So, not only did I pay for a communicator to talk to Ashke with me, but I also told people about our conversations.
And then I promptly forgot about what Ashke had asked of me . . . and my rides went downhill fast.
The boy can hold onto resentment. And he gives as good as he gets when we fight. It's not fun. Kind of like fighting over dirty socks or leaving the toilet seat up in the middle of the night. It's all fun and games until you're ass deep in cold water.
Cute winter photo from awhile ago
Ashke asked me to walk him in hand around the arena to allow us to look at all of the stuff. It gives me an opportunity to explain to him using words what is in each of the areas. I did it once and our ride after was great, then I forgot and our next three rides sucked eggs. Stinking, rotten eggs.
Now, in my defense, one of those rides I was incredibly late to my lesson. The other times were just me being a person with swiss cheese for brains. I figure it really is exactly like being asked to put your dishes in the dishwasher a gazillion times and still forgetting too. Divorces have happened from less.
My last ride, which ended with us tooling around the arena bareback, was amazing. I remembered his request and walked him around the arena, stopping to look at all of the things. We looked at the cavaletti, the poles on the wall, the jump standards and all of the bird tracks in the sand around the jump standards. I explained what each thing was. And we talked about the tiny bird-dinosaurs nesting there. Then we looked at the jump boxes with the flower holders residing between the garage doors. He sampled the fake flowers. Then we went to the other corner where his stuff is stored (his!!!) and the drag for the arena caged behind the baby gate. I explained that the gate is there to keep a horse from accidentally stepping into the drag, not to contain the wild, wicked iron monster hiding in the sand.
Still scary after two years
We walked away unimpressed. Only had one ear flick toward that corner during our rides, but when I said "focus" he kept his attention on me. And one slight spook from something sliding outside (snow on the roof maybe?) while I was riding bareback, otherwise, he was really good.
Funny how actually paying attention to what he tells me results in wonderful things happening.