Is it a good thing when horses have opinions of their own? A few days ago we spent an evening by our pond; Phil, our two dogs, Trigger and I. Phil did some fishing, Trigger enjoyed the green grass, the dogs and I played in the shade. When it was time to go home we decided to take the long way home and go for a walk. I haven´t been riding Trigger for about two months, maybe two and a half (I´m 37 weeks pregnant.) Phil asked me if he could ride Trigger home. He´s only ridden him once before and just a few minutes. Trigger is very much my horse, that´s just the way it is. We spend a lot of time together. This particular evening Phil really wanted to ride him and I thought it might be good for Trigger to be ridden, he usually loves that. Trigger did not like the idea and said NO!!! Three times he said NO!!!
I was a little confused and surprised but didn´t make a big deal out of it. I know everything will be different when I get to ride him several times a week again.
Today Trigger and I was playing with obstacles around the ranch; going over different kinds of tarps, between narrow places, stepping up on things etc. I ended our playtime standing on top of a big log sending him away in different directions, asking him to come back and change gaits, back up, turn around and so on. When I stopped our little game he immediately came up close to me and placed himself square on the exact right spot so I could just lift my leg and get on him. Exactly according to our agreement that we made half a year ago. It was like he said “I´m ready now. Let´s go!”
I didn´t ride him today because I made a promise to not ride again until after I had the baby. We took a walk to one of our favorite places and had some good time in the grass instead.
It sure feels good to have a horse like Trigger. I am happy that he is comfortable expressing his opinions and that is not something I´m planning on taking out of him. I don´t want a robot. I want a safe, confident horse that wants to be with me. It´s up to me to give him the time it takes.
I never ponied another horse from his back him but that will be our next project after I started to ride again. My plan is to bring my new Icelandic Flaxi along on our adventures after I got to know him a little bit. I will start playing with Flaxi from the ground and later take him for walks, just him and me. When he´s comfortable with that I will bring him on longer adventures along with Trigger. To make Flaxi comfortable with everything on the trails around here before I start riding him. That will be a lot of fun. Really looking forward to that J