I am the worst horse owner on the planet.
I am seriously contemplating selling my boy. I feel that if I can make a series of stupid decisions like I made today, and put him in danger, I shouldn't have him.
My BO had just done my guy's feet yesterday and he came out while I was saddling up and asked if he could see how he rides now, how his feet look. Of course, me, excited to show him because Bug and I have been making leaps and bounds in our progress.
I take him out in the back pasture that opens up directly from the barn doors and my BO says 'Let's see his canter.' Mistake number one is about to be made.
I have been working on Bug's barnstorming. He has been getting better, HUGELY better, but sometimes, he still thinks it is okay to do so. If I am in the zone where I need to be, I can take corrective measures and we begin again. For this reason I normally canter him away from the barn at first to get him to understand that he MUST listen to me when I ease him up. We do this a few times and then we have no problems for the rest of the day.
Well, today, I thought, well, I've been working hard enough and consistantly enough that we should have no problems. I exit the barn, leaving the doors open.<--- Second Mistake.
So, ever since I've bought this horse my BO always jokes with me about how I won't ever get him to do *insert comand here* and I know it's his way of keeping me on my toes and he knows I will work that much harder to prove him wrong. Every time he asks me to show him something, he KNOWS I will do it and he knows that I will have taught my horse how to do it and there are time I think he does this to force me to prove to myself that I can do it.
But, there's also the part of me that HAS to do it. Because I am so proud of how far my horse has come from the 'monster' that no one could ride, and I love to make my BO eat his words on something my guy just 'can't' do. <----Third Mistake.
So, I head out of the barn, barely two steps before we are cantering, and I am so proud, because My Boy needs nothing but the slightest shift in my weight to know that it's okay to break right into a canter. I'm in my glory and praying my BO is watching every move. I hit the far side of the pasture and turn toward home. As we approach the barn I begin to ease him up, and wonder of wonders...He doesn't respond. And then begins to haul horsey ass.
My BO is telling me what to do and I'm TRYING I really am TRYING but, and I hate to say it, but normally in this type of situation I drop EVERYTHING and let Bug make the decisions. He has never let me down, never dropped me, never over balanced and at once will realize that something is wrong and will stop. But, today, I! had to be the one making decisions, and I made all the wrong ones.
I pulled sharply on the reins and he started to correct, he really did, especially once my BO threw up his hands, which freaked both of us out. I over corrected, because by now we were heading for a fence. I've had him run off with me in the past, he wasn't going to hit the fence, I KNEW that, but it didn't stop me from panicking.
So, he headed back toward the barn door way. I'm fighting him the whole way, instead of dropping out causing him to stop. I pull to the right to counter the fact that we were running right at a tiller, and he pulls to the left. I try to make a quick correction thinking okay, we can turn around all the way, but as I do he pulls to the right where I had been leading him. Which heads us right into the tiller. All I can see is that I have just led my horse to certain death by breaking both his front legs and I start screaming expletives along with the word NO over and over. When all I had to do was drop out. But, I didn't.
He stopped. On a dime. His front left hoof actually making a 'ping' noise as he grazed the tiller wheel. And there he stood, looking around as if someone had just taken away his teddy bear.
I turned him around and jumped off to examine his legs and feet. And then I lost it and threw my arms around him crying hysterically.
My BO and my BF kept asking if I was okay, was I hurt, was I scared, what was wrong. My BF kept saying all he could see was me flying ass over teakettle wehn Bug finally decided to stop. And I was so angry at them both.
Screw ME! I KNOW how to fall. I'm an athlete I can fall with the best of them. I can tuck and roll like nobody's business. Who CARES about me! All I could think for those few seconds as we headed toward the ass end of that tractor was 'I just killed my horse.'
It didn't. Thank the gods, it didn't. But, it COULD have. And it was all my fault. I KNEW we weren't ready to be heading in that direction. I KNEW I should have closed the barn doors. I KNEW how to get my horse to stop. I KNEW better than to do anything that BOTH of us aren't comfortable with. And yet...
My BF says it was just a dumb mistake. But, it WASN'T just SOME mistake, it was ALOT of them, all of which I KNEW better than to make and it could have cost my horse EVERYTHING.
I ended up putting it to him like this. I have a basett hound that is my pride and joy. His name is Sherlock.
I told BF if someone told me to go ahead and pick Sherlock up by his tail because they wanted to see how he looked hanging in the air, would I do it? Even if they said it wouldn't hurt him, would I do it?
He said, no, of course not.
Alright then! Why one God's green EARTH did I feel it was okay to put my horse in a dangerous situation because someone wanted to see him canter? Why, when all it would have taken was me to say, Ok, but give us a few minutes first? Why did I think THAT was okay?
I would never put my child in harm's way, not that I am comparing her to an animal. I would never put my dogs in harm's way. I would never put a friend in harm's way. Not by carelessness, nor on purpose. So, why the HELL did I do it to my horse? My second best friend in the entire world next to my one and only child.
I feel as if I should sell him to someone who won't make stupid mistakes. I feel as if I was entirely way to irresponsible and that I don't even have the RIGHT to be his owner anymore. He TRUSTS me completely and I almost took him out. I have worked for months, training him with love and kindness and hugs and kisses not smacks or whips(Not that I am against anything, I am merely saying.) I have gained his full trust. This is the animal that will stand stock still and not even flinch when I take a swing at his face to get a mosquito. Nothing I do bothers him. He feels completely safe with me, and before today I would have said he was.
He still trusts me 100%. When I remounted we had not one single problem and he behaved like a prince. But, when I got back down, I couldn't even look at him. I feel I have failed him in a monumental way and he doesn't even know it. I can't apologize, he's a HORSE, he doesn't understand what all my tears were for, all he knew was that I was upset and therefore it was cuddle time.
I'm sorry for making this so long you guys. I am just devastated. I don't make dumb mistakes like that. I am always so careful with him and everything we do we decide to do TOGETHER. I've never forced him and he has come so far for me. But, I can't even look at him without bursting into tears, knowing that today could have been our last and for some stupid freaking mistake.
He knows when you're happy
He knows when you're comfortable
He knows when you're confident
And he always knows when you have carrots.