I rode that wild youngster the other night and after a very frustrating half hour of the battle-of-the-wills I found a good note to end on, swung my leg over and patted his neck... after all it's my fault he's acting this bad. Its what happens when Mr. Romeo isn't ridden consistently.
He's no Dutch... the bond isn't there yet. That kinda bond takes years... and for years, I've been spoiled. It doesn't matter how often or how long its been, when I climb on the back of that old friend, two become one. She knows my thoughts and I know hers. But it isn't the same with the youngster. Sometimes I forget.
The reason for my lack of riding is the simple fact that I live in Arkansas. For those of you who are not familiar with the typical Arkansas summer, here are a few words to describe it: horrendous, gruesome, dreadful, and miserable. We have already had a week full of days where the temp was over 100, add so much humidity that as soon as you step out the door you are drenched, and that ladies and gents describes the awful state in which I just so happen to live in. (Can you tell I'm not exactly thrilled to be here)!! So needless to say that is why Mr Romeo has not been ridden as of late.
After our awful battle in which I'm pretty sure ended in a draw, I told myself that something has to change. After all I spent my savings purchasing and bringing him here and he is my dream horse, so I better get working on fulfilling that dream of mine. Which means that I have to ride, at least twice a week. So I begrudgingly set the alarm for 630 and dragged my sorry self out of that cozy bed and drove the long way to the parents, saddle him up and began the days adventure.
It started out great.... started... got it? You'll need to remember that word. That sweet, charming personality that I fell in love with was right there. I spent extra time brushing him and just talked to him (which he loves). Telling myself to be patient and take it easy after all he's got a long way to go. The problem is in some areas he learns so fast which tends to make me relax in areas I shouldn't. Our ride started off like the other day but I just gritted my teeth, firmly told him to settle down and eventually he did. All was well so to reward him I let him run, which is what he always wants to do.
Well Mr. dumb-butt decided that he wasn't done being ornery and launch into a series of what we horse people call cow-hops. He goes up in the air and then comes down and launches his rear in the air. Hard to sit at times, but I always do... except for this time. You see dumb-butt is big, really, really big and the old saying goes, "the bigger the horse, the harder the fall." Let me tell you that it is true! Very, very true! I knew that one day he would dump me, after all another old saying goes like this, "every good rider falls." I anticipated this day, yet dreaded it.
Well he bucked, and I went forward onto his neck and then the not-so-nice dumb-butt (can you tell that my feelings have been hurt?) bucked again and off I went. I landed on my back and the pain sent a wave of nausea throughout my whole body. In all my years of riding and all the many falls I have had, none compared to this.
Not the broken arm (which left me in a cast for 6 weeks), or the busted knee (which put me on crutches for 4 weeks), nor the first fall on my back (which was the beginning of all my back troubles). Mind you all those incidents took place on that trusted mare of mine, you see that bond takes years and lots, and lots of falls.
The pain was so bad it took me a long while to get back up, but with the help of a faithful pup, I staggered to my feet. That wild, not-so-trusted youngster stood in the corner looking at me. Not sure what to think of me sitting over there on the ground... I swear to you there was pride in his eyes, which infuriated me. I walked over to him, grabbed the reins and swung back up. Worked him through the problem area and called it a day.
As I turned him back out my old friend came up to check on me and I fed her his carrots. He walked over surprised and even more surprised when I angrily shoved his head away. He doesn't yet realize that he broke rule number one: never dump the hand that feeds you. A bond between horse and rider is built upon trust in one another. He has broken that trust and now has to earn it back. A hard lesson for him to learn but I can't let it go. Trust is the foundation upon which all riding is built. If I can't trust him, I can't ride him. I hate teaching the lesson of trust to a horse, they don't understand what is going on, however if I ignore it he will become a dangerous animal. He has to learn to follow me, to obey even when he doesn't want to.
Interesting isn't it.... looks like I'm getting a taste of my own medicine. I'm rebelling against Him, and my horse is rebelling against me. Think someone'sI have not been faithful in training him. I'm rebelling because I have not been faithful to God. See the pattern? I do now.
Trust is important... the foundation upon which everything else is built upon. My horse has broken that so I have to be strong and firmly teach him that he can't do that. Well.... God has to do the same to me. I don't like it... Romeo isn't going to like it. But it has to be taught! If God, I, let it go bigger problems arise.
In the end it is I that suffers... I will now have tremendous amount of back pain to remind myself that breaking trust hurts... and it has too because it's that serious of an issue.