(My favorite post kicking horse butt snack)
I had had it. Done. Finito. Looking into sending my horse to France, if you know what I mean.
This morning I was given a few hours to myself, so I headed over to work our remuda. Two horses qualifies, right?
I decided I'd take Canyon out on a trail ride. Alone.
I know, I know. But he's been doing so well and I figured it was time.
Well, after a rather dramatic start where we were helping in rounding up an escapee, we headed out. No round penning this time.
We got a little ways on the trail and he was giving me his "you've got to be kidding. Riding? By OURSELVES? ARE YOU TRYING TO GET US KILLED?"
I was ready to tell him somebody around here was going to get killed, and it wasn't going to be me. We got about 5 minutes us the trail when he was just a mess. High stepping, looking everywhere, general freak out.
That's when I lost it. I got off and ground worked him with some serious pissed off ness. I cracked him on the butt hard and he was jumping out of the way. You could tell he was surprised, but I didn't care. "MOVE!" I yelled. "NOW!"
He moved and circled faster than ever, suddenly aware that I had my banshee on and therefore a far more immediate threat. The entire time I went on this diatribe about how I was done with his #$%t and was sick and tired of doing all this work so he could just freak out.
We walked (me leading from the ground) down the trail for a minute, my attitude still hot, until I came to the hill the trainer uses to build up hind ends. Perfect. I lead him up and down it once, then got on and had him take me up it about five times. Then we cut back to the barn area, rode in the front in a little side pasture over and over and over. At first he was slightly hesitant, then resigned. At that point I decided to try again.
We went back to the trail. This time we cut through trees, staying "off road" the entire time. I didn't get too far away, just in case.
And he behaved. He stopped balking and high stepping, he went where he was told and in general was like a sort of normal horse.
I had a similar situation with Lily - she's still giving me attitude about her back feet. The minute she misbehaved I grabbed her lead line and stomped her butt out in the parking lot to make her lunge and do a few fast "backs". I stomped back in, secured her and she raised her hoof as nice as can be.
And when I let them back into their areas, there were NO TURNED BUTTS.
This is, of course, very bad for my development as a person. I mean, I was just taught that if I get incredibly bitchy, my horses behave better. It's scary to think of applying this to other areas of my life...
You know, there's something wonderfully freeing about embracing your full alpha mare. It'll be interesting to see where it goes from here.