It Could Be Being Better…

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This was a very strange week. First, I had a very big day with lots of people coming to see me!  I did not get to go outside with all the other horses, and I do not like that.  I am always sure that someone just forgot me, and I do not like it when people forget me!!  So I make sure to make a bunch of noise and keep moving around in my stall, just so people will know I am there.  It was raining, and I am a horse, so rain is OK, but between you and me, I do not like it that much.  I like the mud, but I do not really like being wet.  It is a Huey Thing.  So it was raining, and it sounded like lots and lots of little squirrels running around on the roof of the barn all the time, it was that loud.  Then my rider came, and she brushed me, but she said It is too wet to ride, Huey.  I said I know.  What are you doing this for then?  And she said that there were people who were going to come see me.

Well.  Visitors.  I am good with visitors!  Visitors admire me, and sometimes they give me treats.  I like visitors!!

But she did not tell me that it was not really visitors it was another person with that same sound.

Vet.

Yes.  I have seen so much of that Vet this spring, I do not think I should ever see him again!  He is a nice person and he does not hurt me, not really, but still.  He pokes me with things.  Sharp things.  My rider says it is important to get poked like that so that I do not get sick.  She says she gets poked and the dogs get poked and all of the other horses get poked, and it is good because we are not sick.  I think I would not get sick anyway because who is going to make the Wonder Horse sick?  I also think that if everyone has to get poked, maybe there is a better way to do it that does not involve poking.  But she said I should be a Good Horse and hold still.

And then, this was very weird, I got poked a bunch of times!! My rider said this poking was going to help me use my food better and make my tail nicer where all the used hay comes out, and it would help my leg too.  I do not know how getting poked a lot would do any of that, but she said I am the boss of you, Huey, you let him do that.  And, this is good, because remember the last time the V was out, my rider went away and looked at Pumpkin and talked to the V for hours while I got bored and lonely out on that hitching post, and then I had to dig a hole, and then the Monster scared me?  She did not do that this time.  Pumpkin was not there, for one.  And my rider stood right next to my head and talked to me and let me lick her hand a lot.  A bunch of the time that hand had treats in it, which made me forget about the poking.

And that was fine, except I looked back and there were things sticking out of my skin! ALL OVER THE PLACE!!!  

Well, I did not like that.  And one of the things, it was on my wither, was going to STING me like a BEE.  I made my skin twitch to knock it off, but it did not go!  So I made my skin twitch more and it STILL did not go!!!  And there was my rider saying something, blah blah blah Huey, but I could not listen, there was a THING and it was STINGING ME!!!  I said We have to run away from here now!!!  And my rider said Huey Huey Huey Huey Huey and did not let go, but someone made the cross ties go away, so I could MOVE.   I thought I was going to run away from there REALLY fast!!!  But my rider was still right there and she had my head and she said Huey Huey Huey Huey Huey and then I was walking in little circles instead of running away, and the Stingy Thing was still on me, but I stopped because I had to make a breath and then I could hear what my rider was saying.  And you know what that was?

She was saying Huey! Grass!  Grass, Huey.

And she was right.  We had gone all the way outside the barn, and there was some grass right there, in front of me, and my rider was walking over there!!  Well, the Stingy Thing was still on my wither, but I get Stingy Things all the time when I am out eating grass so it was OK.  Then the V came over and all of the stingy things went, and I got to have more grass.  It was all wet, too, because of that rain.  I like that.  Then I got my jacket on and went out to the paddock where there was hay.  And I thought that was all the excitement for one day, but I was wrong!

My rider came back a long time later and she put the halter on me again!  I said Rider, what are you doing?  It is raining and you said we are not riding.  But she said You have someone else to see you now!  And I did.  It was the farrier.  Again!!!  I have seen that guy every week for, well, weeks!  But this time, I guess, it was to put my shoes on properly and to make my back hoofs nice and flat and round.  I like the farrier.  He is a nice guy and he does not poke me.  But it was already one big day, and I was there in the cross ties again and I did not know what to do.  Then I saw that the farrier had a strange hat.  It is not like the hat that people wear when we go riding.  It was softer and had a curly thing coming up in the back, and a piece of metal.

And when I saw that hat, I realized there was one thing I wanted to do more than anything else:  I wanted to take that hat off and chew on it.  So I put my face down to start getting it off, and my rider said Huey!  Do not put your mouth on him!!  And I said I am not putting my mouth on him, I am putting my mouth on his hat.  But she said You do not do that, Huey.

