Whoa!! And so it went today while mounted aboard my little gelding Buzzy. Something’s up with Buzz these days — maybe the hunters and the echos of gun shots? Perhaps the floating cloud in his eye obscuring more of his vision than in the past? Or maybe the approaching cold front? Whatever, something’s going on and today things approached danger zone. For a few months now, he’s been balking, shying, and generally hyped up. Our “discussions” have increased in frequency and intensity. Mostly, though, I have prevailed and we do indeed go forth instead of trying to double back around, we do indeed forge through the chest-deep pond, and we do indeed walk, instead of charge, up suicide hill. But little by little there are an increasing number of chips in the armor that otherwise harbors my Zen treks through the countryside with Buzz. The other day was the spin from out of nowhere where I suddenly found myself facing the opposite direction (fortunately, securely in saddle). Now there are the racing-speed paces (Buzz was a harness racehorse and his pace/trot rivals the gallop of any other breed) up suicide hill. And much to my chagrin, today was the absolute refusal to go forth in any manner — except, of course — BACKWARDS!!
This is Buzzy’s avoidance tactic — go backwards with complete disregard for his life, or the life of any poor soul who might be aboard. That would be me. I spent a good five minutes getting no where — forward, that is — and then he began backing into a perilous spot filled with ladders, fencing materials, and other assorted, not-to-be-backed-into, farm kind of stuff. It was at this point that Linda, our dear yet tough barn Mom screamed at me to smack Buzzy in the butt. In a state of horror, I simply sat there. She then snatched the crop from me and nailed him good and hard. I then felt like I was being shot out of a canon as my horse and I catapulted forward.
After this demonstration of Buzzy’s inanity and my paralysis, Linda “made” me keep working him until it was clear, in his mind if in no others, that I was in charge. And so we took baby-steps, heading out in the forbidden direction and turning around, at my command, just before I felt the twitch of horse flesh wanting to resist. We did this several times, and when I had reached my limit of adventure for this day, Linda climbed aboard and lengthened the trek. Now, mind you, this path is one I travel 4 to 6 days weekly with Buzz and it is just as peaceful and calm as can be.
Is hunting season almost over?