T and I have been partners since I was just a youngster. She didn’t want to be the first to climb aboard, following a green-horse-equals-broken-back experience but, other than those first couple of weeks at the trainer’s, she’s been my main burden. (Burden. Funny, right? I do pack her around.)
And we’ve gotten along famously … most of the time. The trick is, we horses do our best to communicate who we are and what we need but humans don’t always pick up what we’re laying down, if you know what I mean. You’re lovely beings but, sometimes, a little … well … lacking in sensitivity. But I say that with the utmost affection for the bipeds that feed me through the cold months of Canadian winter.
Truthfully, I’ve been lucky. From the beginning, T made every effort to understand me and keep me happy in our work together. I’m not the bravest horse in the barn (although I prefer to think of it as possessing a highly-evolved sense of self-preservation) so sometimes T has had to be understanding and patient with what turns out to be my misinterpretation of a situation. Like the time two guys passed us on the trail on bikes. I’d seen many cyclists, but never with long, skinny appendages sticking out of their backs! OMG! Terrifying beyond belief! Oh … fishing poles you say? Well, shall we continue then?
I’m just not big on surprises, or change, or new things. I like stuff to stay the same. I like routine, which I expressed to T many times during our rides when I would attempt to move onto the next exercise before she asked for it. She thought I needed more variety, to have things mixed up a little more, but it only frustrated me and had me offering five different moves at once.
And then she read a book (thanks, Michelle!) called “Is Your Horse a Rock Star?” It’s written in a humorous fashion but has some great stuff about horse personalities in it, a bit like a Myers-Briggs for horses. T was pretty surprised to find out I was The Accountant, maybe because of my flair for drama, but an accountant is what I am.
A couple of key points: “Accountants like predictability. They want you to have a plan and stick to it.” I know, right? And, these two items from the list of don’ts really hit home: Don’t … “1) Change routine or 2) Surprise them”. I do not like a surprise, unless it looks like a carrot. But I guess that wouldn’t really be a surprise, unless it tastes like an apple, which would be okay too, but what if it tasted like chicken. Yuck. Anyway… I digress.
Where was I? Right. The Accountant. So, once T realized that she wasn’t ruining me by keeping too much routine in our training sessions, I was a happy lad, eager to do my job well and on schedule.
Like the Myers-Briggs, my personality type is defined by four letters, DLAF. The D is for dominant versus submissive. I’m number two in the herd and don’t let anybody forget it.
The L is for lazy versus energetic. I take a bit of exception to this one but, it’s true, I don’t expend a lot of extra energy unless we’re dealing with the third letter in my code…
A is for afraid versus curious. I am quite curious also, often the first to notice and approach anything new in our environment, but I’m happy to let one of my herd mates do the get-close part. That’s just smart, right? If they don’t get eaten, I move in for a closer look.
The final letter is F for friendly versus aloof. I am most definitely heavy on the F side of that scale. What would be the point of aloofness?
So, that’s me, the bean counter, the number cruncher, the pencil pusher, the Accountant. Just between you and me, I think T is the same, which is maybe why we get along so well.