I know it has been being a long time since I told everyone how things are going at the barn, but that is because I have been busy. I have been busy teaching that rider to canter, and we have been working very hard on those leg yields!! And there is something new. Well, it is not really new but it is not something we usually do. That is, my rider has been putting big sticks on the ground and making me run over them.
I do not like running over those big sticks. For one, I am not a running over sticks horse, I am a jumping horse. I do not mind jumping over big sticks, but I do not think this running over sticks is a very good idea. It is harder than jumping over sticks!!
I can hear you say, But Huey! You are a big strong horse! You jump over VERY tall fences! What is the problem with running over a few sticks on the ground?
And what I say is this: It is harder. You would not think that, but it is. Big jumps maybe come one or two, or in a VERY BIG show, three. At a time. But they do not come one, two, three, four, five at a time, and without giving a horse the chance to rest and take it easy. The big sticks on the ground do, though, and a horse does not get a chance to rest!
Also, unless I pick my feet up VERY carefully, I bonk the stick with my hoof. And I do not like to bonk things with my hoof! Things that are not other bratty horses that are giving me a bunch of talk-back, that is. Those horses I am happy to bonk with my hoof. I do not call it bonking with my hoof when that happens, though. I call it kicking. But these big sticks on the ground, I bonk them with my hoof all the time. This means one, that I make a noise and I have bonked something, and I do not like bonking things. It is clumsy. If I bonk them too hard and they fall off, I lose to some other horse. Even though these sticks are already on the ground and cannot fall off, I still feel like I lose to another horse.
But it is worse: sometimes when I bonk those sticks with my hoof, it makes me trip. Tripping is embarrassing. Also, it makes me a little sore later, and it makes my rider almost fall off. That happened today. I tripped, and I nearly put my nose on the ground. WHILE I was trotting!!!! And my rider came up WAY over my neck and said WHOOOPS! and OH NO!! and I think she was scared. It is not good to scare my rider. I am a Better Horse than that.
So to keep from bonking the sticks with my hoof, I have to work very hard and pick my legs up a lot. AND I do not get a nice rest in between the sticks! That is why it is hard. Bonking and tripping.
We used to do those sticks on the ground once in a while, but now we do them almost all the time. That is not so fun. The thing that is fun is this: we are doing a LOT of cantering! And my rider is getting pretty good at that! She can go around the ring a bunch of times, and she does not fly around on my back, and she does not kick me. Well, not much. And she is not yanking so much on my mouth either! That is fun!!!!
I am being a Very Good Teacher. That is because I am the Wonder Horse.
Last week, the person that makes my back and neck go POP came. I used to be a little bit scared of that because I thought it might hurt. Now it just feels good. And I told my rider this morning that it is time for the farrier to come. I said Look at my hoof, rider. That one in the back. And she said I will look at it in a minute, Huey, when I pick your feet. And please do not fart on my head this time. But I just said You should look at it now. You might forget. And I cannot help farting on your head, it just happens when you pick up my feet. She made the noise like the wind blowing in her mouth, but she did go and look at my foot. She said Huey, you are right. There is a big chip on this hoof. And I said It does not look nice. I like my hoofs to look nice. So she said The farrier is coming later this week. He will take care of that for you!
I was right to say that, too, because guess what happened just then? Laura walked by and she stopped and said When is the farrier coming? His feet are HUGE.
And they are. Everyone stood around and looked at my hoofs and said they were huge. But my rider, she said And they are beautiful. They are healthy. And she is right. Except for they are needing a trim and there is a chip, they are beautiful.
It is good to have beautiful hoofs.
