Posa’s mother is Siyone – one of the wild mustangs culled from the herd north of Vernon, BC. A month after her capture, Siyone birthed Posa in captivity at the rescue ranch. So although Posa has grown up in captivity and is comfortable with human touch, Siyone still doesn’t allow humans to touch her. And that’s a-okay with me! We have 4 wildies here who don’t want to be touched and I have told them it is their choice if they want to stay that way forever.
I think there is a huge gift that is lost when we take wildness out of creatures. Usually, we force them to become domesticated out of fear: What if they need the vet and you can’t even catch them? How are you going to trim their hooves and file their teeth? How are you going to worm them? And so on. Well, if you’ve been reading this blog – and you keep reading this blog – you will learn how horses are well capable of getting everything they need unhaltered and out of their own free choice.
Notice that I didn’t say they will be happy to do everything you think they need! They will participate in anything their body wisdom tells them they need. And many times you will not understand why they’re refusing help, or choosing pain or discomfort – you will only understand in hindsight.
The interesting thing is that although Siyone is choosing not to be touched, she has no anxiety whatsoever around her daughter, Posa, being touched by humans. Posa will even lie down with us humans, an entire field length away from mum, and Siyone shows no concern whatsoever.
Right from the day she arrived here, Posa was incredibly bold, across the board. Although she is so tiny, the other horses immediately knew she was a force to be reckoned with. I could almost see Audelina’s bewilderment as this tiny scrap wouldn’t move away from the slow feeder when Aude approached, but instead, made the “I’m a baby” face (champing her mouth open and shut) and asked to eat with Aude. Siyone and any other horse nearby would clear well out of the way, and Posa would continue to eat calmly beside giant Aude!
In the 3 weeks since they arrived, the new herd members have gone into the back pasture only once. For some reason, Kaliah (the black mustang mama) decided to follow me one day, when I invited them, and then the rest of her original herd followed with Montaro (the herd guardian) bringing up the rear. It is not the safest passage as there is a narrow path that goes steeply downhill, across a creek and steep again up the other side. The path opens up a bit, then narrows again to single-file until you’re through the blackberry thickets and out into more space again. So there are a number of places that a horse can get trapped if someone else is stampeding from behind, or turns around and decides to run back, before everyone is through.
Well, on this day, only one horse followed me as I headed to the back pasture… and that was little Posa! Yes, she actually walked away from her mama and the rest of the herd and followed me alone down to the creek. At which point we both decided that was far enough, and headed back to the herd.
And yes, I realize we are well overdue for another installment of The Empowered Mustang saga! When our story left off, we didn’t even know if the River herd and the Forest herd would even want to be integrated together. The story of how they carried out the integration is amazing, complex and nuanced. It took place over several weeks and we filmed the entire process. So once I have a chunk of time to tackle that humongous editing job, I will be able to tell/show the story of what took place. Don’t worry, it’s coming!