Alright, any of you horses out there who have done a little bit of dressage will probably be able to relate to this. I love my human, but sometimes I just don’t understand why she does the things she does. So, when I was just a wee pony at the age of three, my humans spent a lot of time teaching me the basics of what they call “flatwork.” My human Mommy spent a lot of time teaching me what it meant to “move off the leg,” which basically meant that I was supposed to move away from the pressure of her leg, instead of into it (which is my natural response). And after I learned to move off her leg, she taught me how to pick up the correct lead at a canter with a simple cue from one of her legs or the other.
Once I had that down, she taught me how to know which lead I was supposed to pick up, depending on which direction we were going. It was simple: whichever way I’m turning, that’s the lead I should be on. So, if I’m turning right, my right front leg should be leading, hence the right lead. And last – but not least – before I was allowed to start jumping, she taught me how to switch my lead in the middle of a stride, which the humans call a “flying” lead change. I picked up on all of this very quickly, being that I’m the smartest horse in the world and whatnot. (Maybe that’s why my human Daddy calls me a “smart-ass?” Whatever that means.)
Anyway, on to my rant. Today, my workout began just as pleasantly as yesterday – lots of stretching and loosening my muscles, without my human restricting my movement through the use of her reins. Once I felt nice and loose, we got to work. We did our usual routine to begin with – trotting and cantering in a frame, a couple flying lead changes… you know the drill. But then, my human decided that she wanted me to canter around on the wrong lead. Yeah, you read that right… the WRONG lead. She called it “an exercise in self control,” and “learning to stop anticipating,” but you know what I call it?
Wrong. I call it just plain WRONG!
I mean, honestly. Why would you spend SO much time teaching a horse the correct leads, if you’re just going to make him canter on the wrong lead – purposely?
Well, for all of you horses out there who are nodding and whinnying along with me, you should know that I didn’t just go quietly into the night. As I always do, I voiced my opinion in the best way I know how: I threw a huge, heart-felt buck! And I’m happy to report that my human got the message, loud and clear!
Not that she decided to stop torturing me with this “wrong lead” nonsense… No, as a matter of fact, to get back at me for almost unseating her, she made me canter around two more full rotations of the arena on the wrong lead before she allowed me to do my beautiful, charismatic “flying” lead change. (For those of you who are wondering how I can add charisma to a lead change: I knew better than to buck again, even though I wanted to – but I couldn’t not rebel against those extra laps… so I made sure to give a new meaning to the term “flying” change, and I LEAPT through the air as I changed my lead! Luckily, my human thought it was hilarious and laughed, calling me names like “goofball,” instead of making me do more work on the wrong lead…)
Alright, so, I guess it wasn’t really that bad. And I’m probably pretty lucky that my humans let me voice my opinion about everything.There are a lot of horses out there who don’t have that kind of freedom, who are “forced” to do things, instead of “asked” to do things. So, even though my humans sometimes have very strange ideas about what they want me to do, I’m still grateful for them.
Especially because I got a nice, sweet treat filled with oats and molasses afterward. That’s always the best part!
Alright, friends, I’m out of here. All this talk about my workout (and molasses… Mmmmmm!) made me hungry again, so I think I’ll go and eat some more hay while I wait for my dinner grain. Catch y’all tomorrow!