Echo didn't go so well yesterday and I ended up feeling really angry with myself - I will write about this another time, as it requires some thought and some soul-searching. However, I wonder whether I am too mean to my horse...
She was stubborn and difficult to ride yesterday. I don't think it was me, as I actually started out feeling really positive and calm. She is a mare, however, and is prone to stroppy days every now and again! She was quite hot when I finished, and as we are soon to be visited by the lady that bred her, she is in need of some tidying up. So...I pulled her mane when I got back. I find it really hard to bring myself to pull her mane - she doesn't particularly mind it, but something of the silly sentimental passive animal-lover in me niggles at the back of my mind telling me it's cruel. I need to toughen up! I would never have thought that when I was working with dressage horses!
Usually, she has gone so well, that I think it would be mean to repay her with a mane-pulling session - yesterday, I wasn't feeling so compassionate! She fidgeted for a little while, and she doesn't much like it being pulled at the top, by her ears, but she now looks a hell of a lot better. I know there are all sorts of more 'humane' methods of tidying a horse's mane, but you must understand, my lovely horse has a big chunk of cob blood in her, therefore has a mane that somewhat resembles a Thelwell pony when it's natural! I hope to go to some shows in the spring, so for the purposes of plaiting, had to do something to thin it and shorten it.
I feel like perhaps I am trying to convince myself here, that I did it for her own good rather than to get her back for being naughty. I hope you don't think I am too mean to my horse! I will post a photo of my efforts soon, to show the improvement.