Pie reminds me of Vincent Van Gogh sometimes. (No, Sovey hasn't bitten off his ear.) He is just very sensitive to energy currents. I like to tell my students that Van Gogh would paint the invisible air currents that flow around us all the time. He was particularly known to capture musical currents (Wagner), in his paintings. Pie doesn't paint or listen to Wagner(!), but he does react to weather currents like he can see things that I can't. Our sunny skies were replaced with rain today and Pie felt it coming. He was antsy when I was grooming him. I tacked up anyway and tried to calmly walk him around before getting on. Sovey was quiet and content in the paddock, but Pie was a Nervous Nelly. He pushes me with his head when he is upset. I walked him for a few minutes and it started to rain. We circled anyway. I thought I would just untack if it rained too hard. Then, Pie gave a calm, relaxed snort so I got on. He was wonderful as we headed out through the trails in the woods and I felt mad at myself for thinking he might be a handful. He visited his apple/barstool station and continued on. The next thing I knew he spied something very dangerous in the air. I am not sure what he saw because I saw nothing and it was on the path we had just been on, but he was certain something was there. I encouraged him to walk back that way to see that there was nothing. That was a mistake, I guess. We could have walked home easily, but I wanted him to see that it was ok. He started jumping straight up in the air (all four feet off the ground) and humping his back in little hops. At first, these jumps seemed naughty and playful, but when he would stop and stare, his heart was beating so loud and fast I could feel it. I felt so sorry for him, but I couldn't seem to reassure him and we were out in the middle of the field. I really didn't want to let him turn toward home because I thought that was a bad precedent. I pushed him forward toward the invisible monster. (That is a trick when you can't see what it is that is so scary!) He would walk and then try to turn toward home and then half-buck, half-rear. I kept my posture completely over his neck with my left hand and rein in his mane and my right rein down low on his neck as I stroked his neck. He responded well to this, almost as though I was protecting him. Actually, I was just trying to keep my weight forward. I did get him to retrace our path completely, and he stopped the antics, but he attempted to jig at the end. We walked a few minutes until the jigging stopped. He was still jumpy when I untacked and grazed. The air was full of grey mist and I really think he felt the rain storm approaching. Last spring, during a sudden thunderstorm, neither horse reacted, but today Pie sure seemed sensitive. After I turned him out, I was picking manure out of the pasture and Pie came over and loved me all up like he was trying to apologize. Poor honey, I wish I knew what he saw.
Well, Pie dear...you and Wa mare talked about this I think...ReplyDelete
Last year Wa had a sudden attack of fears and rears, once during a rain, and I decided to ride. We actually did quit that day as I was soaking. There was never anything there again...at the spot she freaked! Sometimes attitude is all it is...but as I learned from the Elk adventure...sometimes not!
Glad that he loved on you after the airs above the ground, without asking!
Yea...we too have the intermittent rains..but it is warmer...tried on a Western-y saddle today...for the attacks of ill will Wa has been getting...she has me buffaloed some...but if I can have more saddle...?
I think weather does affect them, and that they do often worry about and see things we don't - good riding on your part!ReplyDelete
Great riding on your part..those are the moments that truly scare me. That is what I need to work mostly on. That tunnel vision they get can feel quite scary and difficult to get them back, but sounds like the touching you did worked for him at times. :)ReplyDelete
KK - It does sound like Wa and Pie were up to the same tricks! Does more saddle work?ReplyDelete
Kate - I agree the weather does play a big part.
Kristen - The tunnel vision is the worst when they get like that, and it does feel like they can blow at any second. Breathing out, laughing, singing, dropping the reins - these all work fairly well.
Who knows what they can see that we can't? We have such little eyes compared to them, and in some cases (mine anyway) such lame instincts for another presence! Lilly sometimes will stop and stand alert in the trail and I think What? What? What are you seeing that I can't?ReplyDelete
I guess since you made a post your weather went from good to bad! Rats! (but good for your readers!)
I do think that horses know when the weather is changing before we do. Now if we could just interpret their response to know what kind of weather is heading our way, we'd been in great shape. LOLReplyDelete
J I am going to find out...it won't help the attitude, but it may help ME to stay on during the attitude.ReplyDelete
KK - lol - that is a good plan! Staying on during the attitude is helpful! I am usually on bareback so I can bale if necessary. Had I been on bareback on this ride I might have slid down off his tail.ReplyDelete