They only last thirty to sixty minutes at best and because of the nature of the solar system, they are constantly (albeit slowly) moving.
And they are TERRIFYING.
Don't believe me? Ask Courage.
|artistic rendering. not actual events.|
Well, ask him six weeks ago.
Because around that time, we were riding with one of our awesome barn buddies on her super awesome horse and C was like "OMFG ALERT ALERT LASER EYES FROM SPACE" but he's also a self-styled Don Juan/Rico Suave who hates to lose his cool in front of ladies he thinks he might have a chance with (hint: he doesn't. mare hates him).
So when mare buddy kept trooping right through the sunbeams, so did Courage. By the end of an hour of walking and chatting, around and around, going through sunbeams HUNDREDS of times, Courage actually thought they were fine. (And yes, like you always suspected, Courage and I frequently don't work very hard).
After that ride, Alyssa came out to visit and take some pictures and wouldn't you know, Courage trotted through sunbeams like they ain't no thang.
|also pretending eq not a thing apparently|
But here's the funny thing: I was also pretending the sunbeams were not a thing because I wanted good pictures.
We tried to repeat the performance later, but Courage was getting progressively more weird about the DEMON BEAMS until I realized something.
I was staring at them. HARD.
What would happen if I pretended they weren't there and just went about my ride?
BOOM. I'm not looking, he's not looking. Now that he understood they weren't scary, he just wanted to see if he could talk me in to spooking at sunbeams instead of using his booty and going to work.
And see, here's the complicated part of Courage: at first, he WAS legitimately freaked out by the strange beams. He's a confident and intelligent horse and NO ONE can tell him something is safe when he doesn't know if it is. Honestly, my life would be so much easier if this horse was a little more insecure and he just listened when I was like "srsly 4 real nbd p0nee". But no.
He really did need to understand the problem and have his mare friend show him it was ok.
Until we reached that phase, it did not matter AT ALL if I ignored it, told him he was safe, whatever. He has to understand things for himself.
When we got the big mirrors put up on the side wall this winter, I was very careful to introduce them to Courage at his speed. As prey animals (especially as prey animals in claustrophobic dark indoors), horses are very sensitive to changes in their environment. Also, I'm really not sure how well a horse can conceptualize what a mirror does and how much is just desensitization and getting used to mirrors.
I mean, if horses understood mirrors, then you couldn't put them in their stalls to keep them company, right?
|he sure does like looking at himself|
Anyways. I let Courage see the mirror. I let him run around. I lunged/rode in front of it.
And EVERY SINGLE TIME we went by that mirror in the saddle, whether it was ambling on a loose rein or trotting or cantering or doing ground work or ANYTHING, Courage would stare in it. Hard.
|what was he seeing?|
And I could watch him make googly eyes at himself every.single.time. we rode by the stupid thing because I was staring in it to see how pretty we looked.
Hold the phone.
So uh. Guess who is actually totally 100% FINE about the mirrors as long as I don't gawk at them like a stupid tourist?
|Courage. Courage is not afraid of mirrors.|
Basically, I see his board payment as tuition to the school of Important Life Lessons each and every month.