|" Why don't you give this a smooch "|
It’s official, my mare Dusty is not only a mystery to me but she’s also earned the title of “Little Witch!” This morning each and every time I tried to put my foot in the stirrup she’d move just enough so it would be impossible to mount safely. I would then get down and reposition the mounting block. If a horse could snicker or sneer I believe she would have. For years we have had mounting issues and she really should be over it by now: she just turned 16 on July 9th. We’ve been really concentrating on this one issue solidly for the past few years. Every time I think she’s got it she throws something else into the mix.
When I was finally able to get my foot in the stirrup and swung my leg over she reared a little and ran backwards before I even sat in the saddle. Being thrown forward I hit my breastbone on her wither; then with luck and perseverance I was able to sit up and catch the other stirrup. If my daughter wasn’t holding her I’m sure she would have kept going backwards until I came off. She pulled this same stunt a few weeks ago. I thought we had conquered it by putting the portable mounting block in the center of the arena. Apparently not. With Dusty running backwards is an evasion to doing what’s asked of her.
While my daughter held her in place she kept tossing her head because she couldn’t move off and do what she wanted. Basically, she was giving us the finger. I should add that there is nothing physically bothering her. She’s just got a real bad attitude. As a matter of fact earlier this week she thought it was a good idea to strike out at my daughter when she took her feed bucket out of the stall after breakfast. She’s always got her ears pinned if someone comes near her food while she’s eating or even approaches her bucket after she's finished eating. Okay, I can live with that but the ill-mannered way she deals with people occasionally is unacceptable and she does get corrected for her bad behavior.
The best and most mystifying part of the whole morning was that after we walked off from the mounting block she was a nearly perfect ride. Anything I asked of her she did with no problem. So she picks a fight at the mounting block and then is the little darling that can do no wrong. Is it a test? If I pass the ‘make me do it’ challenge at the mounting block and you win then I’ll do what you ask.
I know that each horse is different and each horse comes with their own individual set of issues and challenges. I also know that training takes as much time as it takes and lots of patience. Truthfully, I’m running out of patience with her but I will keep at it until we have a breakthrough and I can eventually mount each time without having someone hold her. I also know that this post is uncharacteristic of me but right now I’m so frustrated with her I just had to vent.
Until next time
Quote for Today
How to ride a horse:
1. Mount the horse
2. Stay mounted