The Bad Thing: Hudson’s Perspective

Dear Jane-Readers,

Please forgive me, but I am going to address all the equines out there, who surely will comprehend my pain.  No offense meant to bipeds: it’s one of those “until you walk in my hooves” sort of things.

Dear Equines,

The misery has compounded. For weeks, Jane has rushed in, apparently aimlessly deciding what to do with me, and then forgetting what she decided.

She has been driving me crazy.

Legitimate grievance #1:

I’ve learned to handle the grooming. I’ve adjusted my philosophy and even put my preference on the bottom.

    • Groom and let’s go.
    • Don’t groom and let’s go.

Legitimate grievance #2:

For nearly 4 weeks, all I have done is WALK.  I refuse to count one trot circle or one canter circle as something besides walking. I’ve walked:

  • on the buckle
  • on the bit
  • stretchy
  • booming
  • lazy
  • on the road
  • in heavy sand
  • while ponying Dinero
  • while being ponied by Dinero

Sometimes all in the same “riding” session. I have dutifully walked with gentlemanly forgiveness, and reasoned with Jane. Despite her abundant faults, Jane usually listens. 

Every. Single. Day. I politely suggested we add to the mind numbing walk program.

Every. Single. Day. Jane said “not now, Hudson, sorry”.

I am not lame.  I am healthy. I am fit. There is no medical reason I must walk.

Many of you may identify with my frustration. {Tucker, Fee, Ginger, Solo…need I go on?} I’m trying to handle my retirement with grace, and embrace my new career (gag) as a dressage horse.

I’m a point and shoot kind of guy, okay? I need to work.  I mean, come on: plod plod plod, turn the corner, plod: hey there’s those turkeys again. And how about that manure pile? You knowI think the sun might have moved a notch…

It’s water torture. Drip drip drip.

Then, The Bad Thing happened…

Familiar tires crunch on the road. I smell Trixie’s rig with….inhale…Reenie loaded, and …inhale…maybe…Tarzan? Maybe not. Kinda faint. Definitely Reenie. Reenie is Trixie’s rope horse.

I am instantly JAZZED. ROAD TRIP!!!  Bella tosses a bunch of roping gear in Trixie’s truck. We’re going roping! COWS. Dinero, we’re going ROPING! Dinero and I bump and shuffle at the gate.

Bella halters Dinero (he always loads first, he fits better in the front) and holds him back until Trixie checks the dividers. Dinero and I are Self-Loading. We both have to be held back. I watch as Dinero gleefully loads himself into the trailer.

I shuffle around, antsy to get going. What the heck else do they need before they get me? Patience, Hudson, patience.

The Bad Thing:

The rear doors to the trailer slam closed, and the latch slides down. The truck engine starts. Tires roll.

WAIT! NOOOOOooooooo!!!!!! Come back! I’m not loaded, you have to COME BACK!!! You need me for the zagging steers…I’m SO good at that.

They Leave Without Me.

I spend the entire day alone. Knowing exactly what Dinero is doing while I stare at the dirt. Jane comes, brings grain…and tries to LEAVE. Without even taking me out of the paddock.  Yeah yeah. She’s busy. Whatever. I whinny and stare from Bella’s rig to Jane and back again: mind meld; Jane. We can catch up.

I grab a halter off the rack and flip it at her.

“Where’s Dinero?”, she says, startled, peeling the halter off her shirt. “Huh. The rig is still here…I’d better check the gates.”

Gates checked, she leaves, texting into her phone.

I could cry.

Suffice to say: bad night. My ego took a huge hit. I am WALKING and LEFT BEHIND.

Why I lost it:

The next day, Jane says brightly, “We’re back on track Hudson! Time to get fit”, and throws the 2 pound saddle on my back. I keep it together.

She asks me to walk. Fine. Walking on the access road. I can’t WAIT to get into the arena. I need to prove I still have what it takes.

FINALLY, we go into the big arena (my favorite) and Jane asks me to…trot. When I jig and bounce (Hellloooo Jane…what have I been saying for the last month?!?) she actually attempts to get me TO WALK.

She thinks this is an obedience thing?

PUHleaze. I do NOT need to prove I have what it takes…to walk.

She decides to meet me half way. She asks me to go on the bit, and trot. I confess. I deliberately ‘mistake’ her trot cue, and canter. A nice surging – but contained – canter.

