You know, although I do love to work, sometimes it’s just not fun. And that’s okay; nothing that involves working can be fun all of the time. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that training to be a Grand Prix Show Jumper in the future involves a lot of hard work!
Most of the time, the hard work doesn’t bother me. Most of the time, I like it. Yesterday, however, it did bother me. It was hot outside, and I didn’t want to work. I was on my best behavior for about ten minutes, and then I wanted to be done… but my Mommy had different ideas. So, unfortunately, I reverted back to my babyish ways… Tossing my head, trying to gallop through my lead changes, ignoring my Mommy’s leg… I couldn’t help myself! I mean, I know that my body is full grown, but sometimes I can’t help acting like I’m still a baby.
…I guess you could say that I threw a tantrum.
I felt ashamed of myself, because all Mommy wanted was a few flying lead changes down the long side. But once I got it into my head that I didn’t want to work any more that day, I just couldn’t concentrate.
After trying a few more times, I did it – very grudgingly, and with no style at all – but at least I did it. And then we moved on to the next exercise, a serpentine pattern with a lead change at each curve.
Again, I protested. I still felt like I should have been finished already, but because I was still misbehaving, Mommy said I had to keep working. But I didn’t want to, so I kept acting like a baby. Tossing my head, trying to gallop through my lead changes, ignoring my Mommy’s leg… Yep.
After arguing with me for a while, Mommy finally decided that the best thing to do was to take a few steps back, and work on something very simple. She and I were both covered in sweat by that time, and I could tell that she was just as aggravated as I was! So, we abandoned the flying lead changes and did simple changes, instead. We stayed in the serpentine pattern, but instead of a lead change, she asked me to halt, and then pick up the opposite lead from a halt.
I was so embarrassed. I mean, I learned to do flying lead changes two years ago, and there I was in the arena doing “baby stuff.” Simple changes.
But my Mommy told me that if I was going to act like a baby, she was going to treat me like one.
Well, after about 6 or 7 simple changes, Mommy asked me one more time for a flying lead change… and I did it perfectly. I did it with style. I did it as an apology to my Mommy, hoping she would recognize it as such… and she did! She gave me lots of pats on my neck, shoulders and back, and then she told me that I could finally be finished.
Trust me, I know what you’re thinking. You’re wondering why I still haven’t learned that “Good Behavior = A Shorter Workout.” And, as I’ve said before, I do know that… It’s just that I get stubborn sometimes. I mean, my Mommy and Daddy raised me to be an individual, and as an individual, I have my own opinions.
It just so happens that my opinion yesterday was the opposite of my Mommy’s opinion.
Anyway, when we were done, we hugged and made up. I still got to have lots of treats, and Mommy told me that she was proud of me for finally behaving, after all.
Needless to say, I tried my best to be really, really good today… I wanted very badly to show Mommy how well I could do my lead changes; consequently, I got a little too excited when she asked me to do them. But I did end up doing flying changes down the long side of the arena every 5 strides, and Mommy was very pleased!
Friends, if there are days when you don’t want to work, just try to remember what I always forget: “Good Behavior = Shorter Workout.” Even if you know that you’re supposed to have a long ride that day, if you behave perfectly and do everything your human asks you to do, there won’t be anything extra to work on. But if you misbehave, your human will want you to work extra hard, which always translates to a longer workout.
And that’s my advice for the day. I think I’m going to hit the shavings for a while and have a nap. It’s nice and cool in my stall with the fan on! I’ll catch y’all later…