Answer #1: If the Bridget is not used to a rider and legs, even a little amount of pressure will cause a Bridget to go, "Yikes! What was that?!" and walk forward.
Answer #2: When the Bridget is used to the rider and legs, pressure will cause the Bridget to turn her head all the way around to inspect the leg closely, asking, "What is that annoying thing you're doing with your foot?"
Answer #3: After you've spent several intervening days pondering the issues posed by Answer #2 and how you're going to induce the Bridget to proceed forward without resorting to Old Fashioned Means, the said Bridget will have solved the issue in her own little head and will walk forward on your first or second request.
Why does a Bridget approve of being ridden?
Because when the Bridget is being lead around, the human on the end of the rope is very slow and boring.
Because if a Bridget is turned loose into the wide world, it's TOO SCARY to go across the farm to the far side all by herself and See What's There.
Because when the rider is up, Bridget can go ANYWHERE SHE WANTS, and her buddy has no option but to accompany her at a reasonable pace and without being slow and boring.
When does Bridget's rider get to lay down the law?
Sometimes Bridget's rider says, "No More Eating!" Bridget will toss her head and maybe say a bad word, but then she's like, "Oh ok, whatever."
Sometimes Bridget's rider says, "Slowly please!" Or, sometimes, "Stop!" Bridget will accommodate such requests without demur.
Sometimes Bridget's rider will say, "Let's make a circle here, just for - y'know - like, practice." Bridget will get into the spirit of this somewhat willingly-ish.
Sometimes Bridget's rider dismounts, takes the saddle off, gives Bridget a shower and then tries to take her back to her pasture. Bridget usually says, "No, no, no, no, no, don't want to." So it might take a loooooong time to get her back there.
Why does a Bridget walk away when you appear with the halter?
Aha! We have a rather different answer to that now. Now what she's up to is getting away from George before she's confined at the end of a leadrope and at his mercy. (Mea culpa? Should I make Bridget feel safer?)
How do you know this?
Because, while I suspected this for some time, it was confirmed the other day when I appeared with the halter and she walked away from me across the field toward the other gate. When I caught up with her, she stopped. Then, just to check, I left her and walked the rest of the way toward the gate. She followed me and then was totally fine with me putting the halter on. And today, when I appeared ditto, she did the same thing and was thoroughly put out when I took George out instead of her.
Why does Bridget have a gash under her arm?
Because that George lunged at her, and she wheeled around to get away, and there was a fence in the way, and she reared up and came down with one leg in the fence. She is almost all healed.
|Here is a fun item Bridget found one day while exploring with a rider.|
(Sorry, I don't think the video works - but you get the picture.)