“She wrote a long letter on a short piece of paper.” ~ Traveling Wilburys
On the good side of things I think T-man is feeling much much better. He’s running and playing in the field more often. He obviously has energy to burn and feels physically able to burn it.
On the down side this means sometimes he has been acting like an arrogant, pushy bully. He has reared with Hubby and the Stable Boy and once with me until he realized that it was a REALLY, REALLY BAD IDEA.
T-man’s turnout is between two of his Home Girls. Since Dear One’s passing and Beautiful Boys’ leaving, Tee has decided that these Arab Chicks are his male property. I think this is why he has become such a Pig because I’ve never seen him behave in the Naughty Way he has been these last two weeks. Couple that with too much stall time (up due to storms) and not enough work (wet arena / tired owner -me) not all a good combo.
So we know the why, but it’s not acceptable. I cannot always be the one who works with him so he has to behave for everyone, not just me. Besides there is nothing I can’t stand then a B-R-A-T. After bringing up the Hooligans, it was time for Tee to learn How the Cow ate the Cabbage.
I went into his turnout which is quite large – 70′ x 340′ but is narrow. With the dressage whip whistling in the air, I pushed him away from me and he took off galloping. These hijinks went on for a while – me pushing him away and him taking off, often turning with his butt to me. Because the turnout is narrow, he would go to one side where I stopped him and I could run sideways and turn him again from the other side.
Meanwhile, Hubby walked each one of his girlfriends up the hill. That got him a little distressed. I didn’t much care. I am She Who Must be Obeyed. Twice he turned and came up to me licking. But I knew it was all a fake out. As soon as I reached for his shoulder he took off with a sideways kick.
I was quite satisfied with the thought of him having to stay out – alone – in the dark – in the rain (he had his winter blanket on) and learning that life is rather lonely when you are a bully – but that might have been just sadism on my part. I was willing to give him a chance but that was a small window, closing fast.
I got real quiet and turned my back to him, talking to Hubby who was facing me and watching Tee. After some time thinking about it, he decided to walk up to me. The first time I had to push him away again because he was not calm. Instead, I could tell he was one moment away from jumping sideways with maybe a bit of a kick to see if I was paying attention.
I’m still standing by the fence, and Tee comes again. This time he seems calmer, ears forward. I go to his shoulder and he stands still. I halter him and Hubby opens the gate which causes Tee – all TB – to quiver in preparation of bolt forward. There was a Hell No on my part – with whip to block the forward motion and ‘Tude to stop him running over me -(if you want to learn ‘Tude you just go have a talk with my pony, Pandora).
Also, you have too have the right timing to pick your battles. This comes from knowing your horse and understanding his and yours body language and personalities. T-man needs firmness but not abusiveness – but stronger then what I would give to the Hooligans who really are quite sensitive and do things out of ignorance. Because Tee knows people and has training he will often try to do Fake-Outs because he knows these fool people in thinking he is complying when in reality is he still sneaking around. He’s a slither-er-outer to coin Dianne Wynn Jones.
However, by this point I knew he was ready to give in and I just needed to show him that I was going to stand firm – literally – on what I required him to do. The open gate is another lesson. You stand and you wait. You go forward by MY request. You go forward with me in front, you BEHIND. And you damn well don’t pass me even if a Cougar is on your tail and chewing.
We did some turns. We did some stops. We got up the hill. On My Terms.