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Ride 'im Hard and Show 'im Who's Boss
by Leah Sellers
2015-01-25 11:10:06
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Who are We to Break any Living Creature's Spirit ?
“Git on that horse, Child.  You’ve got to git back on ‘im and show ‘im who’s boss.  Or he’ll never respect you.  Don’t let that animal intimidate you,”  Mr. Jebediah said roughly.
“But he doesn’t intimidate me, Mr. Jebediah.  I like Dare.  I’ve been ridin’ him all mornin’ through the back pastures with no problems.  It wasn’t until we got close to the barn, that he took off without warnin’ and wouldn’t stop until he made it all the way inside the barn and in front of this feed trough,”  Cheyenne explained.
“I know, I saw him takin’ off with you the second you got back on ‘im after you opened the gate to the front pasture.  You barely got back into your saddle by the time he had you all the way inside the barn. You could have really been hurt.  That’s why it’s important for you to git back on him right now, and show ‘im who’s boss,” Mr. Jebediah said, placing the reins back into Cheyenne’s hands.
“He’s a sly one.,”  Mr. Jebediah’s tone softened just a little.  “You can’t ever relax on him, because he’ll know it and he’ll take advantage of it.  He’s thrown people who really know how ride out here before.”
“He’s got a hard mouth on ‘im ‘cause he wasn’t trained proper by the jughead who owned ‘im first,”  Mr. Jebediah grunted.  “ ‘Ole Dare will always work to git the bit in between his teeth, and when that happens, away he goes.  Quicker than a jack rabbit.  So, you gotta’ pay attention to what he’s doin’ all of the time, Chey.  He’s got some bad habits that I haven’t had the time to iron out of ‘im.”
“Yes sir, I will get back on him.  My Grandpa always told me to do that whenever a horse got the better of you.  But he never told me to ride a horse hard or to show him who’s boss.  Grandpa always told me that it was important to work patiently and calmly with a horse and develop a relationship with them,”  Cheyenne said as she put her foot into the stirrup and pulled herself back up and into the saddle.
Dare fidgeted and pranced around showing his obvious displeasure.  He was ready to eat, and ready for The Ride to be over.
Cheyenne worked the reins and reached out to pat Dare on the neck.  “Whoa, boy.  Whoa, that‘s it.  We‘ll just go on a short spin, and come back to the barn the way we‘re supposed to,”  Cheyenne said soothingly.
“Yes sir, Mr. Jebediah, Grandpa taught me to be firm and clear in all of my interactions with a horse.  To groom his hide and his hooves well before and after every ride.  To feed and water him appropriately.  To take good care of him.  Grandpa always said that if you take good care of your horse, he’ll take good care of you.”
“Grandpa always taught me that if he starts acting out, then that’s the time for me to stay calm and work him through whatever his issues are.  That sometimes you do that in the saddle, and sometimes you do it on your feet in the corral with a good lead rope, and a lot of firm, but gentle discipline.”
“Mr. Jebediah, sir, I don’t mean to be disrespectful, but you’re always talkin’ about ridin’ a green horse until you break his Spirit.  But my Grandpa never did that.  He spent what time he could in between all of his chores and his job just Being with whatever wild horse he was trying to train for riding,”  Cheyenne continued.
“He never tried to break their Spirit.  He spent months building a relationship with every horse he ever worked with.  Whether they were young colts or older ornery horses like Dare.  He always took time with them in the corral, working them with the lead ropes and a smooth branch from an old hickory tree that he used as a quirt.”
“Grandpa, always told me that it wasn’t our job to break a horse’s Spirit.  That they needed their Spirits in tact.  He said that it was our job to connect with the horse’s Spirit, and give them the same Respect and Trust that we were asking them to have in us,” Cheyenne said quietly.
Smiling broadly, Cheyenne tapped Dare gently in the flanks, and had him move slowly out of the barn.  “I’ll run Dare around the corral a few times, and have him go around the barrels for awhile.  Then I’ll have him carry me back up to the barn as slow and as easy as you please.  You just wait and see, Mr. Jebediah,”  Cheyenne said politely.
Once they cleared the barn, Cheyenne tapped Dare in the flanks more firmly and had him break into a trot, and then a slow gallop.
“Well, I’ll be,”  Mr. Jebediah said shaking his head and smiling begrudgingly.  “ I sure read that book’s cover wrong.”

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