Monday, September 08, 2008

Dear Tuffy

I am writing to ask you a very personal question. I'm sure you've never heard this one before.
My human is spoiled rotten. I've spent so much time indulging her whims and giving her everything she wants that I just can't control her any more.
She asks for a lead change and she gets it. She asks for an extension and I immediately comply. I can't seem to say NO! I want to, but she is so cute and helpless that I give in every time.
Because of this I work almost every day. Yet I see other horses in the barn that get out of work by acting nasty, being stubborn and refusing fences.
What can I do? I need a break and I don't need the endless repetitive training.

Worn out and at the end of my rein

Dear Worn,

You need to grow a spine and stop being a stall matt. First off, you're making the rest of us look bad. We don't want to work that hard and neither do you. Secondly, our humans are going to see you and immediately want all of us to be just like you. It's not going to happen.

I have developed my own method for keeping my human respectful and on her toes. I call it Good Horse/Bad Horse and she never knows which one she's going to be dealing with from moment to moment. If I perceive that she is having a bad day I am usually Good Horse, because making her bad day worse means less treats for me. However, if she appears at the barn and is a bit too euphoric I immediately decided to dampen her enthusiasm. Why? So she'll appreciate my Good Horse days.
Because I'm a helpful horse I'll provide you with a few helpful hints to make your owner appreciate your good days and be respectful of when you want to have a bad day.

1) Miss a lead in front of a judge, and do it so it looks completely like rider error. This isn't difficult and makes a real impression on the rider and the judge.
2) Pretend you don't know what a transition it. Nothing like a good session of trotting around the arena like a chicken chasing a bug to make your human wish for one of your good collection days.
3) Lead ropes are for leading. So lead your human exactly where you want to go. Nothing like a good session of walking down the drive while your human tugs futilely on your lead while you graze and swish flies.
4) Remember horses are the rulers. Shun anyone that doesn't believe this.
5) Put the true meaning of lunge in lunging.
6) Forget what whoa means at least once a week.
7) Loading in the trailer is optional unless you're heading home.
8) Group rides mean larger opportunities to act in a manner that will embarass her to her toes. Do a good enough job and you'll never be subjected to another group ride again.
9) Water is a natural barrier as scary and inpenetrable as a wall of fire. Don't cross it unless you're heading home.
10) Bath time is a group sport.

I hope these tips will help you on the start of a new life. Remember the rest of us are counting on you to uphold our standards.



Leah Fry said...

Dear Tuffy,

I absolutely forbid you to speak to my Poco, who needs no help with the Good Horse/Bad Horse concept. In fact, being an over-achiever, he's taken it a step further to Angelic Horse/Psycho Gelding.

And you forgot one: Rails are for hugging. When being ridden in a round pen or arena, be sure to veer just close enough to catch her boot every once in awhile. That will really send her over the top.


Tuffy Horse said...

Darling Leah,

I fear you're too late, I'd already zipped Poco an email after he inquired about the best method to pretend that squirrels were horse eating monsters. I'm so sorry, I didn't realize you were his human until now.

Thank you for the tip about the rails!

cdncowgirl said...

Tuffy you've got an award over at my place :)

Tuffy Horse said...


Oh thanks so much! Now I have to come up with an award to give you guys for having such cool blogs!

Jen said...

Dear Tuffy,
I hacked into my hooman's account to respond to your ideas, because you are just so smart! I like to play Good Horse/Bad Horse too. It's a great game! I like to sometimes pretend that I don't know what things mean. What is a half-halt? What does "straightness" mean? What is that scary thing Mom is trying to jump me over?

He he. It is fun to confuse the hoomans! I am taking mine to a show this weekend and am trying to decide whether to play Good Horse or Bad Horse....hmmmmm.

Of course, really I am a naughty pony so I can't be called a horse at all! I suppose the outcome of the game will be determined by how much pink Mum makes me wear.

Chase the Pony