29 March 2011

The Think Tank

He came over to my right side after completing a particularly difficult task and stood perfectly still. As I waited patiently, gently stroking his shoulder, he dropped his head below his withers and I watched his lower lip droop. His tail went slack; completely still...

Compa remained square on all four feet, a sure sign that he was internal, but not sleeping. His ears fell relaxed on both sides with the openings pointing toward the ground. I was delighted. Placing himself in this highly vulnerable state of mind, he knew two things: I would not disturb him and I would protect him. This was another sign of his deepening trust in me. He completely shut his flight mechanisms down, took several very deep breaths and started the half closed lid blinking that signaled the last step heading into The Think Tank.

No movement; I did not want to disturb. I wanted to see how long he would last...

I observed him sway slightly; his knees were not locked in the normal sleep-standing-up position. He came out of the Tank slightly, saw me standing with him, I touched him and he went right back in. He went deep this time - inside this thoughts - inside The Think Tank - replaying in his mind the series of events that led up to the new thing he just learned.

He stayed in there awhile and then he came out with the customary little jerk and the surprised look on his face. His breathing remained deep and relaxed, his back, neck, shoulders and hindquarters were soft and round. We practiced the new piece in his liberty work one more time.

And once again, without fail, The Think Tank did its job. Compa performed the task like he'd been doing it his whole life.

I will not have to teach him that concept ever again. It is done forever...


  1. Did I miss something? Has he recovered from the lameness? obviously he must have. How many blogs have you written and is it possible to reread them?

  2. Hello Bev ~ Compa has recovered from his shoulder injury. His stifles are still a problem.
    You can read any of the blogs any time you wish. Go to the "Home" or "Older Post" buttons at the bottom of the blog and these will take you to a list of all the posts I've written. You can also click the archives to get a listing there...

  3. so cool!!!! Great description of that horsey phenomenom-the 'think tank'.

  4. I cant help but think that the rationality, calm and thoughtfulness that he is experiencing with, and participating in, with you are going to lead his mind to figuring out the herd....he can think it through with you, and he will take that skill and eventually solve his sociopathic faux pas behavior with the group!