This got me thinking and I thought it would make a fun post. We've all encountered the people who blame their horses for every little thing. But what about those who immediately identify a problem and work on fixing it? What are your joys of discovering what's wrong and seeing results because you took 5 minutes to understand?
The example that got me thinking was Jynxy. You all know how well she's been going with her laying down, so I was working on it with her again a couple days ago. Only this time, it didn't go well. I was utterly confused - she was acting like she had no idea what I wanted. She was hopping around like she did the first time we ever did it. She kept pulling the leadrope out of my hand to crank her head to my knee and bump it with her nose, or nuzzle my jacket. I kept working gently with her, and eventually she got it - but quite roughly. She also, for the first time, laid down with her back towards me (she ALWAYS goes down with her feet towards me.)
At the time, I regret to say, I didn't think much of it. I passed it off as an "off day" for her and stopped after one time and praised her.
Last night I was laying in bed, couldn't sleep as usual and for whatever reason started thinking about why my normally oh so willing filly was so resistant. And it hit me like a ton of bricks. I got so excited about it, it further prevented sleep and I was dying to get out to the farm to test my theory.
Tonight I figured out - I WAS RIGHT! What was the problem? My clever little filly knew exactly what to do, just her stupid human didn't! I have been working with Jynx bowing on her left leg up and laying down with her right leg up! I had worked on her bowing, and instead of switching the leadrope, I went right into laying down. This wasn't how it was supposed to work! She kept turning her head because she wanted to bow for me! She laid down the "wrong way" because it was the right way in her mind if I had been using the leg I taught her with!
Sure enough, tonight I went to the proper leg and after a bit of confusion (you're mixing me up mom, what the hell do you want?!) she went "EUREKA!" and went down smooth like she always does.
It just got me thinking about problem solving, and how I should have taken a step back sooner to figure out why instead of passing it off as a "bad day". Humans have bad days, horses don't unless something has happened to them to scare them or make them nervous. I'm happy I figured it out though, it was such a rush to realize it was entirely my fault and my filly knew exactly what to do, and was trying to tell me I was wrong!
What are your stories of realizing your horse was telling you something and you either listened right away or maybe took a little longer to figure it out?