Monday and Tuesday nights, I do the P.M. clean and feed at the barn. After Sunday's sexcapades between Dar and Keely, I drove out yesterday feeling overwrought and sad. I got out of the Pathfinder and just stood in the driveway, looking at Dar. There he was, dozing in solitary lockdown, oblivious to Keely mooning over him from the other side of the fence. I crushed down the smile that always rises in me when I first see him; that's how bad I felt.
But I stood there for a long time, watching him. Eventually, he saw me and came to the fence, lifting his head high over the the rail, tipping his ears toward me. "You have no idea what a good life you'd have with me," I said to him. "I need you not to be a dick. This farm is perfect, and I don't want to have to take you away from here." His ears followed my voice. Fifty yards away, Keely squealed, banging her do-me rump against the fence. Dar whiffled, impatient for me to come closer. I went to the barn instead.
Dar knew I was there. He pressed his face against the window, watching me. There was something laughable in his expression, so dog like, so hopeful. It caught me for a second, a moment quick enough to jar me out of my reactive state. I gathered the cavesson, lunge line, dressage and longe whips.
So we worked. He waited for me at the gate, walked quietly beside me to the arena, and lowered his head for the cavesson. He needs work on halting on the longe line. Circling out in front of me, he daydreams through the command. It's not that he loves to rush, just that he doesn't think about what I'm asking until I alpha-ask it. Then, startled, he looks at me. "Oh, I didn't realize you were there!" We did well. Working with him, I forgot how upset I was, forgot how worried I was.
Right. Work with the horse you have today.