I was getting ready to meet a friend for a trail ride today and when I went to get Cowboy, after having been off for a week, he walked away from me. What? Cowboy walk away?
I got ahead of him and he stopped, I haltered and led him to a stall. He went to the end of the run and stared at his herd. What? Cowboy herd bound?
I had to walk back to the house to get the pickup and hook up the trailer. On my way back to the barn, I spotted Cowboy charging the gate (the one Beautiful had scaled and bent) like he was going to jump. What? Cowboy crazy?
I hooked up the trailer, pulled it around, got Cowboy, led him to the trailer and he JUMPED in.
Hmmmmm....at this point I was starting to think my theory--the theory of doing very little or as little as necessary--was a stupid theory after all. I started to wonder if I should have been working with him more often and what it was going to look like out on the trail. Was this going to be my Dumping Day--the day I got dumped. (Having never been dumped, I know I'm up for it, so I'm just waiting for my day.)
When I pulled up to the trail head I warned my friend that my horse was not acting like himself. (When people talk like I did, it usually makes me nervous--like they're going to be making excuses for their horse's bad behavior the whole trip. Still, I couldn't stop myself. Is it the weather? Something in the air? Memories of a bad experience from the last time out? It can't be my horse--it MUST be something else. Right?) She made me feel a bit better when she let me know her horse was also acting crazy.
Okay, it's the weather. (wink, wink)
So, not knowing what kind of horse I had today, I saddled up and climbed on, and despite a loose, barking growling dog, getting lost, turning around on a dead-end trail so narrow Cowboy had to climb up a steep embankment and navigate himself back around, a tight water-crossing, a new horse (who was AWESOME, by the way), mosquito bites and swampy, deep mud--Cowboy did GREAT!
Which leads me to the same conclusion I've come to so often--you can't always judge how the day is going to go by the first five or ten minutes.
As to my other conclusion I've come to so often, doing the least amount to get the desired result, it stays intact....at least until I meet my Dumping Day.
Happy Trails! Hang on tight and stay in your saddles!