Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Oldest Trick in the Book

After 55 million years of evolution, you gotta believe they have us figured out. So much so, that I believe there's a book of tricks hidden somewhere. They all have it. They all know the tricks. You know what I mean. Leave the reins in the wrong place - they get chewed on. Trying to take a picture - your "stone still" horse appears to be standing on an ant hill. Late for a trail ride - your horse decides the trailer is "just not for me right now". There has to be page after page of these tricks. Gotta give 'em some medication - suddenly your horse "hates" oats and molasses or tips over the bucket.

I almost fell for the oldest trick in the book. Page One. Right inside the front cover. We had taken off on our morning ride. We had about 45 minutes scheduled. I had some very specific exercises to work on. It was windy. We got about 1/2 mile out and Jessie "decided" that was far enough. The tree we've passed a hundred times was frightening. The horses in the nearby stables suddenly had horns ready to attack. She was all over the place, going everywhere except forward. And, I bit. The hook was in. She had me for about ten minutes as I worked, cajoled (I like that word), and encouraged her to move forward.

After about ten minutes I realized, this wasn't what I had come out here to do. She had tricked me into playing her game. I went back about 1/8 mile. I could "feel" the smile on her face as she thought she had won and we were going home. There was a wide enough spot, in a place big enough for us to work, and we did. We worked on the stuff I had planned. The fight was over. We were working on transitions from walk to trot to canter going both up and down. And, we had enough room to work on the flexing, bending and softening I had wanted to do. Just before we were done, we headed down to the "scariest" part of the canal and as she took a couple of relaxed steps, we turned and headed back home. I wonder if Amazon has that book...
Post a Comment