Saturday, September 16, 2017

A Horsey Connundrum

"So what are we going to get into today?"

One thing's for sure when working with Bodi: It takes some creativity and a sense of humor to get through interactions with him.

Take today for instance. This morning I decided to take Bodi out for a nice trot around the ring, maybe practice some starts and stops. It seemed to go well earlier in the week, but today he wasn't going to go for it. Three seconds into our pleasant trot he decided he wanted to go eat grass instead. The grass was to my left. Bodi was to my right. He attempted to go through me to get to the grass, resulting in me attempting to keep him from doing so by whirling the end of the rope in front of his pushy little face to try to get him to head the other way. Y'know... like they tell you to do. 

Either I wasn't swinging it hard enough or he decided he'd just endure it for that grassy goodness because it merely made him pin his ears and speed up toward the grass. I ended up having to haul on his face. Again. I hate having to haul on his face. He also hates it when I have to haul on his face. It just puts everyone in a mood.

We switched directions, came back and tried again. I went into a trotting pace and clucked at him and we began moving forward. We moved forward faster and faster as he attempted to go to the left and I attempted to body-check him back into the ring. Pin ears, speed up, haul on face.

Ok, this obviously wasn't working, so we changed directions again and walked to the other side of the ring while I thought of what to do. He's a shorty so I'm not too worried about him hauling off and kicking me in the face but he's faster than me so I'm not going to be able to get in front of him and push him back the way I want him to go. Hauling on his face makes him stop, but then we're at a stop instead of a trot and we're usually facing back the way we came from when his rear end finally comes to a halt. Alright- I had a third idea.

We started trotting again, and this time when he veered toward the grass I ran full-speed toward the grass with him. Like, full-tilt "you want grass we're gonna get you some grass" sprint into it. This time I was the one dragging Bodi along, because he was so surprised that he actually came to a halt at the edge of it while I kept going. We went through the grass, then sort of haphazardly to the right where I managed not to careen into the fence and we both stumbled back out into the ring. Bodi snorted at me. "What," he seemed to say, "the horsey hell are you doing."

"Teaching you to trot" I said, and we started trotting again. We were in a different position this time and the grassy area closest to us was directly in front of us on the far side of the ring. We trotted pretty well until we reached the far side, then he attempted to put his head down and speed up toward the grass again. Well alrighty then. I barreled past him like my life depended on reaching grass, then proceeded to turn him toward the right when we got to the fence and charged back out into the ring.

Look, I'm as confused as you are as to whether this is actually teaching him anything. But I'll tell you one thing. We trotted. And he didn't get any grass. (Well, for now.)

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