Another indication we’re being kicked up a notch. Lately, instead of the group warming up en masse, we’ve been instructed to limber up in open order.

I should like it: it’s very freeing to move your horse on your own, trot on your own [we cantered even, on Saturday], turn your own circle when you want, change the rein at will. It’s, like, riding by yourself! But I haven’t had much joy.

Is it me? Is it Rebel? Naturally, it’s both of us. He’ll go along— as long as there’s a horse in front of him. Whatever success we had a few weeks back when he gladly led the ride is gone. I suppose since he’s been so crotchety, I’ve lost confidence in him. The minute I take him away from whomever he has designated as lead horse, he slows, he stops, he stands. Getting him to canter was an exercise in futility, and I think he simply doesn’t like another horse coming at him— from any direction.

This trickles down— or up, actually— to me. We don’t move much, I don’t feel authoritative enough, and the teeth start to grind [mine, not his, although he has a silly habit of sticking his tongue out when we’re doing something like a leg yield. Well, he’s concentrating…] I am achieving a state of acceptance as regards his foibles, but I would very much like to feel like I’m going to get to do this properly sometime soon.

This has become very interesting, in that, even though Delilah gave me a hard time early on, we got better. I feel like things have gotten worse with auld Reb. Looking back… hmmph. I must quote myself. There it is, in my paean to the dun horse, that ‘he kicks up a bit’ … I suppose that in the throes of first love, I perceived this to be exuberance rather than a behavioural cue. Kind of like the guy who seems talkative but is in fact a raging narcissist. Rebel’s not as bad as a bad date, uh, I don’t think. But if I’m not getting what I want and need, well, maybe we should break up.

Oh, brother. Here we go again, more inter-species overlap. Geez. I just scratched my head. I really did. I’ve created a dilemma for myself, perhaps one that’s not really there. I want to think ‘Oh, he’s a horse, come on!’, but I think I know better by now. I would not like to be put on a horse, at this stage, who does not present me with some sort of challenge. I’ll see about changing my own behaviour first. And if that doesn’t work, well… Rebel and I are going to have to have ‘the talk’. Just over the stable door, rather than over a cup of coffee…

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