Well, I had enough of being told what to do and what not to do for one day.  So I waited until my rider was talking to that farrier, and he was working on my shoe, and I sneaked my mouth down to take that hat off again.  My rider said HUEY STOP THAT.  But I did not WANT to stop that.  I WANTED to chew on that hat.  Then the rider said something to the farrier that I did not pay attention to, because I was too busy thinking about that hat and sneaking my mouth down, and then I got my lips nice and close and I was just about to take my teeth and grab that curly bit when, what do you think? That farrier had an extra hand that wasn’t holding my foot, and that extra hand came up and popped me in the lips!  I was very surprised, let me tell you!!!

I put my head up in the air, I was that surprised, and that extra hand disappeared and the farrier just kept on going.  I said Rider! He smacked me!  But she just said Huey, I told you not to put your mouth on him.  You earned that.  You must listen to me. Do not do it again.  I have told you one million times not to do that. It is not nice and it is dangerous.  I said I am not a dangerous horse! But she said You are much bigger than we are and you have huge teeth.  Well, she is right. I do have huge teeth, and I have been told not to do that. I do not know about million.  But I have been told.

It is just so hard sometimes. There are so many things I want to chew on.

The good thing is that I got two carrot stretches when the farrier was done!  I got to show them off, too, and he said they looked very good! And then I went back out, and no other people came to visit or do things that day.

Then we had a lesson, and I was feeling pretty good after all that stuff!!  I wanted to GO!!  And go and go and go!!  I was the Wonder Horse all over that arena, and everyone said so!  And there was a huge surprise at the end of that lesson!

I got to canter with my rider!!

I can hear you say, But lots of horses canter with their riders, Huey! Why is this a surprise?  And I will tell you:  it is a huge surprise.  See, my rider is not very good at riding.  She is getting a tiny little better all the time, but I used to have very good riders, and we would go racing all around and jumping huge fences and logs, and going very very fast!!!  And I am good at going fast and jumping. But now things are different, and I have to learn to go slow and I do not get to jump over things.  I miss jumping over things and going very fast.  But, I have said this before, when I did the fast running and the tall jumping, I was a very Good Horse, and very Brave…but I was not the Wonder Horse.  I was not the Wonder Horse until I got my new rider.  Even though I have to teach her to ride and it is boring a lot, I am the Wonder Horse now, and that is a Good Thing. It has more treats, for one.  And my rider is still very interested in me even when we are not actually riding, and she thinks I am the Best Horse In The World, because she says that all the time.  So, being the Wonder Horse is not as exciting, but I will take it.

So.  Since I am being the teacher of this rider, and she is not great, it is exciting in a different way.  The first time we went riding together she told me GO FASTER, HUEY!! And I like her, and I did not realize that she is not yet being a very good rider, so I did.  And when I go fast, I go fast you know.  But then she made a lot of noise and she was very wobbly and then let go of the reins and then she grabbed me around the neck.  She should not be grabbing me on the neck while she is riding!  There is a saddle!  And she is supposed to hold onto the reins all the time!! But then she slid off and fell down.  And then she did not move for a long time.

Oops.  I made a mistake.  That is when I realized it was probably not Go Go Go but Ho Ho Ho.

This was embarrassing.  I am a professional.  I do not go around dumping my rider, not like the Bad Horses do.  I am a Good Horse.  It was just a mistake.

But since then, we do not go very fast when we are riding.  I do not like it when my rider falls off.  I should be able to keep her on.  It only happened one other time, so that is OK, but still, I do not like it.  So I am careful to go slow, and when she feels wobbly, I stop.

But, the other day, I was feeling really good, like I said, and I made my fast trot!  The one that I can use to jump if I want!  And my rider is better, and she was staying on just fine!  She told me I should slow down a little, but I said No, we should go fast!  And then we had a long conversation with the bit and stuff, and I went the speed she wanted, which was slower than I wanted, but faster then we usually go.  And then my rider was talking to Laura a lot, and then she was talking to me.  And here is what she said:

She said Huey!  Guess what?  We are going to canter!  So I said What did you say? And she said We are going to canter! And I said Are you sure, rider?  Because the last time you came off and you did not move.  But she said that was a long time ago.  And she also said You need to wait for me to tell you, Huey, and remember, give me your slowest canter and if I go wobbly, you should stop.  And if you think I am telling you that you should go faster, it is a  mistake.  I do not want to go on a fast canter, Huey.  So you just go slow!  So I said OK!  And then I thought she said to canter, but she said No, and we had to wait a while, and then she gave me that squeeze, and I said Rider! Is it time? and she said Yes Huey! Let’s go!

