Yesterday was "Talk to the Hoof" day. No matter what I did, how hard I asked, begged, cajoled or pleaded with my leg, I was greeted with "talk to the hoof." Bear was simply not interested in listening to my opinion or in going forward the way I wanted him to.

Was it the heat? We worked in the arena because the sand ring was too soggy, and even with the doors thrown wide open, there wasn't a lot of air circulation. We both were coated in sweat when we were done. (This lady doesn't 'glow' after a dressage workout -- it's more like Niagara Falls flowing from under my helmet!!!) Was he simply having a "bad day?" You know, like the "time of the month" thing we ladies can often use for an excuse when we're just feeling a bit off our game. Or was he simply being a brat?!!! I'm leaning toward the combination of all three. I, however, after venting heavily (my poor coach!) had the final word with my darling Bear.

I borrowed my girlfriend's dressage whip (it has a slightly weighted flapper at the end) and presented it to him assertively behind my leg. Now that got his attention!!! "Oh, you really did want me to go forward today?" I almost heard him say. After too many wasted minutes trying to ask nicely, I finally got the "tough love" thing happening and he finally got the message and presented me with the most fabulous trot and canter I could have asked for to finish off our lesson. Thank God for small mercies!

Today we got to do our thing in the sand ring and I acquainted Bear with the boss lady in me much earlier in the process.All of that out of the way, we had a much more pleasant experience and I rewarded his efforts by finishing with a short hack and filling his buckets with carrots. We were both happier. Sure, he was very openly opinionated a couple of times during our workout, but I told him to "talk to the hoof!" ;-)


D :-)

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