My horses are pretty great communicators, so I don't often feel the need for any intervention. That said, my best girl, Jet, has been off since early fall. I'd love to ask her if the fetlock is really the only problem. I feel like there is something up higher, but the vet does not agree. Other than that, I'd like to tell her that she is absolutely perfect, and I was the luckiest person ever to end up with her, but she already knows I feel that way. I'd ask Jess if she is ever going to just give in and realize she is a horse...not a dog, not a person, but a horse. I'm confident that her answer is HE!! no. Jula, I'd just say you're welcome. Polly - I'd say thanks so much for the obvious and immediate reinforcement that we chose the right lease for her. She is literally shouting GOOD JOB! That is really nice, since I am prone to second guessing myself.
Bailey - Do you realize that we actually CAN make it through a dressage test without you impersonating a giraffe (even though you warmed up and schooled perfectly) and that you will get lots and lots of cookies when that happens??
Try riding me the same way during the test as you do during warmups. You tense up in front of the judge which puts me at high alert, cookies or no.
Bailey - How is it that you'll gleefully gallop into a water jump on XC, but if we come across a puddle on the trail, you snort, sidestep, and glare at it like it's Lake Placid?!
Like most of my equine brethren, I view very small bodies of water as the gate way to hell and I don't trust you enough to change that belief. Your anticipation of my reaction (yes, I can read you very well) makes things worse because you are re-enforcing my belief that those small puddles really are going to swallow me up.
Sky - What the hell happened to that leg, (Horse has scar tissue that we are pretty certain came from stall kicking) and did you REALLY bow a tendon, or just fake it? (Previous owner was told he'd been retired from track training due to a bow, but there is NO scarring on any leg. I know this happens, but it's still just weird)
I wasn't aware bowed tendons and stall kicking caused visible scarring? Since I can't talk, I suggest you have a good equine vet examine me and give you his/her best guess if you really must know.
I have never personally ridden an event horse that would willingly plod through small, nasty puddles on trails. ALL of mine are perfectly fine to the point where I'd say "brave" about water, and NONE of them want to walk through puddles.
Horses aren't stupid. They can tell the difference between a nasty, rank, low spot on the trail where there's probably mud and an obstacle they're asked to jump when they're "on the job", presumably in a state where they are putting their trust in their rider to not put them in a bad spot. That trust is a wonderful thing and not to be squandered.
I had a rider once, for "fun" while out trailriding send my spooky (although reasonably brave about water) TB into a pond, where she promptly sank to her knees in the mud. That was part of a long process whereby the horse ultimately became un-jumpable. It wasn't the whole problem, but it definitely didn't help.
I do not insist that any horse of mine walk through puddles. In fact, I think they're quite clever to avoid them. If I want to school water, I school a water complex that I know to be safe. My job is not to ruin the horse's trust. Do I trust that a puddle doesn't have mud, debris, or worse at the bottom? Nope.
Sorry to sidetrack. Back to a discussion everyone would very much prefer I aovid entirely.