And we did.  It felt really good!  I have not been able to canter in ages because of my sore leg.  And my rider was not great.  She was very bouncy and she should not be being bouncy, but she did not fall off.  She did pull on the reins pretty hard, though, so I went to trotting and walking.  She said You are great Huey!!! and gave me a huge pat.  And then we got to do it again!  This time, she gave me the sign, and I went into my canter, but I went a little fast because it was feeling so great and then I heard her shout HUEY! SLOW! REMEMBER!! and I did.  So I slowed it down a lot and she said Thank you! And then we had to stop again because it was time.  But I got another huge pat and a zillion treats!!  And I was the Wonder Horse all day long.

I was going to be the Wonder Horse again later, but then it rained some more, and then when it was not raining and my rider came, well, there were a couple of mares eating grass next to the ring.  And I wanted to be out with those mares, not working in the stupid ring!  I did not want to listen to my rider, I just wanted to eat grass!  And I was not the Wonder Horse.  The rider said so.  She was very disappointed in me but I said You could give me a treat.  She said Are you kidding me?  You made the most pathetic excuse for a trot ever and you tried to stop every time you passed those mares, and now you want a treat?!?!  I said Yes, why not?  And then she said it.  She You are NOT the Wonder Horse today, Huey.

Not the Wonder Horse?  I am not the Wonder Horse?  Who is the Wonder Horse then?  How am I not the Wonder Horse?!?!  I said What are you talking about?

And she said The Wonder Horse is ready to work and has a good attitude.  He is not lazy, and paying attention to everything but the rider.  The Wonder Horse listens to the rider!  And you are not ready to work, and you do not have a good attitude, and you are being lazy, and you are not listening to me at all.  So you cannot be the Wonder Horse.  Maybe you will be tomorrow, but not today.

And then I had to go back in my paddock without any treats or any grass or any scratches or even a stupid kiss.  Just some stinky old hay and water.  Well, it was good hay, and I really like hay, and I was kind of hungry, but it was not like it is when I get to go out with my rider and eat fresh grass and get carrots.

Today, my rider came again and I said I am going to be the Wonder Horse today, rider!  But then those mares were out there again, and it took me a long time to stop being distracted by them.  My rider said a Bad Word and gave me a boot in the side, and that was very helpful in putting my attention back on her.  And then everything was OK, and I was the Wonder Horse again.  But then after, instead of going in the paddock, I had to get a bath.  I did not want a bath.   And I definitely did not want stinky pink stuff on my tail, and when my rider was back there, I said a Bad Word.  I picked up my back foot and curled my hoof around so everyone could see the bottom of it, and I said I could be kicking someone right now, you know!! And my rider smacked my butt and said she could be kicking some horse’s butt in a big way, and making them run around until they fall on the ground right now, you know!!  So I put my foot back down.  But I put it back up a minute later, and said I could really be kicking someone! And that rider smacked my butt even harder and said You better put that foot down RIGHT NOW or LOSE IT.  She said if I kicked her, something would happen then that was going to make me think that I was about to DIE.

Well, I do not want to think that I am about to die, and probably, I do not want my rider to think that she needs to show me what that is like.

Also, I do not want to have to run around in circles until I fall down, and I know that my rider can make that happen.

So when she said You better leave ALL FOUR of those feet ON THE GROUND until I am DONE Huey, OR ELSE.  I thought maybe I ought to leave all my feet on the ground.  So I sucked some wind on the post, and I blew air through my nose, but not in that way that says I am mad, because I could tell it was not a good idea to make my rider think I was mad and then she was done and scraping all that water off me.  Then she said I was being a Good Horse so I got to go eat some grass with her, and then there was hay.

I hope I am the Wonder Horse again soon. It is better to be the Wonder Horse than it is to be a Bad Horse. All the Bad is out of me, it is just hard to pay attention when there is all this grass.

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About Lori Holder-Webb

I'm a Southern Woman by birth and a Texan Woman by upbringing...and yet I find myself living in New England and married to a New York City boy. Up here we use the same currency as we do at home, and I don't need to travel with a passport, but the commonalities pretty much end there. The language is different, the jokes are different, the people are different, and the weather and terrain sure are different too. I moved away from Texas in 2002, and ever since then, I've been the stranger in the strange land... I've had some questions about the name of the blog - if you were not alive, or living abroad or under a rock, or in grad school during the late 1980s, Oldsmobile attempted to shuck its stodgy image with a series of commercials intended to bring brand appeal to the younger generation: this car, they said, is not your father's Oldsmobile. If you have a morbid curiosity, hit YouTube for William Shatner Oldsmobile...it will take you right there.

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