It gets pretty easy to forget that May is a “mare”. She is totally cool with other horses getting in her personal space, I have never seen her swish her tail and pin her ears at anyone, and 90% the time, she just wants to get on with the thing. Whatever the thing is (eating, turnout, going back to her stall, riding, jumping, etc etc etc)
In fact, May apparently took some kind of small adventure on Sunday. The barn was out at a small show. When they left, May was tucked into her stall. When they came back, May was somehow in a stall on the other side of the barn. NT went over to her normal side of the barn to see what was up, and then she heard hoof beats behind her. May had re-escaped from stall #2 and was sheepishly making her way back to “her stall”.
My theory? May ducked under her stall guard, wandered around the barn to see if there was any grain dropped on the floor. Spotted some food in stall #2, and decided to spend the rest of the day there. I think she is going to be relegated back to having the bottom half of her stall door closed when the barn is empty, especially now that the weather has cooled off a bit.
So how does May remind us that she is, indeed, a mare? She has OPINIONS.
Last week, I decided it was time to put May back into real work. She is sound now barefoot, and seemed perfectly happy to drag me around again. So it was time to reintroduce some real work. I threw on my Dressage saddle and grabbed my Dressage whip. The ride was planned to be fairly easy – reestablishing contact and bend.
Our warm up went fine. She was a bit stiff off both legs, so I returned those with the help of the whip. She got a bit tense while I was schooling the whole “one leg means move over” thing, but she quickly relaxed once we had a few successes. Great. I picked up the canter to the left and had a nice easy bend and lope in that direction.
Then, we went right. If you remember, bending right has been our issue lately. So, when she went to lean through her right shoulder, I lifted my inside hand and added my inside leg more firmly. As a result, she MELTED DOWN.
I mean, full on temper tantrum. Throwing her head around, stumbling over herself, shooting forward, sucking back, etc etc. For maybe a solid 2 minutes. What was I doing? Keeping my right hand up and my right leg on
while cursing quite loudly. Here’s the thing with May. No matter how much she escalates, I can’t give in or escalate with her. I have to be firm, clear, and consistent.
After her meltdown, she gave me a big huff and bent nicely around my right leg. I put my whip and cell phone down, since I didn’t want to really use either if she decided to have another meltdown, and we went back to work. She picked herself up through that shoulder, quickened the inside hind to compensate for the new balance, and moved better going over her back.
At this moment, NT came to the ring and complimented me on how well she was working to the right. I think I and both the other riders in the ring with me (both advanced riders thankfully) had a good laugh as we informed her about May’s mini drama series.
She may be a REALLY good mare, but she is still a mare. And I wouldn’t have it any other way. What about you? Does your horse sometimes hit you with overly dramatic opinions?
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Remus is just a mare in disguise 🙂 ha ha oh May how sneaky you are. Remus’s new thing is to lean on the stall guard. And make the eyes pop out of the stall. Ummm that full door is going to be shut you bad pony.
May is so funny 🙂
Oh she never leans against the chain or pops it. Just sneaks out without causing any damage. Who knew the big girl could limbo?!
I have a picture in my mind of may tip toeing back across the aisle while NT looked the other way snickering the whole time thinking she got away with it. HAHAHAH!
She definitely has a sense of humor about it. And heaven forbid she gets it in her head that she’s smarter than you are! hahaha
OMG that picture of her in the crossties. What a face! lol
Right? If looks could kill…. lol
Hahahaha May! Amber would never be that calm if she got out haha! She’d find the food but certainly would have wandered I’m sure lol. Ahh May and her opinions lol. She had to let you know JUST HOW SHE FELT before begrudgingly doing it haha!
May used to turn herself in and out at the old barn, so not super surprised that she doesn’t really go anywhere. I guess she just likes her life? hahaha
Oh my gosh this is too funny! Frankie isn’t creative enough to escape- I regularly leave his stall door open while I’m grabbing things, and he just pokes his nose out and watches without trying to wander. My old lease mare had Lots Of Opinions About Everything, but Francis totally lives up to the Goofy Gelding moniker.
Hahaha yes. May will just wait in her stall if someone is around (i.e. when they’re cleaning stalls etc), but I guess she took an empty barn as a sign to start exploring?? Oh horses.
The crossties photo is epic! Totally how my mare feels right now too.
We’ve started schooling flying changes and now she thinks she should do them whenever, with bucks added in. She’s at least getting them both ways now but seriously girl, calm your shit ! LOL.
I am sure she thinks you are the one who needs to be “corrected” every time you try to “correct” her new trick. Silly hooman hahaha
She does….but then she corrects herself back to the proper lead, with a buck OYE.
If I am not sitting JUST perfect on her in the canter she will throw out the buck on a straight line and switch as well. I wish this “phase” would be over.
Griffin has more Opinions than any gelding I’ve ever met. And it’s hilarious to me. I wish I could reframe my mind to find my mare’s Opinions as comical. Hopefully with time!
That photo of May sharing her Opinion in the cross ties kills me. What a look!
Good on your for not backing down during her tantrum – also her escapades are hilarious!