Sunday, I decided I needed to jump Eli again to see how he would behave. My guess was that if he was still acting uncomfortable, then his teeth probably needed attention as soon as possible. If not, then … maybe it is his sinuses on the right side? I know that’ll be harder to figure out, but the difference in weather between Saturday and Sunday was pretty striking. Saturday was bright, windy, dry, with chilly air and Sunday was a bit warmer, overcast, more humid, and not even much of a breeze.
Eli didn’t put a foot wrong on Sunday. We jumped everything that we had on Saturday, and he gave his best hunter impersonation. He was downright easy to ride (how often do I say that?). This is the Eli I have grown accustomed to having under saddle lately and not having it on Saturday worried me. But Sunday he came to play. Can the weather make that much of a difference for him? I wouldn’t be surprised. He has displayed sensitivity to weather changes before. However, this could mean I have a difficult horse in conditions similar to Saturday’s, and I would like to be able to do as much as I can to keep Eli comfortable in that kind of weather. What that is, I’m not sure. I don’t want to throw a bunch of stuff at him at once, so I will probably try the nose net first the next time the weather is similar and see if that helps. The other factor — that I theoretically have complete control over — is me. If Eli gets fussy, I sometimes tense up. Specifically, my elbows lock. So I’ll have to train myself to stay softer even when he’s in psychotic moose mode. Gotta have elastic elbows at all times!
I really do believe Eli has two personalities, and while the psychotic moose was ever-present a few years ago, I have a totally different horse now, more like a petulant tiger cub. Still not exactly risk-free, but much more fun to play with! I’d like to do whatever I can to keep the tiger cub personality dominant.