What makes stubborn stubborn?

Stubborn (as copied/pasted from google’s definition)

  • Having or showing dogged determination not to change one’s attitude or position on something, esp. in spite of good arguments or reasons…
  • Difficult to move, remove, or cure.
  • The synonyms listed are:

    obstinate - pertinacious - dogged - headstrong - obdurate


    Well, yes, that does describe our pony. I’d really, REALLY like to think horses aren’t like that. That if they’re not doing what I am asking them to do, it’s my own lack of clarity about what I want done that is the problem. I’d LIKE to think that if I could just fully communicate in a calm and fair way, the horse (or pony) will just magically comply.


    However, clearly just because I REALLY would LIKE something doesn’t make it so. Dang it.
    So sometimes I want my horse to do something. It’s not dangerous, they are not worried or afraid. They just don’t feel like it. Now before our lovely little Bailey girl, I had never met a horse that would plant their feet, stare you in the eye and make you feel like they were just giving you the middle finger. But she has the art mastered.


    You can see the corners of her mouth cussing you too, if you really look.


    I should say that she doesn’t do it very often. Infact, she only did it a few times when we first brought her home. At deworming time. The first time I rode her. The first time anyone rides her actually… She does it to anyone “new”. And the other day, she decided to do it with the trailer. At a public arena. 2 hours later we were loaded up.


    This is one of my 9 year old son’s (who she belongs to) favorite qualities about her. Huh? Yep. He says it teaches him to mean what he’s saying. And yesterday after she stepped on his foot because she cared more about what the other horses were doing than keeping herself out of his space, he quietly smacked her in the chest hard with the leather popper end of the lead rope and said, “I’m finally learning when it’s ok to bust her” and he smiled at me.


    All I could do was ask him if his toes were ok.


    They were fine, and all he came away from the situation with was a great feeling that he is getting somewhere in his horsemanship, lol.


    Gosh I love what horses do for my kids!


    So back to the topic at hand. (Yes, I am easily distracted by other, more shiney topics. Much like Dori.)


    What makes a horse stubborn? I’m not really sure and I’m trying to come to grips with this concept. I am not willing to write off my own invovlment completely.


    It could stem from “I don’t feel like it”. But why don’t they feel like it? Is it because they don’t trust me? Maybe they don’t think I’m going to do what I say. Maybe they don’t feel like I’ll hold up my end of the bargain (Or what they THINK my end of the bargain is).


    Maybe they’re just having a mood. Maybe their just hormonal. Maybe…


    But maybe a horse needs room to communicate that they don’t really like something. They don’t really want to put their effort into it. And then maybe they need to pull their big girl britches up and do it anyway. Right?


    Maybe the thing I need to be more sure to communicate is that I do, in fact, mean what I say. And one of those things is “thanks for letting me know how you feel, now do it”.


    I’m not sure where I land on that. I want my horses to feel good about the things I’m asking of them. I want my kids to feel good about the things I am asking of them, too.


    Sometimes what I am asking them to do seems overwhelming, so I need to take a step back and break it down into smaller segments so we can be successful.


    Sometimes what I am asking them to do is not fun… For example, math in the morning is great. Math in the afternoon or evening is torture. Since I know this, I do my best to set my son up for success and ask him to do his math some time before lunch.


    Taking out the trash is NEVER fun. I can try to make it as pleasant as possible, but am I really responsible to make EVERY little tedious thing into a game or something? I just don’t want to live my life with that kind of pressure.


    So there has to be a way for me to come to grips with the fact that yes, sometimes my horse IS being obstinate. And it might be a little of this, and a little of that (contributing to the issue). But we still need to _______. Get the trash out. Get in the trailer (we can’t move in at the trail head, afterall.) Eat your dewormer.


    “And no, I don’t always need to make everything fun. You work for me, not the other way around. Sometimes you just need to do what I tell you to do and trust me even though you don’t feel like it.”


    Hmmmmm…… I feel another spiritual correlation coming on, lol. Dang it. Again.

    Comments are closed.