Did He Sense the Change?

Victoria, TX(Zone 9b)

Last Wednesday, I rode Ransom before leaving town. He was great for the first 20 minutes. Then a calf came into the neighbor's pasture. I'll spare ya'll the long encyclopedia details... But I will summarize and say we had about another 40 minutes of arguing that led to him hosed & tied to the trailer for nearly 25 minutes to cool down, another hosedown, and almost an hour & a half from the end of the ride before he saw his supper. It was not good, and my bridle was destroyed in the process.

Thinking over it later in the evening, Ransom and I had a similar battle just before I left town a month ago. He was great for most of a lesson, then, at a moment's notice, decided collection & stopping weren't in the cards. He was hollow, ugly, and took nearly 2.5hours total time from lesson start to him minding me again.

So do they know? Can my horse really tell I'm going to leave town the next day? Was he fussing & fighting because he wanted more time with me? Or was it just inattentiveness on my part, and him realizing it and taking advantage? Do I not ride before I travel? Do I "buck down", and prepare for the worst, and ride aggressively? Or do I saddle up, walk around for 15 minutes, and hop off, spoiling him with brushing & cookies?

He was in fact quite happy to see me when I arrived home Monday, and was a fabulous ride last night. Stiff, but responsive. Stiff I expected, after 6 days off, esp at his age...

Your thoughts?

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