Lacey is lucky to have a human who is so intune with her. She sounds so engrossingly complicated. If she had an ounce of meanness in her, she would be scarey (too smart).
It IS amazing how horses will often be their best when the rider is the least capable of controlling them, such as little kids, or teens riding bareback and bridleless. I just can't bring myself to trust my horse that much. Therein lies my problem, I guess.
My cat lies on my arms as I type all the time. He INSISTS on being with me nonstop. His name is Elvis, but I call him "Lumpy" because he has doublt paws.
Aww thanks! I'm lucky to have her, she keeps me on my toes!
She is freaking scary smart! You should have seen her at camp, she learned to differentiate between groups of children (the groups changed weekly) and she'd pick the correct trail to go down depending on the group. We had one trail that I always started the ride on with horse clubs and she'd always choose that horse club trail during horse club time. With the normal (non-horse club) campers, I had a simple loop that I went on and during horse rides time (when these kids would come) she would always choose the simple loop even though it was probably hecka boring for her.
It was really a little bit terrifying to realize that she was analyzing her environment to that sort of depth.
I would love to have a speaking discussion with her, I feel like she would be such an intelligent conversationalist. She's already a fascinating non-verbal conversationalist!
Horses are truly amazing like that! I bet it'll happen one day for you. One day you'll find a horse that you feel completely one with and I bet you'll have no issue riding him or her with nothing. I used to be the most phobic rider out there, everything scared me. But, then Lacey happened and she's really really built my confidence. I mean, she's certainly scared me at times but most of the time it's for our continued safety as a whole, most of the time I feel completely safe on her back and I never ever thought I'd feel this way about a horse. I mean, cantering through the woods would have scared the bejeebus out of me 2 years ago but now I do it on a weekly basis without fear. It's partially due to the fact that I know Lacey will do anything in her power to keep me on. For instance, last winter, I was riding her bareback and I decided that we were going to step over a narrow but deep drainage ditch thing. She ended up misjudging the distance and got a front foot in the ditch, about 1 1/2ft down, she was on her knee with the other front leg, and her butt was in the air. I remember flying over to her left and I saw the ground coming up and was like "Seriously, this is the way I'm going to fall off of Lacey for the first time? Really? How lame."
Next thing I knew, I was back, centered in her back with my lady parts hurting something fierce from the impact with her backbone! Later on, when I got home I discovered that I had a pretty intense bruise, about half way down, on the inside of my right thigh and I realized that that's how close I must have been to almost falling off. I still have absolutely no idea how she saved me. She must have done some crazy maneuvering to get both of us back up and I would have loved to have that on video! But, after that, I realized that barring rolling down a hill together (my current fear), I don't think she's going to let me come off.
She also likes to do this with people she's worried about, or me if she's trying to gauge how I'm doing in the saddle, she'll bend her neck, ever so slightly, so that she can clearly see her rider out of one eye. And if the rider moves so that she can't see them easily with one eye, she'll switch sides and do it with the other eye. It's really very adorable.
I guess sometimes I just forget that trust is at the bottom of our "training scale". I need to remember to trust her even when I feel scared. I just have such a hard time with that!
And geez, sorry for the wall of text!!
Your cat sounds adorable! Mine's name is Booth, like Seeley Booth from Bones.
he's a very shexy cat. Haha Just kidding! He thinks he is!
I wonder if her saddle (or some other piece of tack) maybe isn't fitting her just quite right and that was her way of showing you that she was uncomfortable? Some horses don't let it phase them at all, but Lacey seems like she'd speak her mind. ;)
I think her saddle fits pretty well. It might be just a smidge narrow right now because she's wide like a whale, but the pockets she used to have behind her withers from years of ill-fitting saddles (before me) are finally all gone so I don't know. Angle-wise, the tree angle is perfect for her, according to the forum (when I posted saddle fitting pictures), I was told that they felt the only way the saddle could fit her better was if it was custom, so that's probably pretty good. The only thing I can think of is that she's currently wider and more muscular than she's been in quite a while and I was told that I probably should use a pretty thin pad with my saddle and I've been using one that's about an inch thick. So maybe my pad is too thick... However I don't particularly have the money to get a new pad so she's not getting a new one for at least a little while. :(
And she's ridden in a bitless bridle so I wouldn't think that would be causing her pain... Her bridle is just a one ear biothane setup so there's really nothing on it that could be pinching, I would think...
One thought I just had about pain is that perhaps her winter hair is getting stuck somewhere, like around the cinch and pulling somehow... She does have ridiculously long winter hair (a minimum of 3 inches long, everywhere) so that's not all that unlikely. I will certainly be on the look out for that from now on! Good idea!