When I first met No Legs, I was working in a dude string. He would show up once a week and replace the shoes on those of us who needed it. He liked me right off the bat because I was not only gentle to shoe, but because I would never lean on him while he was shoeing me.
After I had been there a few months a couple of two leggers showed up looking for a horse. Being I was a dark bay with blanket as white as new fallen snow, with sorrel spots I stuck out like a diamond in a coal mine. After a few text rides they bought me and took me home.
Things went really well for a few months. The two legger who rode me was an FBI agent so he would sometimes be gone for a few weeks between rides. This was a heck of a lot easier than working in that dude string. I didn’t want to wind up back there so I took really good care of him.
Then one windy spring day he decided to saddle me up and go for a ride with his wife. We were almost home when a big blue tarp came out of a dry irrigation ditch. It wrapped around my legs and part of it flew over the top of me. It was then I sensed my two legger was afraid. He was also swinging his arms back and forth trying to get the tarp off his head. As a result, he puled me off balance and I stepped off the edge of the ditch. After rolling several times I was at the bottom of the ditch while my two legger was lying half way up the ditch. Being a little spooked about the whole thing (especially as my two legger was hollering and screaming at me) I ran home.
He didn’t try riding me for a few days. When he started to get on me, I sensed that he was nervous about something. Every time we rode past anything that might blow in the air or might move if I stepped on it, he would tense up. I didn’t know why he was so tense and nervous, but if he was, then I needed to be on the lookout as well! Within a few weeks he was so nervous I was ready to jump out of my skin every time he took me for a ride. Then came the day when I actually did step on a stick. He was so scared his whole body jumped in the saddle. Of course his fear went through me so I jumped as well
with my two legger falling to the ground.
This time I just stood there, but rather than get on me, he led me home. The next day I was loaded into the trailer. To my surprise, rather than being returned to the dude string, to taken to a sale barn, I was unloaded at a training stables. Adding to my surprise, No Legs came out to get me.
As soon as my two legger left, No Legs saddled me up and took me to the arena. I didn’t sense any fear from him so I just stood perfectly still when he got on my back. He walked me a bit, then started trotting me. It was nice to be able to relax for a change rather than being tensed up and wondering what my two legger was so afraid of.
After a couple of times around the arena, He called out to a two legger to get a towel and throw it to him as we went by. No Legs was still relaxed so I had no reason to be afraid as the towel was thrown to him. I kept going straight as he swung the towel around my head, and even drug it across the top of my head. Next he took me out for a ride on the trails and even along a road. I never took a wrong step. It was such a relief to not be constantly worrying about why my rider was filled with so much fear.
That evening my two legger showed up with his saddle. He was telling No Legs how surprised he was that he was able to “fix” me in such short order.
My two legger was nervous as he saddle me up. As he started to mount me, he was so scared he was shaking, so I was fidgety as well and stepped away from him.
At that time No Legs suggested that he ride me first. No Legs didn’t get his moniker from being long legged. The stirrups were set about six inches too long for him so he was wallering around all over the place trying to get his leg over the top of the saddle. Of course he wasn’t worried about anything so I just stood there perfectly still.
Once on top of me he told my two legger to throw me the towel he had placed on the fence. My two legger immediately refused, claiming he didn’t want to get No Legs “bucked off.” After arguing about it for a couple of minutes, he called out the two legger who had thrown him the towel that morning. No Legs started trotting in circles and playing towel catch with the two legger.
After No Legs explained to my two legger that I was acting the way I was because HE was being afraid he began thinking about it. No Legs got him on top of me and started playing towel catch. Within a few minutes my two legger was relaxed, and so was I.
It had been impossible for me to relax when My two legger was so worried about me spooking. I had no idea what he was worried about, but as soon as he quit worrying and started relaxing, it was sure nice to be able to be able to relax and enjoy the trails again!
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