My pony really isn’t stubborn. Yesterday started out sort of poorly after discovering in the morning that my car, which just last week got a new transmission that I paid way too much for, was doing EXACTLY the same thing it had been doing before it was “fixed”. I called the shop right away in the morning, nearly in tears and they said to bring it in after work which meant getting permission to leave early. Luckily I was able to leave early but it meant that I wouldn’t be able to ride or spend time with Katai and after my recent vacation and not really spending any time with her last week that was a huge blow.
It’s not that the repair shop was going to take that much time it is just that it doesn’t make any sense to drive all the way home (the shop is about two minutes from my house) and then drive back, past work, to get to the barn. Unfortunately I am not rich enough to be able to not worry about the cost of gas so I try to make my trips count.
At any rate, I finished at the shop (still no answers) and then headed home to eat dinner and watch movies. I got home around 5:15 which is way earlier than normal and the internal debate began. It’s really not that late, I could totally make it back to the barn, its far away, a waste of gas, I miss my poneh!!!, seriously just be an adult!, pout, I wouldn’t get back until close to 10:00PM, but I want to RIDE, etc.
I miss my pony won.
I drove the 40 minutes back to the barn and proceeded to have one of the best, most productive rides with Katai that I’ve had. I feel like she was studying The Complete Training of Horse and Rider by Alois Podhajsky while I was on vacation.
She was listening to my seat and paying attention to subtleties that she hasn’t in the past and she was moving back to front at a walk. Pushing off with her hind end and letting me change her balance a bit with the reins. It was glorious! She was hot and jumpy, not really abnormal with her which is really odd compared to any other pony I’ve worked with, but she listened and just like normal our riding work was better than anything on the ground. It’s not that she doesn’t have excellent ground manners, she REALLY does, it’s just that she seems to get bored and frustrated with the simple stuff really easily and as soon as I give her something to work on she goes right into the zone. Like pony Zen.
Standing tied with hay “Gahhhh this wall is going to eats me!!!”, “I’m doing a Levade for no reason”, “What, you didn’t want me to break your grooming tote?”
Riding “Well of course I can move forward, whatever you ask”, “Oh, you want me to canter over a tarp for the first time psh no problem”, “What coyote howling, I don’t hear that I’m trotting forward with rhythm here lady, get with the program”
I actually find her extremely frustrating when I’m not riding her. I’ve never had a horse that was better behaved under saddle than when doing something simple like standing with hay to eat, or getting groomed. Again, her ground manners when she's allowed to move are impeccable but as soon as I'm asking her to stand or wait she's having a meltdown. I’ve always used those simple things as a gauge to tell how likely I am to die while mounted. With Katai that gauge doesn’t work very well. Hopefully maturity will bring a similar zen like quality to her ability to stand tied, or just be still, sooner rather than later.