The other day, I thought we were going to ride and I was going to tell my rider Do not make me go over those big sticks on the ground! Because we did that the day before, and I thought it was too hard and I did not want to. So guess what I did? I JUMPED over those big sticks! I did not have to jump very high, but I did it. And my rider said Huey. What are you doing? And I said I am going over those big sticks like you said. And she made me go over them again, and I jumped them again. And then my rider said Huey. I am pretty sure that both of your front feet hit the ground at the same time just then. And I said Yes! That is because I am good at this! You will not find me being a clumsy horse! But she just said Huey, you are supposed to be trotting over those sticks, not jumping over them. And I said Well, I know, but now I am jumping them instead. And she made that noise like the wind with her mouth again.
Today, I did not feel like working. It was being a lesson day, and those mean I am having to work harder than usual. And I just did not feel like it! The rider had not been riding for two days. Instead, she came out at the time I should be going back into the barn. I got excited and ran around because I thought it was time to go back in the barn, and I like being first. And I thought maybe I would get to be first. But she did not pick up my halter when she came in to the paddock, so I knew we were not going anywhere. I always have to go in the halter if we are going to go somewhere. So I was a little disappointed, but then I went to sniff her anyway, and guess what I smelled?
So I knew she had carrots on her, and I was going to find them. Before I could go looking, she pulled one out and I said CARROT!! IT HAS BEEN A LONG TIME SINCE I HAD A CARROT!!! and I put my mouth out to grab that carrot and eat it. But she put it on my side instead, so I turned around to get it, but no matter where I went, that carrot was still right next to my side. That’s when I realized that I was going to have to work for that carrot, too. And I was right. I had to make the big stretch to get it. I do not mind making the big stretch when there is a carrot though!!! And it does kind of feel good.
There were two carrots. I was one lucky horse!!!!!
So today I thought I should get more carrots instead of having to work. But we went into the ring anyway. All the other horses were out playing in the grass. And I had to work. How is a horse supposed to focus when that horse just had to work and watch a bunch of other horses playing around? It is hard. I did not try. We went to the block, and while the rider was messing around with the tack, I saw that there were leaves on the sand. So I put my head down and I ate one!! The rider said Huey, stop! But I did not care. I ate another one. Then the rider smacked me on the neck with the reins so I had to stop. She was not happy and made me walk around in a small circle and then we went back to the block and I said I am going to eat a leaf! And she said You are not! And she did not let me.
I was going to Show Her. I might not be able to eat a leaf but I was not going to work either. She tried to make me walk faster, but I said No. Then she tried to make me trot, but I said No. I did walk a little faster, but I did not trot. So she tried to make me trot again, and I said No. Then we stopped while she talked to Laura, but I just watched those other horses playing in the grass. I did not even tell the rider No. I just Did Not. Then she squeezed me and I started walking because I forgot that I was not going to. But I remembered, and when she told me to trot again, I said No.
But then do you know what happened? She had a little stick in her hand. And she smacked my shoulder with it!!
I know what those little sticks are. All of the other riders I have had used them. They are Magic Sticks: they make me do things even when I do not want them to. The rider touches me, and I have to listen. I have to go faster usually. Those sticks are Magic.
But my rider that I have now does not have one of those sticks!! She never did before! So any time we rode, she would say I want to you to trot, Huey, and most of the time I said Yes, because I am a Good Horse, but sometimes I said No, and she could not make me. Because she did not have a Magic Stick.
I do not know how she got a Magic Stick but there it was. I said No I do not want to trot, and that Magic Stick came down. Then I learned something new: riders have to learn how to use the magic. I learned that because the Magic Stick came down, but I still did not have to go!! It came down again, and I still did not have to!!! It was touching me, and I did not have to go, and I thought that Magic Sticks do not work on me now that I am the Wonder Horse.
But that was not right, because when the Magic Stick came down again,I had to go. So it is just that riders need to learn the Magic Stick just like horses need to learn to pick up feet for the farrier.
Now the rider has a Magic Stick and I had to do everything she told me to.
It was not fair. It was better when the rider did not have a Magic Stick. I will have to work more now, I guess. Maybe this means I will be getting more carrots, too. At least I got some grass today!!