Levi was 6 years old when he came into my life. He was a quarter horse trained to be a cutting horse. He had the most amazing personality and loved to learn. I was able to teach him to smile in a short time and that became his trademark. It didn't matter who you were you got a big smile showing all of his teeth. Everyone loved him. He learned to count, bow, do circles at liberty and loved people. He was a ham. When we would go on a trail ride and children were around we would have to stop and show off all of his tricks. The kids loved it and so did he.
However, when it came to doing his job in the arena was another thing. We were doing a sport called sorting where you sort out 10 numbered cows from 0 to 9 on one side of a small arena in numerical order to go into another small arena separated by a small opening in the middle. It was a 2 man team, 1 held back the wrong numbers and the other 1 pushed through the right numbered cow through the opening in the middle of the two small arenas. The arena looked like a figure eight. The problem was he would buck when we went into the arena and mess up the run. It got so bad that no one wanted to ride with me. I finally had enough after one of our events where he bucked 4 times out of 5 runs and when we got home I was still really upset with him so I yelled at him. "I treat you like a king and give you everything a horse could ever want and all you do is buck with me...WHY????" That's when I heard him say as clear as if you and I were talking, "It Hurts." Well I was so upset with him I yelled back --well of course it hurts. Everytime you buck with me it makes me mad and I spur you harder. I stormed out of the stall and ran to the house. About an hour later I realized that he had just talked to me and I had heard him say very clearly-"It hurts."
I wanted to hear more. I tried talking to him again but he clammed up. I guess he saw how mad I was and wasn't going to do that again. After that I researched animal communication and was shocked that I had never known there was such a thing before so I started taking animal communication classes and haven't stopped. I love learning from all the pros and have been actively learning and listening for the past 4 years.
About 3 months after that event I found out what he meant by "It hurts". I was so frustrated with him bucking with me everytime I rode him that I decided to get another horse. Guess what...he bucked with me too. BUT harder than Levi did. I couldn't believe it. There had to be a reason why 2 very well trained quarter horses were bucking with me. It had to be my saddle. So I called the well-known saddle maker of this cutting saddle I had bought and explained to him what was going on. He said bring it over and I'll check it out. It turned out the saddle had a crack in the cantle which meant everytime I put pressure on my legs it was poking him and the gullet was pinching his withers. No wonder he bucked, I'd buck too. After I had it fixed and put it back on Levi he let out the one and only heavy sigh I have ever heard come from a horse. He was so used to it hurting that he would brace himself getting ready for it to hurt and when it didn't hurt anymore he let out a sigh of relief. It was wonderful to hear that. I just wish I had listened to him sooner.
After learning more about animal communication I realize that we humans need to listen to our animals better. They don't misbehave on purpose, they love us. But sometimes its the only way they can get out attention.