More than 3 years ago, I wrote about how my emotions were affecting the DragonMare and how she mirrored those back at me. She was definitely the type that would react to any stress being emitted in her direction. Frankie is an extremely different horse (the actual polar opposite of her in pretty much every way), and is almost entirely non-reactive to that kind of stimuli.
This past weekend, he reminded me that he does still read me EXCEEDINGLY well. And don’t I feel foolish about it.
Because for a couple weeks now, I’ve basically been calling him a fat lazy sack of bones (very affectionately, of course). And so I’ve hopped on and expected a lazy sack of bones.
And what does he give me? A fat lazy sack of bones. Homeboy ain’t dumb, he knows this is his ticket to No-Worksville.
How do I know this is true?
Because this weekend, I was feeling particularly motivated to get a good workout in. I pulled out his figure-8 bridle with the leverage bit (we’ve been riding in his basic snaffle lately). I put my spurs back on. I grabbed my crop. I prepared to really talk him into working with me.
And I didn’t have to. He was right there working hard with me from the moment I swung into the saddle.
Turns out my lazy horse was being lazy…because I was expecting (and allowing) him to be lazy. WOW THIS IS TOTALLY COMPLICATED ROCKET SCIENCE. Not.
As soon as I brought out his “work clothes” and actually rode instead of just passively sitting on him, he was right there. Prompt upwards transitions. Correct lateral work. Adjustable gaits. You know, all the things we’ve trained him to do over the past few years.
It may sound silly that I’m absolutely giddy about my well-trained horse acting like a well-trained horse, but I am. It affirms for me that slowing down is not ruining the work we’ve put into him. He’s not going to forget all of this just because we’re not jumping every week. We’ll have to do some bootcamp to get full fitness back, but he’s holding on to his know-how and will absolutely be ready for me when I’m ready.
As long as I don’t expect him to be a pokey pony. Because then he will 100% be a pokey pony.