I think that's a country song ...
Every time I see a truck coming down the road, I brace for the inevitable duck and whirl to the right. Every stroller that comes by gives me flashbacks of Sydney galloping sideways in terror. I find myself flinching at every bang and clang from the neighbor's barn because I know that should illicit a panic attack. But Izzy, he doesn't hear any of it.
Don't get me wrong; Izzy isn't dull. He hears everything, but I've finally realized that he reacts totally differently than did Sydney. Izzy cranes his head around to get a look at everything, anything, and nothing. He's a wide-eyed baby in love with the world, but none of it bothers him. He doesn't feel threatened, and instead, he's always dying to know more.
So what helped me see this all so clearly? Well, my barn owner is doing some stall remodeling on the other side of the barn. I had finished lunging at the far end of the arena and was getting ready to hop on Izzy bareback. Suddenly, his head shot up, he pricked his ears intently, and then he dragged me as close to the arena gate as he could get.
I stopped what I was doing and listened. Suddenly I heard what he heard - a grinding screeching sound of metal dragging on metal. I immediately went into "Sydney can't handle this" mode and considered calling it a day. But then I paused a moment and studied Izzy and realized that he wasn't scared at all. He was fascinated by what was going on.
I brought him over to the mounting block as usual and hopped on. For the first minute or two, he was still distracted by the loud noises emitting from the back side of the barn, but shortly after he refocused on me and happily went to work. Of course, his attention span is quite small so within no time he was gawking at the neighbor's property, a flying bird, ants crawling, and and other invisible distractions.
It was at that moment that I realized Izzy is not the same horse as Sydney. I loved Sydney, I truly did, but he was simply too unpredictable and explosive in his behavior to be any fun. I feel safer on Izzy with a halter for a bridle and a half pad and surcingle as a saddle than I ever did on Sydney.
I ❤️ you, Izzy Zweibrücker!