Aliens took over my horse!

So Monday I went out to the barn, just two days after the last visit, and my mare was a changed animal. A raging beast. A menace. A squealing, bolting, bucking, biting b$&@%. She called to some horse who never answered, she spooked when two horses in the indoor went by, and was generally puhiisssssed.

So I slapped on her saddle (grooming her was a joke - and she carries her gear when it needs transporting), grabbed the rest of our tack/equipment and headed for the non-occupied outdoor. I couldn't get her tack off fast enough! Once I let her go she took off like a pistol shot.

She bolted, spun, charged off, performed sliding stops, rollbacks, flying lead changes, gravity defying turns, more bolting, bucks that would make any bronc proud, and called and called and called. As soon as she seemed to lose just a tinge is steam I decided it was my turn. I wanted to get her attention back to me. She had been an ass in the barn but it didn't seem like she was in control of herself. I believe there is a time and place for discipline - this didn't feel like the time. She was worried and upset. So I just took my time in the arena - she largely ignored me, shying away and running off when I kept her away from the arena gate. Eventually, and with a passive body stance, I made my way to the middle of the arena. She still ignored me. Assuming an active body position I started "pushing" her. It would look like I was following her to an observer but when she wanted to cut in, turn, or slow down, my body kept her moving forward. Not fast, just intentional. This involved lots of clunky running and tripping on my part, but quickly she responded with her inside ear flicking back towards me. I then pushed her to the furthest end of the arena from the gate and kept her there. No yelling or angry language - just peacefully suggesting she listen to me. Soon enough her turns switched from away from me to towards me, her inside ear was locked on me and her body language softened dramatically. I finally had her full attention - and gently so. I dropped my active stance, took my eyes off her shoulder and dropped my gaze. Immediately she turned in and stepped towards me, licking and chewing, her sides heaving. Poor girl was so worn out.

I clipped on my lunge line and we headed out of the arena for the lush grass that borders it. She, after a little conversation on grass manners (don't yank to nosh), buried her face in the grass, eating as though it was her last meal before entering a desert. Go awhile I simply stood there watching her, then I wondered if she rushed because I was staring at her. So I decided to de-tangle her tail (which makes perfect sense when it's blustery outside). I don't know if it's related but not long after I started de-tangling, she audibly exhaled, and then peacefully snorted a couple times while she munched. It was a beautiful time - the sun was getting lower in a clear sky, the birds were singing, and with the woods, pond, and the green of the grass a very pretty picture was effortlessly painted.

I let her graze for about 20 minutes and then we headed back into the outdoor. She handled tacking up calmly (had to remind her a couple times that her feet should not move), and when I hopped on she move forward in a relaxed manner. Leg-yields, half-halts were all performed with the slightest of movements - we trotted and walked and walked and trotted (cantering is her caffeine). After about 10 minutes I hopped off, loosened the girth and we ended this time with more grazing.

Oh my silly girl. I'm so glad the aliens left.


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