A horse who is an introvert is pulled inwards. They don’t let their emotions show like an extrovert does. They can be overwhelmed by too much emotion from us, by being pushed too hard too fast. They need their space to think things through.
But what does that look like?
Heildorf is an introvert. He has the Z whorl with its reputation for exploding out of nowhere.
Heildorf will explode but it isn’t out of nowhere. He gives lots of warning, if we will just pay attention. While we were working this day, he kept leaving me, not physically but mentally. I decided to get some video so we could see what it is like when an introvert is gone mentally.
At every opportunity he would turn his head away from me and stare off into the distance, eyes partially shut, ears back, completely shuttered. He was perfectly still. Many people would mistake this for calm. I have to admit that I have at times.
He is actually completely overwhelmed and dealing with his fear in the only way he knows. If I keep pushing he will explode. He will bolt and try new ways to escape since his first attempt at communication was ignored.
Is a horse who is standing quietly and appears to be sleeping ever actually calm and quiet?
Most of the time.
This is where knowing your horse and paying attention to the smallest details is important. What happened before this? What does your horse do when you ask for their attention? Everything has to be taken in context. There is nothing that stands alone.
If your horse freezes and shuts you out completely when you are trying to work with him, chances are it’s more than a nap.