I planned to go trail riding on Lucy with another horse mom while Lily had a lesson on Buddy at the farm where she and Buddy go every week. Both horses got in the trailer just fine, which always surprises me with Lucy because she used to have strong objections to getting in the trailer. Maybe that is over. I don't know.
Lucy was fine when we got to the other farm. Buddy, who goes there every week and acts as calm as an old dog arriving home when we get there, is suddenly not That Buddy anymore. He is Wild Protective Stallion Buddy-Man (he's gelded) with his red-headed, highly desirable mare (Lucy). He can't stop whinnying. Lucy is looking around and blows him off. We saddle up and ride to the where Lily will have her lesson on the bellowing and agitated Buddy and I will meet the other horse mom for our trail ride.
I figure that Lily's instructor will be able to handle Buddy's whinnying and concern about Lucy leaving, so I ride off. Buddy's badness has a limit. He'll do little things and dance around and pretend to rear and want to buck, but he's just into drama. Lily can handle it, especially if she gets mad. She can certainly handle it with the instructor supervising her actions.
Lucy is looking at things and a little dance-y, but she settles quickly as long as we are moving forward. She's not even that concerned about being that close to the other mounted horse mom. I can hear Buddy and hate that I've done this to Lily's lesson, but if this is a problem, there's no better place to work it out than right here with a trusted teacher. And Lucy needs the mileage.
So we head off for the trails. Until....
A very dear, sweet friend barrels up in her Suburban to tell me that Lily is having a terrible time and that Buddy is upset. It's clear that if she were me, she'd rush back. I value her judgment and her opinion of me. I also think that Lily, with the teacher right there and Lucy disappearing into the sunset (figuratively), is fine by now. I don't even hear him, and I'm within hearing distance. But I don't want to be a Bad Mom, in case I'm wrong about absolutely everything (and this wouldn't be the first time.)
So I go back, only to interrupt their lesson and get Buddy whinnying again. "He's fine," said the teacher. "He's only bad when you leave. Or come back."
So, do I leave again? Do I ride back out to the trails?
This is like dropping a child off at daycare twice. Make them go through the separation again. So I just rode around the outside of the lesson area and worked on Lucy.
In retrospect, I wish I had left for the trail. If they were fine, it would be a good thing to work on Buddy's separation-from-Lucy issues. But that wasn't the lesson plan for that day.
And I so didn't want to be a Bad Horse Mom.