I’ve been thinking and evaluating recently how I am seeing less and less outright resistance in horses.
I’m talking about when a horse just says “Nope, because I don’t WANT to.” Granted, we will always see the resistance or hesitation if the horse feels there’s something to be concerned about, fear, concern, worry…whatever you want to call it, that’s natural but I haven’t been seeing the straight up just because resistance.
I was wondering if it was because I’ve been working so hard on expanding my skills, better timing, better reading, better at communicating more clearly with my energy and intent.
That made me feel pretty good as I was driving to the barn yesterday. I was about to mention it to some of my barn buddies but didn’t have an appropriate place to interject so I went on with my business.
The horses were still munching on the slow feeders but leading Kiko away from food isn’t an issue…usually.
I got his attention, was not using a halter and instead put my rope around his front foot to guide it out and make him step towards me. He abruptly raised his head, walked forward and yanked his foot with my rope right out of my hands and looked back at me like he was saying “Ya, got that?”
I had to laugh….not only because I rarely see anything like that in this horse when it comes to people so it wasn’t typical behavior but also because he feels so free expressing himself to me. Then I realized I had to laugh more at myself because that was outright, absolutely not, no way, you and what army couldn’t make me, like resistance.
The irony of it was amusing, every time I think I’ve really nailed something and even dare to ask myself “am I actually getting good at this?” the horses show me I still have so much to learn.
I see the errors of course after the fact. I now see that it was colder than normal, they were intent on eating and that’s about all they were going to do and his reaction was appropriate, he was probably thinking why I wanted to take him off the hay when it was this cold out..even a really mean lead horse wouldn’t have asked him to do that based on the conditions yesterday.
The funniest thing about it was the way he looked at me, over his shoulder with my rope tangled around his foot, holding his hard gaze. I think back now and realize how many moments he took just staring at me waiting to see if I got the point.
“Got it.” I said
He went back to eating happily.
The Irony of just thinking about not seeing much resistance and then experiencing some the same day….well it’s just knocked me back in my place. I’m very grateful my horse isn’t resistant to telling me when I’m wrong. Without that I’d be…well, much more wrong. Goofball horse, I love him for that.