“Blessed are the flexible, for they will not be bent out of shape” – Origin unknown.
Sometimes you’ve got to go with your horse.
That was the case yesterday for me, as I took this pretty dun stud (who will soon be an excellent gelding), on his first outside ride. The plan was to use him to move cows. He’s 6, and it’s a job that was well suited to him, and I thought we were ready, Zach thought we were ready and there wasn’t a lot of hesitation as I decided he’d be my mount for the day. There were four other well-mounted people on solid saddle horses with us.
Admittedly the ride didn’t go as I had planned or imagined, and I came off of him. We barely made it out of the pasture where our barn is located. The departure, was mutual, though he didn’t buck me off. It was come off or I might end up in a wire fence, which could have been awful. But the takeaway for me this ride, can’t be that I didn’t get to go do a job, or that we didn’t make it out to move cows, it has to be that I allowed my colt to move his feet, and was able to go with him when he felt like he needed to go. The first time that happened, we went, and I regrouped and was able to help him get his feet. The second time, the regrouping didn’t work, and I got off balance and decided that not being horseback at that moment might be the best decision that I could make given the circumstances. We can always start again. Which we did, once we got him caught. We (Zach and I) went straightaway back to the barn, and helped him through a couple scary spots, like the lead rope of the mecate rein being around his feet, and helped him learn that he can go, he can bend and he can keep his mind.
The afternoon was spent handling him with the mares, that he didn’t want to leave that morning, in the barn with him. Allowing him to get that energy up and then have it be directed was the goal for the afternoon and that went well. Zach started and I finished, nerve wracking as it was, I am still here, still alive, and I learned a little more about just “going”.
Here’s an example from a few weeks ago of what I mean when I say, just go with your horse:
Sometimes shit just happens, and while I was really hoping for this guy to remain intact and breed some mares, it just isn’t in the cards. Not every horse is stallion material, and certainly here on this outfit, we’re pickier than most. They need to be gentle enough for a kid to ride them, and thoughtful enough to be ridden in and around other horses, including their own mare herd. The mares in question were not in the same pasture — they were in a corral, over the fence. The situation wasn’t set up for a successful first ride, and it was more than my colt or I were able to handle. That was our fault for not setting up the ride to be successful.
I’m a bit sore and stiff this morning, and my confidence may be bruised a little, but I learned a lot yesterday that will make me a better horseman and person.
Have you ever found yourself in a similar situation?