800 Pounds of Bad Mood
I was trying to do him a favor by taking him out of the paddock and into the field where the fresh green grass was sprouting, but the bugs followed us. As I held loosely on to the lead rope he stepped on it, effectively pinning his own head down to the ground. He immediately started complaining by pounding his other hoof into the earth. Still trying to help, I reached down to lift his leg to pull the rope free. He protested and ended up with the rope caught on his horseshoe.
Sometimes trying to help a crabby horse (or a crabby person) is a thankless job.
Rocky was getting even more bad-tempered. With his head still pinned down and the rope still stuck on his shoe, I decided the best course of action was to just let go. In short order the snag came undone, but Rocky was threatening to bolt — not a good idea with the rope still dangling. It could trip him up and he could end up seriously hurt.
I tried a few times to reach for the rope and that just made him act like a three-year-old with a tantrum — you can’t catch me! So I changed tactics. I just stood and talked in a soothing tone, “What’s the matter, are the bugs bugging you?”
He calmed right down and I reached for the rope, upon which time I brought him directly back to the relative bug-free zone of his stall.
His predicament made me think of my own life.
I have the sneaking suspicion that I’ve pinned myself down plenty of times. It is, of course, hard to see for yourself when you’re the one causing yourself grief. It’s like trying to see a blind spot, just like Rocky couldn’t see that his own hoof had pinned the rope and thus his head. The tendency is to pound the ground in frustration, grow impatient, and turn away from the hands that would have helped had we but allowed it.
Sometimes all it takes is the willingness for another to be quiet with us during trying times, to speak gently and soothingly to us, to abstain from giving advice about how we should do this or that to get out of the knot we’ve made, for us to unknowingly untie the knot ourselves.
[tags]horse, bad mood, mood swing, spring bugs, reflection of yourself, willingness, continuous efforts, horse hoof[/tags]