the fool that leads or the fool that follows? I believe that line was from Indiana Jones – The Last Crusade. Its a rather appropriate query for Whitman and myself. Take tonight for instance.
This was our weather today – Merry Easter.
Needless to say we were riding inside. We did Easter brunch so by evening I was able to haul my ham/quiche/roll laden carcass out to the barn to ride. I tacked up the evil twin and headed up to ride. Whitman tends to be behind the leg and prefers to be on his forehand and doing his best hunter princess trot. Trying to stay one step ahead of Whitman requires a lot of thought.
One of my problems is a dedication to principles – not all principles, just mine. One of which is that even a diva dressage horse is still a horse, which means turn out, trail riding, some jumping and just darn well doing what he is told when he is told. Whitman has his own opinions on the topic.
NitWhit also likes to be lazy to the leg. This is based on my standards, which I would like him fired up enough that I put my leg on and he should shoot forward so promptly that my undies might get left behind. Mind you, this horse is just mine to ride and occasionally my instructor so wanting him very forward is with the long term goal in mind. There isn’t any plan to turn him into an amateur friendly horse at this point.
So with that in mind, we try to keep changing it up with Whitman and keeping him guessing. Sometimes its random turns, other times its rapid fire transitions, unexpected canter requests, etc. So today, my bright idea was to canter off from the mounting block. I put my leg over, barely picked up the reins and immediately asked for canter. This seemed to be a fine idea for a hundred feet. I didn’t even have my other foot in the stirrup when Whitman decided that he needed to keep his human from becoming complacent and bored with routine. He erupted into a bucking fit and banked hard to the right. I got the reins reeled in and put us back together but it got me thinking about who was the bigger fool – me or the pony. And then the next question – which one of us leads and which one follows?