|Stop Dammit! |
Make Me Biatch!!!
I flexed my calves against Sonita's ribs asking her to move into the bit. She wrung her tail, hollowed her back, and flung her head in the air.
"Just put her up in there!" K hollered across the pen.
Easier said than done, you bastard.
"I heard that!"
Let me amend that, Mind reading bastard.
"Can't you feel that?"
I just loved it when he pointed out my inept riding in front of everybody and their brother at the barn.
Of course I could feel it. I could feel her front end turn to wood when I tried to push her into the bit. I could feel her lay on my leg and brace from hip to fetlock when I asked her to step her hip in. I could feel her rib cage turn to steel when we set up for a lead change, virtually guaranteeing a cross firing mess through the middle.
I could feel my body stiffen with anger and frustration. I could feel my hand clench and tighten as Sonita gathered under herself for yet another airs-above-the-ground moment. I could feel her reject contact with the bit, feel her sling her head to the outside of her circle, let her shoulder drop in and her hips swing out.
Yeah baby, I could feel it all.
Having feel is not all it's cracked up to be, let me tell you.
I stopped and fed out a couple feet of rein. Sonita stood, ears pinned, snapping her tail, kicking at air and whipping her head around to make sure I saw her angry rolling eye and bared teeth.
"Stupid, stupid, stupid!" She shouted her opinion with every pissy stomp and glare.
Yeppers, I felt that too.
"Well?" he asked.
"It's like I'm riding a brick," I said.
"Every time you push, she pushes back harder. You need to find a way to create softness."
Well now, that pearl of wisdom cleared everything up. "Ya think?"
"I do. You missed your chance when she was coming after my colt. Her hind end was under her, her front was loose and light, I'd have used that, driven her forward and past me instead of backing her off."
So much for my small victory.
"Go home, think things through and we'll see what you got next week."
K was not one to put up with my sarcasm, even when I kept it in my head.
I drove home, alternately grumbling and letting things stew.
Once in a while, it would be nice if he let my trainer brain alone, just for a minute, and actually told me how to do something. Obviously, I wasn't picking up on it, or my horse wouldn't be the jacked up mess she was.
But sometimes, riding her was so sweet, things were so clear between us, I barely had to breathe what I wanted and it was there. How was I ever going to call that up at will? My thoughts drifted and I rode Sonita in my mind, fluid, soft and forward.
The next day I cleared my afternoon. Sonita and I were going to think and feel and not fight. I didn't want clients or my next ride urging me to hurry. I saddled her and took her to her favorite outdoor arena on the place.
We started out on the rail, at a walk.
I hung my jacket on a corner post, emptied my mind, relaxed my body, and loosened my reins. My only goal was walking along the rail.
Sonita moved out at a steady pace, head high, eyes boogery, her ears flicking back and forth. She was waiting for...I didn't know.
A horse wasn't going to fight just to fight. There was always a reason. What were the reasons? I watched a herd of horses in my head. They jumped at each other to make room, protect babies, get at the best grass, but the real fights, they were mainly over sex. To claim the right, to claim the mare, to ward off the stud, sex came into a lot of horse fights. Other than that it was showing who's the boss, or because they felt cornered, fearful, got put on the defensive. Sonita and I weren't about sex. So what was it?
When a horse was trying to be boss, well, they started the action. Sonita wasn't starting anything, she was just waiting. The morning was cool, we were just walking along, yet a light sweat had sprung up in the crease between neck and shoulder.
We rounded the corner and Sonita spooked at my jacket. A great big, free, jump and snort. I grabbed my reins and she spun in a circle, her neck locked and her eyes bugged out like a Warner Brothers Cartoon. Wa-Ooooga! Her ribs stiffened and she ran against my leg halfway across the arena.
She was ready. Bring it on. But I was still caught in the last train of thought before we exploded into a blur of action and instinct. Why was she so ready to fight?