Over the last few weeks, I’ve come to the very difficult realisation that perhaps Kip and I would be happier with different partners. I’m thinking the best thing to do would be to sell him, and find a more responsive horse. I love him, but there has to be something to offset the expense, time, effort, and heartache: fun, enjoyment, successful reaching of goals, whatever. I just know that if I am going home depressed and angry every night after riding him, he’s probably not feeling very good, either. He’s the nappiest horse that I’ve ever had to work with, and it’s driving me insane. He’s calm and sensible, yes, which is why I bought him; Cleveland Bays are famous for their good temperaments and sensible minds. They’re also (evidently) famous for being completely stubborn and pig-headed at times.
He’s being good, for the most part, in the arena now, but getting him out on the roads is impossible. I spent ages today in an argument about a five-minute hack on the road down to the pasture. I tried encouraging him with leg and taps from the whip. I tried two massive whacks with the crop, hoping for some reaction, if only a buck: nothing. I tried waiting him out, and he was happy to just stand there. He would, however, back up, and I tried backing him down the road. He would only back towards the pasture, and refused to turn and back in the direction I wanted him to go, which would at least have been some kind of victory. I even got off and led him a bit, just to get him moving, even though I knew damn well he wasn’t nappy because he was frightened. I hate to admit it, but I finally got off after backing through some trees and farm machinery, and just led him back. To hell with this. Life is too hard, and this is supposed to be the thing that makes it all worthwhile.
I just think that he’ll always be like this. Yes, we’ll work through the napping on the road, and he’ll find something else to nap over. He’ll always have a huge “NO” just waiting – it seems to be his response to most things. And I don’t want to deal with it.
Anyway, I’m depressed about this decision…but I don’t think I’ll change my mind.