Tough Love



I don’t think Evans got much sleep last night. The instructions on the board yesterday afternoon sent him into a spin. Please, he pleaded with me, these are my babies, why are you separating them? But I am leaving Pale and Crumble together, I reasoned. Please, not my babies, Evans cried. Evans, I further reasoned, even children have to leave their families to go to school, to further their education. Please not my babies, why are you punishing them? – was Evans’ reply. But Evans, Moonlight and Fresh are bullying Fly, I reasoned. Please, not my babies, Fly runs around and excites them. But Evans, Fly is terrified of them, he hasn’t eaten his grass for two days because he is so scared of them, I further reasoned. Please, not my babies, Fly is playing with them and teasing them. Evans, I finally reasoned, if Moonlight and Fresh start to bully the children like they bully Fly, that will not be nice. Because when all four of your babies are together, they gang up on the other horses, and the other horses are scared of them, so on Saturday with the girls, Moonlight thought he could bully them just like he bullies Fly, that was not nice of him. Please, not my babies, those girls were too loud for Moonlight, he likes quiet people. Those other horses will hurt them and they will be all alone.

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No amount of explaining my actions, of reasoning, of placating, could console Evans. He was distraught. So this morning, after being assured that this was only a morning thing, he very solemnly carried out my orders and separated his babies.

And Moonlight and Fresh quietly grazed away their morning, occasionally calling out to make sure their special herd was safe, but basically getting on with their new herds, not bullying, and in return not being bullied. they emerged unscathed and trauma free, and, I am hoping, less inclined to bully others who are not part of their four man herd. And Evans? After watching this afternoon’s session in which both of the boys took part, he cheerfully told me that it was ok to punish them now!

Isn’t it always the parents who suffer more than the children??






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