Saturday, September 4, 2010

Dawn Does the Nose Rest

Here are some pictures (thanks to our sweet p.m. barn lady) of Dawn doing her nose rest thing - when I'm grooming her, she will often turn her face to me and press her nose into me, ultimately resting the full weight of her head on me. I think it's a bonding gesture for her - she does the same with my daughter. She never offers to groom or nip, there's not a shred of aggressiveness in it, she just rests there for as long as you will let her - and after a while the pressure of her weight and her teeth just becomes hard to carry. I think she'd stay there for a very long time if allowed to.

The more weight she rests, the more her upper lip is pushed up and her teeth show. I can't imagine that it's comfortable, but it must be or she wouldn't be so happy to do it.



I feel honored that she chooses to do this with me - she's a horse who needs to connect strongly with her people - it's very important to her. It feels very sweet and peaceful when she does it, and there's a strong feeling of connection with her.

17 comments:

  1. Oh, how sweet! You are lucky to be chosen by Dawn.

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  2. My Jaz does this, too. It's so sweet. He also likes to lick Mr. Fry's bald head.

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  3. Very sweet. Your connection with her has really grown a great deal, hasn't it? Or has she done this with you from the start?

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  4. Breathe - she's always done it with my daughter, but it's only recently that she's started doing it with me.

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  5. That's very sweet. Dusty does the same thing with me, their heads do get heavy after a while though.

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  6. How adorable. Times like this you wish a horse's head wasn't so heavy because then you could stand there for hours! It certainly does look like a loving gesture.

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  7. Kate, she must trust you very much to do this with you, what a sweet girl she is!

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  8. Wow. I've never seen a horse do that. (Maybe cause we don't stand still long enough). The closest I get to that is lip smacking (I could eat with you, buddy) and eye closing (I could trust you warn me of danger when I snooze) and then there is the yawn when you tell them they have really done good, it always strikes me as if they were saying, "Aaah, it was nothing really, I could do that before breakfast in the morning." And I know patting is not what horses do to each other but mine definitely know that "word" means "Good Job!" Isn't great that horses are multilingual. We need to be too.

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  9. my horse has never been cuddly but as he ages this has changed slightly - he does that muzzle rest thing that dawn is doing, and the teeth thing too. he usually stops on his own - i can tell he thinks it's intrusive. but i'll just stand there and breathe with him, enjoying it whenever he does it, however short.

    funny how they change as they get older. he is finally starting to enjoy "scritches" on his withers, this is after 22 years of me trying to find his sweet spots.

    ~lytha

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  10. Very sweet, Kate. The other folks are right, she must trust you and feel relaxed.

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  11. what a sweet gesture! she obviously loves you and feels safe
    xoxo

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  12. What lovely photos ....I love the curled up lip.
    I also had a read of your previous post. As you think back to Trix who had 4 very white legs and in our damp humid nZ conditions was prone to mud rash. I tried several things then one day got a tube of betadine ( an iodine ointment)out of our first aid kit. I smeared that on after removing the scabs and hey presto ....gone.

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  13. That's neat! I have never seen a horse do that before!

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  14. Very interesting and quite a bond being built (or already there apparently)! My horse will rest his head for short amounts of time, but not his full weight and not with a teeth reveal either! Grab a toothbrush and hit em! :P
    Very adorable pics Kate!
    Cheers,
    Mindy

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  15. I meant hit the teeth, not hit the horse, OH MY. Get me some coffee NOW! :)

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  16. Kate, these are just such expressive pictures evoking, for me, the wonder of the animal being in our lives. I can't imagine what life is like for those who never get to know this communion.

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  17. Kate, How touching to see this! I've never seen it before. What a creative way for her to tell you that you are special! Thanks for photographing it. Just a small, intimate moment of special horse-special person cuddling..

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