My last day working with H’Appy was Sunday when I made a whole lot of small changes that had a big impact. My intention was to check back in with him early in the week, but you all know how the best of intentions go.
Monday I canceled my afternoon and left early due to Wyatt throwing up everywhere. And when I say everywhere I mean everywhere: the floor in his classroom, my car, the side of the road, the line at Walmart trying to buy him ginger ale, my office, the kitchen floor. EVERYWHERE. So I left work and ended up snuggling on the couch all night with my favorite blonde haired boy.
Tuesday I was exhausted. Wyatt had been up until 2 am and I go to bed by 9 pm. This nearly 40 year old doesn’t do all nighters. Heck, the 20 year old version of me didn’t do all nighters. Dusty took off work to stay home with him Tuesday and by the time I dragged my butt home from work, I changed into pjs and crashed. I’m crazy like that.
Wednesday night I had a work dinner meeting which meant I didn’t have time to ride, but i did have time to bring the horses in for dinner. At first I was a bit worried when H’Appy was no where to be seen. The other two were nickering at me to go inside, because knee high green grass isn’t filling enough apparently, and typically H’Appy can be found trying to bulldoze his way between them and generally being a pest. But Wednesday night, i got both Gem and Pete inside and still no sign of H’Appy.
Eventually he came sauntering over to the gate with a dazed and confused look on his face and disheveled hair up his right side. The big orange man apparently fell asleep int he afternoon sunshine and the Dynamic Duo left him for the predators so they could come inside and eat the handful of ration balancer they get. Great herd mates.
Here’s the thing.
I slipped his halter on his head and gave him a pat. He swung his snake like neck around and tried to bite my hip. He got smacked with the end of the lead rope and then I thought “hmmm…lets see if Sunday stuck at all.”
I asked him to walk on in a mini 6 ft longe circle with the lead rope and you know what? Big Boy walked on calmly with an ear cocked to me and licking his lips. I then asked him to halt and he did spot on right away. I asked him to walk on again and he did without trying to trot, or throwing his head around in a big tantrum.
Huh. I let him halt and gave him a pat as he lowered his head and chewed. We walked out of the pasture to the barn, where his friends were out of sight and which would typically cause some rushing and bullying on his part. I walked about 5 steps from the pasture gate and then stopped. He stopped, no tension on the lead rope. I took a couple steps back without touching the lead and without using my voice. He also took couple steps back. When I stopped, he stopped. When I walked, he did to.
I stared at him.
For all the grief I give him, he is actually really, really book smart. He has ZERO common sense, street smarts, but that is due to his upbringing being treated like a big dog instead of a horse. Give him a job and ask him to learn something and it sinks in a stays there.
I need to get smarter. Fast. This horse is teaching me the very definition of a horse that needs a job. When he has one, he is great. When he doesn’t, he will find something to occupy him and it will 100% not be something I like.
And to that end….
I HAVE A LESSON SCHEDULED WITH SOMEONE I AM SUPER EXCITED ABOUT ON 3/15!!!!!!!