Tuesday, December 1, 2009

I really need to grow a pair...

I am really having a hard time with people offering "help" with Panama in the indoor.

First there was the nosy boarder, who tried to do it for me — grabbing Panama's lead up under the chin at one point, and tapping him with a crop at another. That one was the worst.

Then there was the time another boarder chased Panama across the line with an empty gallon jug.

I've also had a run in with the nosy boarder's trainer, who managed to restrain herself (just barely, it seemed) but repeatedly hinted that she was willing to help. ("Do you need any help?" "If you want help, just ask...") Actually, it seems like just about any time I'm down there anymore, someone comes along and tries to help.

Today one of the guys who works at the barn — one of the nicest guys I've seen, always smiling — tried to offer his assistance too. He tried a whole array of cues — clucked to Panama, flapped his arms at him, pointed (as if Panama would just walk to where he pointed?), etc. Panama just looked at him, and then took a very cautious step back — as if saying, "Mom, I don't know what's wrong with this guy, but I think we should leave now."

The whole time I wanted to tell him I didn't need the help, but it was like... well, like the cat had my tongue. Finally, when Panama stepped back, I chuckled and said, "No..." as in, It's not working.

And the guy stopped, just like that. "No?" he said. And then he went on about his business.

I am so torn because I know these people are just trying to be nice, and for the most part (other than the nosy boarder) they're not doing any harm. But no matter how many times they see me doing the same thing, they don't seem to be getting that I'm not just trying to get Panama from point A to point B, I'm actually working on the process.

The good news is that I've got two weeks of non-riding time to work on this. And perhaps sometime before those two weeks are up, I'll find my tongue and start telling people no thank you when they try to help.



At December 2, 2009 at 3:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hard to do, but important - but at least Panama will get used to people doing all sorts of weird things around him!

At December 3, 2009 at 9:10 PM, Blogger Veronica said...

I was thinking the same thing as Kate, just imagine how well this is getting him used to 'those silly humans'!

Good luck with saying no. Sometimes, it's the hardest thing.

At December 3, 2009 at 10:56 PM, Blogger Katharine Swan said...

Both of you are right -- this will get Panama used to it! But I feel like I need to learn to handle it better before he will.

Veronica -- the hardest thing, indeed!!!

At December 4, 2009 at 12:45 PM, Blogger Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Wouldn't it be weird if it turned out that Panama was actually balking on purpose, because he's waiting for all that wonderful attention he gets when people stop to help? Although I'm sure shaking the jug and getting whipped isn't on his agenda.

At December 6, 2009 at 3:33 PM, Blogger Katharine Swan said...

NM, although I agree with you that we have to consider ulterior motives like that, I don't think so in this case, as he tends to shy away from the people who try to offer their "help." It may be because of what he's reading from me, as he is normally very friendly with other people, but he definitely does not appear to welcome the attention.


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