|Sugar Giving Her Boy Smoochies|
I admit I constantly attribute human thoughts to Sugar, often speaking them out loud in what I consider "her" voice. Just in case you were wondering, she sounds very much like Kathleen Turner circa Romancing the Stone, not the Friends era.
Last night my son wanted me to give him a longe lesson on her. It was thundering and absolutely pouring down rain, and inside the indoor arena it sounded like waves and machine gun fire pelting a metal trash can. Maybe not the best time to put the boy up on the horse, but she's a rock, so I did not really worry.
True to form, she was a trooper, trotting around placidly while he two pointed, practiced transitions, and worked on his leg position. If he bobbled a bit she adjusted her balance to stay under him; her ears swiveled constantly as she gauged where he was and if he was likely to come off.
Things got funny when we asked her to canter. She obviously had some pent up energy she was dying to release, but possibly felt she couldn't because "her" boy was on her back. She picked up the canter and turned her head to look at me as if to say, "You got this?" She then turned her head to look back towards him as if she was telling him to hang on, and then she put her head down and waggled it, humping her back like she wanted to buck. She'd take a stride or two like that, never actually bucking, and then she'd pick her head up and look back at my son. I swear she was making sure he was still on board and also gauging his reaction. She did this several times, always looking to me first as if to give me the head's up, the back at him to warn him that there was about to be a little turbulence, and then back again after she was done to make sure all was well and he was having fun.
I know animal experts say we can't read their minds and we shouldn't anthropomorphise our animals. I could be very wrong about this and it's possible she was just warning us that if he did not get a better leg in the next couple of strides he was gonna find out what it's like to be a Space Shuttle hurtling in to orbit, as Sugar can throw a heck of a buck when she's so inclined.
So, maybe I was only seconds away from a potentially dangerous situation, but I don't think so. I may not be an equine mind reader, but I do think I've paid enough attention to this particular equine to know when things are good or not good. She may not have spoken English, and I certainly did not speak horse, but I think everyone involved was on the same wavelength.