I’m not a big talker while I’m riding. Some people can ride around, chattering forever either to themselves or their horse, and seem to be able to ride just fine. I am not one of those people. I’m not very chatty to begin with, plus let’s be honest it takes every ounce of concentration and ability that I possess just to be able to ride. There’s no room for chit-chat.
But I have noticed that there are a few things I find myself saying to Henry quite often. “Good Boy” is the most obvious one, and he loves that. Anyone who has watched a Henny helmet cam video has seen how he reacts to an enthusiastic “Good Boy!” after a great effort. “Oh my god she’s right… I AM A GOOD BOY! ME HENNY!” as he gallops away, ears pricked. I’m a big believer in the power of a well-timed “Good Boy”.
There’s also “Sorry” – another obvious one. He hears that from me probably a lot more often than he’d like. “Sorry” is sometimes used in conjunction with “Good Boy”. Such is the life on an amateur horse. Sorry Henny. Good Boy.
Then there’s the one he gets from me A LOT… at least a few times a week. His feet get to moving too fast and then he starts tripping a lot, which prompts the reminder “Slow your feet down so your brain can catch up!”. It’s valid, trust me. Those hamsters in his brain can only spin their wheel so fast.
In the barn the most common is probably “I felt teeth”. He likes to rest his head on me, or lick me to death (it’s kind of disgusting how much he likes to lick), but it’s inevitable that he’ll start testing the limits. First he starts pressing his teeth against you, then he’ll tap you with them. If you don’t give the stern “HEY!!! I FELT TEETH!!!” reminder at that point, he’ll happily go one step further and take a nibble. Such a cheeky little shit.
What about you guys with your horses? What phrases do you find yourself repeating all the time?