Another lesson from our equine friends. Today a woman who takes lessons at our barn was commenting on the mare. You know the phrase "beware the mare" - well, that describes our resident mare to a "T". She is quite opinionated, obviously the one in charge in pasture and barn, and generally gives the boys a hard time. But, like any male/female relationship they
follow her around like little puppies. LOL. OK, maybe not "any" male/female relationship but it is perplexing to me how those geldings will follow that old girl anywhere despite the fact if they get too close she threatens to kick the crap out of them.
Anyway, the rider was saying what a "bitch" the mare is. Her reputation proceeds her. It isn't that she is a nasty horse or even a bad ride. She is actually a rather nice ride. I leased this horse for some time a
few years back when I was in between other horses. I did not have a problem with her. As a matter of a fact, I found her to be much more predictable than some of the other horses I have leased, including my beloved dark prince I spoke of in one podcast episode.
The thing about the mare is that she just demands you treat her in a certain way. She will try to trick you into allowing her to be the boss for sure. She'll pin her ears at you and sometimes she'll even turn her butt
toward you when you go to get her. She'll be lazy about lifting her foot to be cleaned and she'll stand in the bay at a certain angle while you try to attach the clips to her halter and refuse to move to a position that would be so much more comfortable...for both of you. Sometimes under saddle she'll threaten to buck if you aren't certain what you are asking and prepared to back it up with clear instruction.
It is all a mind game really with the mare. Once you show her that you do indeed expect her to listen she goes about her work, quite content actually. She is a beautiful ride. She is like a chick that demands respect. Show me why I should follow you and I'll consider it. Show me why I shouldn't and....hence the discussion about her being a "bitch".
I think that we could all take lessons from the mare. Especially we women. When is the last time you demanded to be treated like you wanted to be treated? When is the last time you settled for less? Ahhhh...I
thought so. Once you start establishing clear boundaries and letting people know what you will accept and not accept there will be many people that label you a bitch, just like the mare. The deal is this though - those that feel like that probably aren't the ones you want getting you out of your stall and cleaning your feet. Because they are going to tighten your girth too tight and they are gonna plop down on your back and kick at your sides.
These aren't the people you want around you. Those that don't have a problem with "the mare" are generally those that know why she has boundaries and why she demands respect. And so they know how to give respect and in turn, they get it.