The “Test”

I love when a horse tests me.  It’s like waving a red cape in front of a bull.  Each horse has their own method and style.  Some hold out longer than others, but it is all a mind game. It’s them against me, one on one.  We both stand there and look each other in the eye and send out the challenge.  Who will give in first?  Who can outsmart the other?  I love it.

What makes me even more challenged is when someone tells me I can’t do something. Now this has been a problem for me ever since I was small.  Must be something in the DNA.  Don’t know much about that stuff and it’s okay.

Most people when challenged by a horse, get flustered.  They just don’t have time for this nonsense.  The horse picks up on this and they send out a message “Let the games begin!”  Some horses are really good at this game.  They’ve been practicing it for years. Sometimes with several people.  They have nothing better to do, so it’s fun, and gives them entertainment for the afternoon.  Look at it through their eyes.  Here is a human running around, screaming, throwing things, chasing them.  How fun!  They know that you can’t catch them and they love seeing you get red in the face, out of breath, and the next thing they know, the person gives up and they win.  How great is that.

Just like any other sport, you must know your opponent.  You must study their game plan.  You must know their strengths and weaknesses.  You must know their attention span, and their will.

I was called in to catch a horse for a farrier today.  Not one of mine, nor one of my boarders or customers.  A neighbors horse. The horses at my barn come when I whistle. They know there’s a treat in it for them.  Now I have dealt with this particular horse before, when she had to go to a vet and needed to be trailered, after a really bad trailering experience. Nothing bad about this horse, just people who lacked knowledge, and patience.  These people did not have the right energy to deal with this horse.  She needs someone with quiet confidence, and patience.  She doesn’t get violent, just quietly doesn’t want to do something.  Took my time, stayed quiet, and she walked right on by herself.  Of course she was following a feed bucket, but there was no bad experience at all.  Horse was just the perfect lady, she just wanted to be heard and understood.  So armed with a carrot, I’ve caught this horse before, I figured it wouldn’t be that hard.  I was told by the barn owner that I wouldn’t be able to catch the horse.  Yay, a challenge, both human and horse.  Walked out to the pasture and we both sized up the situation. She almost let me get to her, she knew me and knew I had a carrot, but she thought she’d test me.  No problem.  She trotted a few feet and stopped, I started chewing on the carrot, she knew it.  We did the trotting away in a small circle several times and I could tell she really just wanted the carrot, but wasn’t ready to give in.  The circle got a little bigger.  The challenge was there.  Okay, you want to run, go ahead, I can wait.  So I sent her out to trot around me.  Well that lasted for a short while, she really wasn’t in the mood to have to work.  So she stopped, faced me and gave me the look of “I can have that carrot now.” I walked up, gave her the carrot, snapped the lead line on and off we went to the barn.  I told the barn owner who challenged me, I’ve been doing this for 53 years, it’s really no big deal.

I guess we were both winners.  The horse got her carrot and her feet trimmed, and I got the satisfaction of being successful.

It’s all a matter of attitude you know, so “Let The Games Begin!”

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2 thoughts on “The “Test”

    1. admin Post author

      Of course, you may use anything of mine, my friend.


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