Today was not so good...
After near perfection yesterday, Compa swung his pendulum into emotional chaos today. That's what starting colts is all about - riding the horse that you have today. Because when everything is fantastic, good trainers know not to pat themselves on the back. Experience tells us that the other stuff is boiling just under the surface and it's simply a matter of time before it bubbles out.
We had a gusher today!
Saddling was easy and uncomplicated. The groundwork was done with the bosal (vs the halter). Compa was distracted. Then he got very pushy. (Ooooo, I thought, things are going to get interesting.) Then he got offended when I pushed him out of my space. Then he flat refused to move. Then he raced around like a crazy man. Then he settled, but only for a fraction of a moment. Then he tried to pull away - which never works. And finally, he realized that I was going to be there, no matter what, quietly working through his nutty behavior until he came out the other end and recognized that my job is to do the thinking and his job is to do the doing (not vice versa).
Hurrumph! Not to Compa's liking. He wanted to do what he wanted to do and he was going to do that very thing. I figured the ride would be more thrilling today. (This looks like a child who sticks their tongue out at you, waiting to see what you're going to do about that bad behavior.)
Compa came over to the fence for me to mount. He was quiet, but unsettled. Meaning, his feet were still, but his emotions were electric. You ever felt that in a horse? It can be unsettling to a rider to have that energy directed at them. I'm used to it. I figure Compa can't be some perfect little angel everyday. At some point he must express himself and learn that I will be there when he's finished.
I mounted and figured since he was already in a mood, I might as well deal with it straight away. So I matched his emotional state and pushed. I didn't do anything mean or mad or angry. I didn't get crazy. But I did send the negative energy right back at him! Real gentle at first, then with increasing intensity - until he burst.
Now, at least we were both on the same page.
He was moving around the pasture pretty fast, so most of the pictures were blurry. Here are a few, but they don't really show what he was about today. Suffice it to say that sometimes colts have emotional temper tantrums and they need the trainer to ride them through it.
When Compa came out the other side, all worn out and totally frazzled, he realized that I was there too. And I was not frazzled. I just was. Still around, still full of love and respect for him. Rubbing him like I always do.
Compa discovered that his emotions don't bother me. He can have them and I won't hold it against him. He relaxed and found his happy self.
I don't know how many times he'll feel the need do this, but each time, I'll be there - waiting for him to come out the other side...