Jane stops me, corrects me, and cues me to trot.

I. Lose. It. LOSE. IT.

ME?!? Who has been a dang SAINT for 4 weeks? She’s gonna treat me like this is disobedience?

I. Bronc. Out.

Honestly? I don’t remember bucking. Man was I sore the next day.

Humans.  Cut your equines a little slack.  Events that seem insignificant to you can impact us with a magnitude you can’t imagine. Pay attention. Put the pieces together. Frustration is not correctable. And it is not disobedience.

I see all you equines nodding out there.  Am I right, or am I right?

Luckily, Jane understood I wasn’t trying to unload her. When I came to my senses, she grabbed some mane, got up out of the tack, and let me rip. In return, we ended with a magnificent dressage canter, hugely round and light, and I gave her whatever speed she wanted, instantly.

Bonus: talk about listening…guess what we’re doing tonight? We’re going to roping practice!  Nah, I won’t rope, but I will have fun, and I will get to go in the trailer (hallelujah).

Of course I forgive her.  She’s keeping who I am in the equation.

11 thoughts on “The Bad Thing: Hudson’s Perspective

  1. Aw, this post made me cry. The part where the doors slammed and he was left behind was the look Solo gave me today as I rode out to the trails on the new horse. Heartbreaking.

  2. Oh man, I JUST did this to Tucker. I gave him 10 days off due to work commitments and being stranded over the weekend from the flooding (Hurricane Irene). So after 10 days he is BOUNCING with excitement because we’re FINALLY RIDING and I made him walk for half an hour because he came out a little stiff. He nearly unloaded me twice, with 2 very impressive 180’s: once at a baby deer, once at a turkey vulture. Not his fault. He wanted to GO and I was ignoring him because I wanted to give his muscles time to stretch and warm up. At least our ride the next day was lovely. Their capacity to forgive is pretty incredible.

    1. I called Tucker. It’s been awhile since we chatted. FYI you left your cell in the barn again. Um. He might have accidentally called Fiji? (You must admit manipulating a cell phone without opposable thumbs is quite a feat.) Whoever answered was quite nice, but did not seem to understand he wasn’t trying to book a berth for you on a cruise ship.

      You may need to go shopping. And bring a towel. And his cooler.

      We discussed humans who can’t get it together and are stopped by little things like hurricanes and family illness.

      He said his philosophy is :
      A) Forgiveness is a two way street (tickets to Fiji) and
      B) I sort of remember what she’s talking about…was it recent? I know mom brought me cookies….

  3. Ah. Ro sympathizes in reverse.

    After weeks of convincing me that tossing hay in paddock was just as much fun as tossing a saddle on her back, we’ve gone back to work. She was ok with that as long as we just walked, but adding in trot and canter is not so cool with her. Too much sweat involved. Not enough eating.

    She even had her own trailer loading moment, but it was half an hour of “I will not load and you can’t make me. Neener neener.”

    She’d be happy to trade owners. She’s ideal for the busy owner on a time crunch. Toss hay. Pat neck. Go away. Everyone wins.

  4. Yup. Been there, done that, got the buckle.

    Took me a while to get that it was frustration and boredom. I am always astonished by how complex horses are…

  5. Pippin here, I can commiserate with you. I mean, just how many times must a guy go around the round pen before going bonkers? And then, when I try to add a little spice, my Mrs. Owner just makes me go around a few more times. We walk. We stop. We walk. We stop. We turn little dinky circles… at the walk. I’m so dizzy…..

  6. Oh this is so great! This speaks to me as I am writing this AND watching my horse watch me while standing in his pen. I don’t even want to imagine what he is thinking. Thanks for the heads up Hudson!

  7. Good boy Hudson for not completely offing her into the dust. Since you explained it so well, I guess I understand now. Please be careful not to hurt Jane or yourself. I’m glad you get to go out and play someplace else, have fun!

    1. Yep. My circumstances severely limited my time at the barn, Hudson needs a long warm up period. Leaving little to no time to actually RIDE.
      Just goes to show how radically different horse and human see the same event –

      Me: (patting self on back) At least I’m making him work at the walk 5 days a week, even if it’s short. It will do SOMEthing toward keeping him fit.

      Hudson: Insane. I’m going INSANE here….why aren’t we DOING ANYTHING?!?!

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