Chloe has decided - for now at least - that I'm not allowed to sit on her back.
If I try to climb aboard, she politely but firmly slides away and swings her tail around to face me. Not threateningly or as if to kick, but to definitively put me into a non-mounting position.
It's such a different "no" from the one she used in the days when I insisted that she be trained and ridden. Back then she was irritable and wanted us to go away and leave her alone. Now her refusal is gracious; while denying my request, she remains kind and sociable.
She is training me well.
I was sad when she wouldn't give me a piggy-back ride. But then I remembered that Chloe is generous and gives good things. I never anticipated she would want to give me a ride - yet she did. Why should I be grumpy that she has withdrawn the privilege? Why not assume she has something different, or better, in store for me? Why not trust her?
And it seems to me that this is what obedience is - to be like a child, trusting that while one gift may be withheld, other gifts will be forthcoming, and to wait in confident anticipation for the future to divulge what those gifts may be.