When work is so annoying that I may just lose it with one more crabby email, it's time to ride the pony. Honestly, even if he is awful, at least he isn't trying to do my job, coming back with more stupid changes, or sending long emails copied to everyone else, thinking adding more people to the discussion is a good idea (hint, it's almost never a good idea).
Major needed something too. He actually cantered up to the gate when I got there, ready to go. Normally he sedately walks up. There was a storm blowing in, but there were a few more hours of dry. The trails are wet but not soggy. We even headed out without the normal hanging back, both ready to move.
So I let him go. Fast. Whatever he wanted within reason. Yes I'm a terrible horse mother. I let him get away with crap. We blasted up hills I usually make him walk. We cantered windy singletrack and repeated a hill set three times. We slowed for mud puddles and some bites of neon green grass, scared some deer, chased a wayward jack rabbit up the trail, and got to see how fast a startled turkey can run (surprisingly really, really fast!).
I had wanted to do a few shorter, faster rides for conditioning, so it was perfect timing. And actually, he was surprisingly good. I don't really want to have to let my horse canter for four miles before he listens, but the last couple miles coming home he was better than usual. I think compromising with more speed really makes him happy and leads to less fighting, though it's harder for me to adjust to.
(Of course fast is relative. In the forest where I ride there is maybe 50 feet of smooth trail. Everywhere else is hills, rutted, rocks and more. Major is luckily sensible enough to slow down in bad footing. So our fast rides are cantering/trotting interspersed with walking down steep hills, over rocks and detouring around fallen trees, we can average about 6mph.)
Yes, I work many hours on making him behave, and slow down. But there's a time and a place, today wasn't it.
Major trotted off with a spring in his step, I went home a little lighter. I think we both needed a ride with a little bit of controlled chaos.
Flood Testing Journey's Stall
1 hour ago