Today I just gave each horse a thorough grooming - it was in the 40sF with wind and the footing was terrible - packed snow and ice. I've been feeling that I've lost that close connection with the horses, and I though that some slow grooming would be one way to start to get that back. With each horse, I took my gloves off while I was grooming so I could use my hands to touch and feel them - that horse/human/horse touch is very important to our connection and it's easy to lose that in the winter.
Dawn has been distracted and overly alert, so I tried to be calm and slow with her. She's often crabby or restless for grooming, but she was pretty relaxed - I didn't get a head rest but she was paying attention to me. Pie has been very crabby - lots of ear pinning - for grooming lately, so for a change I took him out of his stall and put him on cross ties. He was very sweet and responsive - the crabbiness must be food-related - and seemed to enjoy his grooming, and his ears never went back once. Drifter has been very lively lately - he even tried to play bitey face (with my face) with me today when he was in his paddock - not OK (I was very clear with him about that) but I understand his restlessless as he's on solo turnout and has no one else to play with. He was very happy and relaxed on cross ties today and really seemed to enjoy his grooming.
At the end of each grooming session, I had each horse back a step or two for a click and treat - a nice way to end our sessions. It felt good to groom and run my hands over each horse, taking my time and not being in a hurry, and they seemed to enjoy it as well. Slow steps to regain connections . . .