Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Silly, Silly, Silly Me

Do you ever look back at your old self and laugh, Silly, silly, silly me? That is what I did this morning, looking back on yesterday.

I remember a thought, quite small, and fleeting, going through my head while working with Tumbleweed: Is he going to be so laid back that I get bored? 

First off, a thought like that jinxes you on the spot. An invisible lightning bolt rains down from the sky and zaps the moment. Fate rubs its hands, up in heaven, and gets a gleeful smirk--wait until tomorrow, hehehe. This is going to be fun!

And there you are, innocently walking into your tomorrow, with the foolishness of yesterday, and your horse takes a bite at your arm while you're saddling up.


Me: Ahem, where did that come from, Tweed? Wake up on the wrong side of the bed, er, stall? 

Tweed: Uh huh, whatever. Looks away. Thinks to himself: I've got lots more where that came from, lady.

Sometimes, it is very, very difficult to separate the horse you have today from the one you THINK you have. Both good and bad. You have a bad day with your horse, and the next day, you're still holding it against him, and a bit nervous. Or, in my case, you have several amazing days with your horse, and the next day you think he's still golden, even when he presents evidence otherwise. 

Usually, I put Tweed out to graze in the evenings, and stall in the morning, but for some reason, I let him out last evening, but he wanted in around 9:30, so he was in his stall all night. I have no doubt, that little change made a big difference.

We worked on 4 point turns. No problem. But there was squealing going on over in the mare herd, and Tweed kept looking over.

Off to the large circle work. Walk? yes. Trot. yes. Lope? Um, no. There was some heavy duty bucking going on.  I stopped and examined his tack, but it was all good.  I examined his body, it was also good.  We started again, and continued until he did smooth lead transitions, then quickly ended on a good note, because he was starting to sweat, I was starting to sweat, and it was already getting dang hot!

At that point, it was sinking in that he was, indeed, a different Tweed. And I dug for Sarah's advice--what was that thing she like, if you don't have their attention, don't get on.

But I had plans to ride, darn it! We were going to do pole work, darn it! 

I grabbed his halter and mecate, and figured I'd at least do some bending, backing, disengaging, and softening in the bit from the ground. 

We did this little exercise of bending and disengaging the hind until his front end stays put and he moves with gusto away from me, then resting, as I stand in the neutral area at the fender of the saddle and rub his hind and fore. When he gave me his attention, we rested. When he gave the mares his attention, we moved. 

Mares = move that butt boy. 

Me = rest and love and all good things in life.

He chose Me.

And so, my plans changed again! The horse of thirty minutes ago was not the horse I had after a little bending work. In fact, he appeared to pass Sarah's attention test in spades.

I mounted up and did walk, bends, turns, side-passes, and backs, in saddle, resting after each success while patting his neck and making sure he was still tuned in. We didn't do anything beyond the walk, because I did not discount the possibility that he was, indeed, sore along his back, and I didn't want to push him into discomfort or pain. 

After a bit, I called it good, ended on a positive note, unsaddled, and hosed him down.

Lesson learned: Lord, stop me, if I ever think I might be bored again! Tumbleweed has plenty left to throw at me along this journey! And that is how relationships are built, working through the good, the bad, and the ugly and getting to partnership.

On another note, I am going to go out with him this afternoon and do Masterson bodywork, just to see if there are some ouchy spots along his back that contributed to his mood. I saw him tense him up the moment I laid the blanket on his back, which tells me there is, most likely, something along there bothering him.


  1. I did find a little spot on his back that could have caused a little soreness. Looks like a bite.

  2. I don't think you'll ever be bored with Tweed. He's still young and might go through some different phases in his training that will have you scratching your head and dealing with whatever he throws at you in different situations. I'm sure that if you think the little soreness was causing his attitude it probably was.

    I think you did all the right things with him today and its always good to end on a positive note. You always work with the horse that shows up any day you interact with them and you did. He'll be thinking about all the lessons he learned today.

    1. Yes, that momentary thought came from wishful thinking mixed with delusion! Tweed and I have a long way to go and lots of things to learn. There may have been soreness, but hard to say. I didn’t find anything huge, but then again, horses can be stoic. I haven’t done the bodywork yet. I did a basic run over the back and saw the small bump.

  3. You did good listening to what Tumbleweed was offering, for whatever reason. We all know the mantra "ride the horse you have..." but it isn't always so easy to abide by it, or read it for that matter. Doesn't matter how experienced of a horse rider a person is, there are still those "eh" times.

    I also doubt you will potentially be bored with Tweed in the future. As you know, our "work" just changes with horses that have more whoa than go. For me with Koda, I find things to keep him engaged. I always know it is working, because he lights up in a good way. The biggest thing for him is changing things up. If I want to see Koda more engaged, I pull out the equine ball or do obstacle patterns. On the trail, we go off the beaten path or do a little whatever work. Going over logs where he *has* to pick up his feet. All things you already do, will keep things interesting for both of you. It has been fun watching your journey with him!

    1. Yes, we need to work harder at leaving our preconceived ideas at the door—good and bad. I’ve always concentrated on leaving bad ideas behind, but allowed the good preconceptions through the door. That little rule Sarah sent me off with has really helped. If I’d have followed it on that bad day with BG, we wouldn’t have had that train wreck. But it does require us to change our plans, as needed.

      All good ideas for mixing it up and getting his brain engaged. The trails will be fun.

  4. I kinda smirked a bit when you thought he might be boring.... judging from his mama and papa he will be anything but! Young horses often go through phases, kinda like teenagers.
    Tweed was a sweet colt, and that sweetness should always be there; but every day is a new day; for sure he will keep you on your toes for a while yet.
    Going through this with Dally already!

    1. Very much like the teens. There are days you think they are angels, and days where you think they’ve been kidnapped and replaced! Tweed was very sweet when I went back out, he just wasn’t into doing work yesterday, for whatever reason. Sarah said that my issue will be that he likes to be a little lazy, and when you push him, he can get mad, but nothing dangerous. Pretty typical, actually. Cowboy was the same way, and he found the balance between work and rest. Tweed will, too. The good thing is, rest is a great motivator for him.

  5. I love this. It's easy to get complacent and think it will all be fine. I rode yesterday, and Carmen told me pretty clearly that I didn't have her attention. But I was tired and just wanted to ride and relax. It was fine but not relaxing. :)

    1. I’m glad to hear it went fine, at least. You know her really well and are probably pretty confident you can handle what she throws at you.


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