Feel free to laugh. I’m calling this the month of the brainwashing!! It may turn into the summer of brainwashing, (sigh) that is yet to be determined.
Before and after each ride I’m forcing my horse to reacquaint herself with jumps in a positive way. Not by actually jumping them, but but walking in, around, thru, by, on top of whatever obstacles are out in the ring that particular day. Last Sunday was our first date with the jumps, and she wanted to stop, sniff, huff at and generally stare down half the jumps in the ring. But for once I swallowed my internal “Oh my God horse you’ve seen these a million times—WHY ARE YOU NOW SCARED OF THEM ALL?” scream and quietly made her work back and forth over the poles, over the fill, by the gates. Whatever she stared at, she had to stand in it, by it, until she didn’t give a rats ass anymore.
Every time you could see the second she gave up, she would drop her neck, and usually rub her nose on the formerly offensive object. I would then praise her brilliance and rub her neck/mane where she loves it. By the time we got around the whole arena she was all about it and started poking stuff with her nose as we got up to it, looking for attention when she did. She licked and chewed her way around the last few so I considered this exercise a success. I’m hoping to do this each ride, pending busy factor in the arena.
It wasn’t until I got in my car that I admit I cried out of sheer frustration. In what world would I ever guess my horse would regress this far back. It IS stupid, but I feel like she’s betraying me. While I know she’s not the deep emotionally, I just have a feeling this spring is going to be more rough on me, than her.
I’m willing to work with her, because she deserves it and I want to. But no one said I won’t go a little crazy in the process.