Yesterday he wouldn't go up a road because it involved a hill he didn't feel like going up. He stopped, that was his move.
My move: I turned him around the way he wanted to go (towards home, easy to do) and then backed his big rump up that hill! It took us 15 minutes with breaks and such, but I didn't give up.
He didn't even want to go down the road yesterday. Didn't even want to leave my driveway. That was his stupid move.
My move: I lunged him, walked him down the road, mounted him and rode him back home (which he wanted to do) but then stopped and got him to turn around and start walking away from home. That was a victory of patience, and I should have stopped there and called the day a small success. But I started feeling cocky and decided to ask him to go back off the main paved road to our usual dirt road trail.
His move: He would not go up that road.
My move: Ask with more force, use crop.
His move: Bucking and Kicking, No MEANS NO!
My last move: I stopped him hissy fit. Made him stand. Dismounted, and called Dave and Milt, local horse trainers, to come show me how to show him who's boss, safely.
So we will get through it. I'm not giving up, not stopping work with him, and I am not scared of that blowhard. I just need to be patient and learn how to make my point without causing his hissy fits. And maybe what he needs is a trainer to ride out those fits and STILL get what he wants. Merlin is testing me, probably for a mixture of reasons. But I did not get this horse to look out. We will ride again as a team soon, it'll just take some hard work, stubbornness, and magic and I got plenty of all three.
P.S. That image from yesterday was taken by Raven, a friend who is visiting the farm now. I do not have folks who document the blog for me, like someone asked, but I do hand friends cameras when they arrive! Raven will be posting a guest post later. She's known me ten years, pre and post farmer, and thought you guys would like some back story.