The other day, I took my friend out to our barn. She rode as a kid but hasn’t since so in some ways she’s considered a beginner again. We were considering leasing her a horse.
It was suggested we try one of the barn horses who is a beautiful BLM Mustang. I was pretty excited to get to work with him. The idea was, I would try him out, ride him a bit while she rode my horse Kiko because he’s a babysitter type horse. Then when we both felt in a good spot we would switch.
I saw but did not recognize out of my own sheer denial that when I got him from the feild and he tried to nip at me twice what kind of horse I was dealing with….but like I said out of my own “no, I’m not going to look” resistance I didn’t want to start seeing signs. So I quickly told him that’s not cool and at the same time ignored the LBI sign flashing in my head.
I got him inside and started cleaning him up, he didn’t want to pick up his feet and when he finally did, he pointed his toe down and attempted to chop strait down into my foot which I quickly removed out of the way…if I had been a fraction of a second too late he would have gotten me, and he meant that shit LOL….Hmmm…LBI sign number two…..I asked him to pick up his foot again and he waved it in the air….doing everything he could to play me so I decided to play some ground games with him.
He was doing everything he could to shoulder into me, run thru me and just utterly show me I needed to prove I was good enough for him. I got louder for him and we had some talk over what was acceptable and what wasn’t, we then had a conversation over a barrel that he knew I wanted him to go around instead of trying to crash thru me, I held my ground and won the agreement. By this time, I had proven something to him so he was a little easier but he wasn’t going to be a match for my friend, she didn’t know the games yet and I think he would have jostled her confidence which is really all she needs to get going again. So I just said to her….”No….Nope” shaking my head. Not wanting to sound too authoritive though because it is really her decision I asked her “Unless you want to try?” She said “No”…he looked a little too strong for her just yet. So I put him back.
The suprising thing to all of this was my reaction. I was actually angry. Not at the mustang…it’s not his fault at all and not at our conversation because he was starting to say “okay! I think I can deal with you.” but I figured out I was angry because I didn’t want to deal with a horse like him at that moment and that made me feel like a failure.
One of my horse goals is to eventually be able to handle all types of horses, read them, figure out what they want and need and give it to them. I want to be able to have that type of communication and timing and I’m not there yet but my reluctance to take on the challenge suprised me.
Like I said before, it’s not because the mustang was a bad horse or anything, that’s just how he is…he’s an LBI a “prove it to me” horse. I also know he rides great under saddle regardless of who it is. He’s just pushy on the ground. He’s not extreme or anything. I think some of my fustration came from working with an LBI for over 2 years. I can do it….not as good as a trainer can or someone that has an LBI of course but I CAN do it…I just at the moment didn’t want to. I felt burnt out. I didn’t like the amount of energy I had to expel just getting the communication. I got it, but I was resentful and it was all me and I guess I knew that even then and that’s why I was so upset with myself. I myself have a quiet energy with horses so I really have to raise it high when I work with an LBI. I have to be louder then I like, I have to raise all of my levels to work with them. I struggle because that’s not me naturally. I like being soft as possible and unfortunently with horses, not always is that what they want, need and even sometimes like. I have to change myself…Okay cool but changing into someone that an LBI needs sometimes drains me. Especially on my off days. As a chronic sinus sufferer, I have a lot of those and this was an off day for me.
I’m spoiled too, my horse….Left brain Extrovert….EASY AS PIE…..I get a connection with him just walking into his pasture. He’s like YAY! Lets play and eat grass…happy go lucky type with little spook. He’s just a dream. Plus working with the Nokota’s. Even being wild horses none of the Nokota’s save for ONE I’ve ever met acted like that and the one that did it was from fear. They don’t have that resistance.
I also understand why the resistance is there for LBI’s and more so for those who are school or lease horses…they are saying “I’m not your bitch, prove to me you can partner up or deal with being MY bitch.”
So it’s something I need to work on more. I need to be able to switch to that ‘mode’ even on days I don’t feel up to it. It’s also just another great reminder that mastering my emotions and self will help my horsemanship because it’s never the horse, It’s me :)