Red and I had our first “bad” day yesterday since we’ve started working more. It was honestly a mistake on my part, and in hindsight, I didn’t handle it how I should’ve.
On Sunday, he was very stubborn and was to the point of being bad on the line. I asked him to move off, he refused and kept almost running into me (he’d stop a couple feet away) and refusing to move away. Long story short, I got frustrated so opted to take him off the line, and just groom him a bit, pick his hooves and turn him out for hay. When I checked his hooves, I realized that he had a big piece of stick stuck in his frog. Deep in there, I could barely get it out and he was obviously really sensitive. I finally got it out, he wasn’t gimpy but it obviously didn’t feel great. So I gave him the next day off. The next day, he didn’t want me to pick it still but I finally showed him that I was going to be gentle and got the job done. Yesterday, he was still stubborn with me picking it, but let me eventually. I felt on it and he wasn’t lame, and was very fresh, so I took him out to let him do whatever he wanted on the line. Walking, trotting, I let him choose his pace so I knew he was comfortable. He trotted off very well, didn’t fight me, and went about 6-7 laps before I let him slow down. I asked him to change directions, by this time he was getting tired and it was really hot anyways. Looking back, considering it was his first time lunging since he had hurt his foot slightly, I should’ve stopped. It was too hot, I was burning up and hormonal and getting mad. Let’s just say, he didn’t want to move off. He was practically begging me to let him join up, a sure sign that he’s tired. I posted that on Instagram and someone assumed he’s sick or feeling bad, so don’t freak out haha. Red gets hot easily, so do I. He got tired, just like anyone else would…I can assure everyone he’s all good 😉
Anyways, I got really mad at him for not listening. It was his first stubborn moment in so long and I got so mad over nothing. Over something that was my fault completely, and I took his halter off to turn him out and went to put my whip up…and realized that the big doofus was following me everywhere. Do y’all know how hard it is to stay mad at a horse like that? It made me feel so guilty over getting upset, and not realizing that I needed to work more at his pace. He wouldn’t leave me. He followed me to the car, I went in a few circles to see what he’d do and he kept right behind me, and he whinnied for me after we drove off.
I felt bad over leaving on a bad note, because even though he was forgiving, I was still in a mood. So, I went back that night to clear my head and just think.
And I realized that all of his bad habits are from me.
I’m not asking for pity or someone to say “Oh no, he’s bad!” because guess what? He’s 99% perfect for everyone that asks him to be and expects him to be. And that made me realize that all of his bad habits are totally fixable. And I love him so much, and I love him enough to work my butt off to get myself on the right track and in a good frame of mind so that we can work together properly.
I had a great visit with him, and as always, he followed me around in the pasture like a puppy and was glued to me. This horse humbles me so much, and is making me a better rider/equestrian and person in general. And my mother said it best… “Red’s basically a dog, he’s gonna love you through your bad days and he’s not going to hold a grudge. Whether you see it or not, I do, he loves you and you don’t give up on a horse with that much love in his heart.” She’s seen him with other people, and she’s never seen him act this way. He used to be aloof. He used to be hard to catch. He used to be stubborn, lazy, and definitely not a good “team player.” but he changed his ways for me. And that’s really great.
So, I asked a good friend of mine that rides (also Stormie and Jubilee’s old owner.) if she’d come out and help me. Give me the most hard critiques she could where she see’s fit, and get on my horse and show me things I don’t know. Show me his buttons that I’ve not been brave enough to push. She’s coming on Friday, and I’m excited. One day, we’ll get back to this…
Nice jogs and a not barn sour horse…pretty darn perfect.