We went out for a ride today. But before we could get to the ride part, Rudy had to empty out his saddle bag in the trash can behind Canyon.
Now we've dumped things in the trashcan before. I'm always tossing his hair in there and he does just fine. But this time there was a little cascading sound (which I'm sure could have been the sound a lion makes just before it eats horses) and Canyon pulled back, snapped the little cheap temporary carabiner and stood back about three feet.
It's been a long time since he pulled back.
Woody was calm, I remained calm, Rudy remained calm. Canyon stood there, a little worried, but calmed down. I put his bridle on since I don't have anything to hook his rope to without that little carabiner.
Rudy pointed out that this was an indication that this spookiness is just his personality. That it's not something that I can change. After all Woody didn't react at all.
I probably can't change this part of his nature. But I can't get past the idea that I CAN do something.
We talked on the ride about how some people naturally over react. How they can't get their emotions under control even in the most minor of circumstances.
I've lived with people like that. And it's true, it's their nature. But given tools, those people, particularly the ones who don't avoid everything that bothers them, come down from a level 9 freak out to a 6 or 7.
Would I rather have a horse with no freak out? Sure. In fact, if I had more than one horse to ride, I'd probably not ride him much. And that would be terrible. Because this experience has made me a better rider. I have to be precise in my communication with Canyon because he is so sensitive. I have to pay attention to his emotional state because when it is changing I need to be on it immediately.
Sure, I could have an easier horse.
But I don't. I have a horse that requires more of me.
Some folks have a different name for this kind of horse. I believe it's "Alpo."
I just call him my crazy boy. I always went for the crazy boys. The ones that fell outside the norm, the sensitive poets, the dreamers, the ones not on the team but wandering off by themselves.
Why should it be different now? Because I'm older and know better?
(the sunset above was on Thanksgiving as I went to the stable to deliver a few holiday carrots.)