One of our volunteers, Bob, had this to tell us about his Wednesdays spent with Freya:
“As a relatively new volunteer at SAFE, I’ve really appreciated my ‘horse time’ and all that I’ve been learning. One of my favorite teachers in the last few months has been our mare Freya.
Following Sue Coulter’s grooming class for volunteers, I started getting together with Freya on Wednesday afternoons for a general grooming session. I’ve enjoyed these a lot and feel pretty confident that Freya feels the same. Our sessions have been in Freya’s paddock with a halter and lead rope. She is steady and calm and there’s been no need to tie her. This is true even in with the other mares, including the younger Rae who often tries to get attention by butting in.
Since at least one side of Freya is usually covered with dirt, including her face, I assume she must like to lie down and roll. Fortunately, she really enjoys having her face groomed, around her eyes and ears, and especially along her jaw. During a session, she’ll usually guide me back to the left side of her face and neck for even more attention – so those are favorite spots.
Picking up her feet was a bit challenging at first, but once I learned to have her take a step or two, it’s been quite easy. She also didn’t care for the sound of the detangling spray on her mane, but after a couple of sessions that passed and it hasn’t been an issue since. One of Freya’s unique characteristics is a low sort of rumble she makes when walking on a lead. Perhaps she’s commenting on her day, but it always seems relaxed and a sound quite unique to her.
At around 30 years old, Freya is in great shape and very accustomed to herd dynamics. She’s probably seen enough so she doesn’t need to take much action to hold her place in the group. However, when necessary, I’ve seen her move others away with a very focused look or even a well-placed kick.
For me, it’s been quite something to work so closely with such large animals – and working with Freya has added to my comfort and understanding. It also been very gratifying to see her relax, lowering her head and even closing her eyes at times.
It sounds like Freya’s adoption process is underway and she will soon be leaving for a new home. It has been great to have such a calm and comfortable member of the SAFE herd for as long as we have. I’ve learned a lot working with Freya and will miss our sessions, but I wish her and her new family the very best going forward.”