Imagine you are a horse with an unknown history. Two years ago, you refused to be caught in under two hours and people scared you so bad you would shake. When being around people, especially new people, you backed away and became a tense ball of nerves. If it became too much, you just wanted to get away, quick. You never struck, reared, kicked, or anything aggressive, you just needed to be away.
Back to present day. . .you, this same horse, actually like people. Maybe you won't go out of your way to go up to them or be a cuddly horse, but you aren't terrified of them. You know people carry treats on them. You know your routine, you have been driven, ridden, and you are doing great. And, if someone you know is on the ground with you, you can relax and do what is needed. Even if you get spooked or a little nervous when working, you can easily relax and move on without issue.
Pretty big improvement, right? This is Shy. She is great. She has come so far. Bad days do happen, but Shy is a horse that wants to please and wants to do what is right. She never has the intention of hurting someone. She really is a good horse.
But for some reason, on this drive, Shy went back to a place she hasn't been in quite a long time.
|Only photo I got|
After making some cart adjustments so it fit Shy better, off we went. Shy started out decent, but she was pretty tense with Beth. At certain points, Shy refused to do what was asked of her for no particular reason. Beth was patient with Shy and waited her out and eventually Shy would comply. This happened a couple times and Shy was getting more and more anxious and tense. There was no reason for her to be so worked up. Beth was calm, easy going, and letting Shy choose to do the right thing. She never forced Shy or made her do anything. So when Shy busted out into a canter and tried to run away with Beth, it was scary. It was like all of Shy's pent up energy and nervousness just exploded. Beth was able to stop Shy before it got too bad, but it was still scary. And Shy was just shaking. Like I said, there was no apparent reason for any of her behaviors.
We ended with some line driving to make Shy work. She was still a little bit nervous and absolutely refused to go near the cart. We did put the cart on her and had Shy stand. Shy was still jumpy. And we don't know why. What we do know is that Shy is perfectly capable of being good with a cart. But this time, she reverted back to behaviors from the beginning.
So, why these behaviors? Why now? At the last show, it had been a while since Shy was hooked and she did wonderful. She was even driven by a kid and placed! That is the show that her and Art placed first in a couple different team events. Shy was a rockstar that day. So I know she has it in her to be awesome.
We racked our brains as to what the issue could be. Shy being in heat? She is, but that never was an issue before. In fact, she was in heat last time we drove and she was great. The cart? Maybe. . .Shy really seems to not like this cart. She drives great in Cody's cart. Herd sour? Shy does express her desire to be back in the herd, but she never calls out and after a few short arguments she is able to get back on track. Beth was completely puzzled by Shy's behaviors. She said it seems that she was expecting to get beat every time she took a wrong step. It was odd. It was stuff similar to two years ago when I got Shy. And now that we have overcome that on the ground, it is something we need to overcome under harness.
|The "oh hell no" look!|
As crappy as it was to have Beth experience Shy at her worst, she said she finally understood my trepidation about driving her. I told her I was not crazy. . .she said she never thought I was crazy, maybe just over reacting. I have tried to explain how Shy can be, but the Shy most people see is the calm, go with the flow, just wants to eat grass Shy. I still think they all think I'm crazy.
So, one million and one thoughts have been running through my head and getting me pretty down. . .Should I even continue trying to drive with Shy? Is this something that we can overcome? Can we work through this? How? What if we can't? I don't even want to think about it.
As of right now, we will not be driving in the show. We will concentrate on our lead line kids and having fun. And I am okay with that.