The barn owner had been nagging me to get his arse in front of my leg. I finally gave in and let her get behind me with a whip. I finally feel like he has the attention span and the fitness to handle putting his big boy pants on. I also had a friend and local advanced level eventer in the area come out. She brought her horse so we could practice focusing with other horses in the arena. She also rode my ass hard. She had me hold my crop like a jockey and whack his spotted butt. And she yelled at me to sit up and stop babying him. It was magic. I needed some tough love. Apparently so did Dickie. Three weeks later he doesn't even feel like the same horse. He moves off the leg immediately, will hold the tempo until told otherwise, and is even starting to give to give to the bridle.
Sometimes it is hard to have the peanut gallery telling you what to do and how to do it. Especially when you have experience and have a long term game plan. Things are often not so pretty when riding the babies so there are often times when you look like a hot mess even though things are on track. I also have to admit I am a bit stubborn because I had terrible experiences with "helpful" bystanders with Bre. Bystanders who thought I should be rougher, put a tie down on her, or steer clear of her altogether because she was dangerous. When Bre was Dickie's age I wouldn't own her for another year and had to balance what I knew was the right way to bring on a youngster and what I was being forced to do. I get a bit pigheaded because this is my chance to do it right. I own Dickie so I can shield him from things that permanently traumatized Bre. I need to remember though that these days I surround myself with others who share the same horse care values as I do. And in the end it is OK for me to take what works and leave the rest.
|Between cow kicking and tail swishing in protest over being told he can't just hand out and admire himself in the mirror.|
|Midtantrum pre boot camp days.|