When I last talked about the book, it was in reference to my big brown horse, Izzy. I still feel the same way. He is definitely the Wild Card - Dominate, Energetic, Afraid, and Friendly. Unfortunately for me, it's a bit of a lethal combination, but a continued desire to understand what motivates him is what brought me back to the book again.
It's not that I am trying something new every other day with him, but I am always searching for ways to better understand him. He's been a tough nut to crack. Most of my other horses have been less dominate than he is which makes it easier to get them on my side.
My favorite horse of all time, Montoya DSA, was The Macho Man (Dominate, Energetic, Curious, and Aloof). I absolutely adored her because her confidence was so freaking high. If you could hang on, she would get you through a race. She could read the trail ribbons better than most riders, and if she saw a hill, all she could think was bring it on! She ate up the endurance trail like it was candy. Figuring out what motivated her was easy: she just wanted to be pointed at a trail, any trail, and then be left to do her job.
There have been many other horses too, just check out My Horses in the menu above, but none have been quite so hard to figure out as Izzy. All of my previous horses (except for Sydney) have been pretty confident. While Mickey was pretty fearful of people, the second my butt hit his back, he gave all power to me and trusted me with his life. He was an amazing horse under saddle and used my confidence as his own.
He has always been a bit of a playful nipper, but lately, his nips have become more aggressive. He's not being mean, just VERY playful and intent on trying to one-up me. The other day, he got me in the shoulder hard enough to leave a temporary mark. Because I was standing on a fence rail, I wasn't able to smack him as soundly as I wanted to, but I made my point. He cantered off with his feelings hurt.
Over the past week, I've been vigilant to the extreme in letting him know that he is not permitted to put his mouth on me. Dang, but the booger is persistent. I'm more stubborn than he is though, and he is starting to develop a conscience.
Izzy might be a bit of a Wild Card, but as they say, if you learn to play your cards right ...