the concept of a human doing the pulling for a change!