Since Sydney left, Speedy's been feeling a bit out of sorts. He loved not having to share me with Sydney, we had some really good rides while Sydney's stall was empty, but Speedy also seemed anxious without a buddy. When he's anxious, he gets very mouthy and pins his ears at me. A lot. He thinks his anxiety is my fault.
Now that Izzy has given him some company, Speedy is still a bit grouchy about having to share my attention. He loves to come out and work, but he always puts on show of being pissed about it. He comes up to me when I open the gate, but he has such a cantankerous look on his face that most people would swear that he's angry about his job.
He's not, I promise. When he thinks I am not looking, his ears are perked, and he waits for me expectantly. He loves cookies and will do anything to get one. He's just got a lot of personality that he likes to express.
On Saturday, after putting up with the occasional nip at my clothes, the pinned ears, and the wrinkled lips, I got my can opener out and told him that if he tried one more pushy thing, he was getting a big fat serving of whoop ass.
While I was bridling him, he felt the halter over his neck, where I put it every single time I bridle him, and he flung his head up hard enough to knock me off balance. The bridle was over his ears, but not yet buckled, so the reins were firmly in my hand. I whacked the holy hell out Speedy's chest with the reins as I sent him flying backwards out of the barn.
As I smacked his chest, I got big and loud and let the whoop ass out of the can. Within moments, Speedy's whole demeanor changed. His face went from sullen and pissy to OMG, what I can do to please you?
I marched his little butt back to the cross ties and finished buckling his bridle. He asked if he could nip at my sleeve, but one look at my face told him that no, he couldn't. I didn't discipline Speedy out of anger. He's just been getting pushier and pushier because I let myself get a bit indulgent. Once I get after him pretty loudly, he always gets back in line.
We ended up having a much better ride than we've been having over the last week or so. He was much more submissive and listened to my aids more closely. I hate to get so tough with him, but sometimes, it's what he needs.
Do you have your own version of a can of whoop ass?