My plan last evening was to hack Poppy, maybe hop her over a few jumps then lunge Baby L. The weather looked horrible and the sky was dark and rumbling but no lightning so I tacked up quickly and got on. Poppy had a big hump in her back that got bigger as we walked to where I ride and she was constantly swishing her tail and stomping her back legs. Living in the swamp state we have horrible bugs and Ms. Poppy hates nothing more than bugs. When I asked her to trot she threw a fit. I hopped off and she continued to throw a fit. So much that I had to walk her backwards back to the barn. She literally refused to be lead. By this point it was drizzling so I took my saddle off and lunged her. No temper tantrum. She ran for maybe a circle then was normal both directions. Despite the weather I threw my saddle back on and took her back out. She was hot and blowing hard but I didn't not want her learning that if she has a melt down she doesn't get to work. I simply worked each direction quickly and let her be done. She was fine, no fits, no stomping, nothing.
This is not typical for Poppy. She hasn't acted like this in years. She will stomp at the bugs but once we start working she is fine. I layer her in bug spray but it never keeps every single creature off her.
The rest of the evening she was completely normal. I started to wonder if it was me. Animals feed off of us. I can't hide the fact of how stressed work has me. Between work, riding, and barn chores I am lucky to get 5 hours of sleep per night. I am exhausted and running on fumes. My patience is gone and my sanity isn't far behind. I can't help but think this is being transferred to her.
Before bed I fed her peppermints, gave her a big hug, and said I am sorry. It's so easy to get into our routines and forget that our beloved animals have emotions too. Maybe Poppy had a bad day, maybe it was me, or maybe it was both of us. Today is a new day and I will give it another shot but this time I will check my own emotions at the gate.