We have no doubt that on most days, your horse is overjoyed to see you. We’re sure he nickers when you arrive, paces in his stall to greet you, and gallops from the back of the paddock to meet you at the gate. There’s no reason to think your horse has ever been less than delighted to observe your presence, at any point, for any reason. Ever.
But let’s pretend for a minute that you’ve started to notice, just a few days a week, when your horse isn’t so delighted. Maybe he’s just seen a little too much of you during your school break, or it’s day four of the horse show, and he’d rather be in a field
somewhere anywhere else. If you’re starting to pick up a “vibe”—that slight swish of the tail, his head buried in the stall corner, the subtlest pinning of ears—it may not just be your imagination: your horse needs a you-cation. Here’s how you know.
1. He used to like wearing the paisley halter you bought him, but now he’s gone all Goth.
And you’re like, “Are you seriously going to free jump in that?”
2. The magic just isn’t there like it used to be.
“OMG did you just try to bite me?”
3. He’s spending more and more time with his friends.
And they never include you.
4. He goes on long, angry runs by himself.
He doesn’t say where he’s going, he just goes.
5. You’re concerned about recent posts to his Facebook wall.
And you’re like, “Seriously!? You want to be a barrel racer?”
6. Suddenly, it seems like you’re spending more time on your grooming.
But it’s not like it’s intentional.
7. He’s passive aggressive in ways you’ve never seen before.
“Whyyy are you acting like this?”
8. In fact, his behavior can be downright hostile.
“Ho. Hooo. HOOOOOO. HO! HO!”
9. Especially to the barn staff.
10. It sometimes feels like you are (literally) driving him crazy.
“What are we even doing in this swamp?”