I own one horse who has many, many moods. So, here you go:
Tuesday night: Trying not to die in the jumping arena. Lesson horse lesson-ing around and breathing, Eli thinks, “I should be wary. That horse is breathing. Something bad might happen because that horse is trotting slowly and breathing.” I think, “Eli, please pay attention. Even at the walk. You can’t even pay attention while we’re walking???” Eli responds by jog-trotting and looking out into the murky dark darkness beyond the arena lights. And he may have squealed. He definitely swished his tail. I ask for a trot. Self, that was stupid. Eli trots, then trots fast and gets way down on his forehand like downward-facing-dog down. I rethink the whole trotting thing and ask Eli for a walk. Eli actually walks. Eli then spooks at something that may have maybe made a noise and possibly moved over by the water tanks. Nope, for sure–it was a giant swirling sharknado lurking in the darkness by the water tanks. I can’t tell what Eli spooked at, but he is completely sure of the sharknado and its lurkiness. Eli is completely evading the bit at this point by curling his chin under to his chest.
So, yeah, a whole lot of walking and trotting went on Tuesday night. Because cantering an anxious, squealing llama just doesn’t seem like a good time to me. And I did not feel like getting off and letting him run around like an idiot on the longe line.
Wednesday night: Lots going on in the barn aisle near the cross-ties, in the form of farriers doing their thing with torches and forges and mallets and smells. Eli doesn’t even blink at this. As soon as I pull him out of his stall, I notice a difference in his mood–he seems much more like his happy grumpy self than Tuesday night, when he was more of a angry grumpy self. Grooming goes well with a minimum of snappiness, and I decide this night is a great night for Eli to wear his bonnet.
The bonnet is clearly the important factor here. He didn’t wear one Tuesday night. I put one on him Wednesday night.
And it was as if angels came down from their lofty, fluffy clouds and touched Eli’s adorable white snip with their magical unicorn glitter wands of amazingness. My horse felt astounding! Back to himself, and even better, motivated to work! Yay! The instructor teaching lessons Wednesday evening even said that I need to go find a horse show RIGHT NOW because Eli looked fantastic. Go win that hack! What was different? THE BONNET. It is now known as Eli’s thinking cap. (Which cannot be worn in a hack, so that’s out.) He MUST wear a bonnet if it is less than 90 degrees outside. Seriously. I asked the instructor what she did to him today (she doesn’t ever do anything with him, I was just kidding around) and she said she just patted him an told him he was pretty, of course, so I was all, you must pat him everyday and tell him he is pretty, until the end of time. Deal. I stuffed Eli’s cookie face with cookies and took silly pictures.
Not sure if I’ll get to ride tonight because of inclement weather, but hopefully it won’t rain too much.