“Without Life you have nothing”
Usually this isn’t something that I have to deal with. My horse is very forward, Lise has the other side of the coin. Her boy would be more than happy standing around than working.
Thanksgiving was one of those quiet rides. Did a bit of ground work, Guenzler’s life was a bit down, but ok, so I let him stay that way. Everything was a bit off, slow to offer his hind, sluggish walk, like pulling taffy to get a trot. Ears told an entire story about how surlery was brewing inside him. Even bordered on refusing my leg. Got a trot but he came out of it. If I asked for a down transition to the walk, it was like tossing an anchor out, but not in a good way, and a stop wasn’t what I asked for.
This quote kept going through my head, couldn’t seem to get him through the front of the rectangle so grabbed a flag and set my sights on life. I won’t say it was stylish or classy riding but when I asked for a trot and he plodded along. It didn’t take much, a touch with the flag on his hind and we were trotting, asked up and down between walk and trot. He was there again, ears not so good. Asked for left lead, and I got it, with one of those , ok, so you want this , I’ll show you a lope, lunges. I ignored his expression, and carried about 10 strides, and asked for a trot. His ears came forward! Stoked his neck at the change of expression. He did a few more transitioned between trot and lope, snaked around the jumps. Stroked his neck whenever he was soft, made sure I wasn’t behind the motion, which I was. I’ll not say it looked pretty, but as his life came up, his expression softened and he became light and his balance came back.
A nice soft stop, the lightest of backs. Then I let him stand and soak a bit, chewed, and I could feel his skin relax a bit more. I soaked a bit on things as well.
To gage where we were, I asked for collection, a bit of left flexion, and he quietly backed a light half circle, allowing me to lift and place each of his front legs. Ok, that have to has to have looked nice! Was a nice deal the rest of the day together, he was back with me and his expression stayed good.
Another win from the quotes that always run though my head.
“Without Life you have nothing”. Pairs with “It’s the dull ones that will pull a knife on you”.
I own letting Thanksgiving and his lack of life and poor expression happen. Knew it on the ground and let it slide. It didn’t serve anyone to do this. Especially my horse.
As with all these quotes, I didn’t invent them, my mentors put them in my head for a reason and its up to me to figure out what to do with them.