Good Timmy. Photo by Bill Olson

I am proud to say I am the owner of a lovely Holsteiner/TB gelding named Timmy. He is a willing partner for me, athletic and with the perfect temperament.

I also own his evil twin, the TIMMINATOR. The latter is known for his tendency to be a jackass at the most inopportune times. These outbursts are characterized by his need to “get big”, stiffen up and often call/scream at the other horses around him, presumably in an effort to let them know HE is the man in charge.

While 95% of the time Timmy shows up, the 5% involving the TIMMINATOR can drain 95% of the energy from me. This begs the question: Can horses be schizophrenic? Evidence is building to suggest they can. How else can you explain the morphing of a sweet, gentle boy into a belligerent pushy brat!?!?

Show season 2012 began with TIMMY. Three great scores and ribbons for 4th, 2nd and 1st convinced me that 2012 was going to ROCK! Our weekly lessons were showing constant improvement and Timmy seemed to enjoy them. Mid-season brought an unexpected visit from the TIMMINATOR and the lowest score we have EVER gotten. Where did he come from? OK, put that behind us and onto the next show where Timmy proved to me that our work was not in vain. Great show, positive comments from the Judge and a good score. JACKPOT! One more show to go and we would put the 2012 show behind us and end on a high note.

The TIMMINATOR at work. ~ Photo by Bill Olson

As we approached our last show of the season, we had a fabulous lesson the day before. My coach was thrilled with Timmy’s work and we were ready! Enter the TIMMINATOR.

He refused to load without a chain over his nose, got off the trailer screaming at every horse he saw or heard and pushed his way around the show grounds until my arms ached. When he came off his front feet just because he could, I decided to cut my losses and scratch. No matter what I would have tried, nothing good was going to come of it.

Home we went and as I unloaded TIMMY from the trailer, I had to wonder what voodoo black magic caused his morphing back to normal.

Friends tell me I should make Timmy do another show this year to end on a positive note. I’m not sure that proves anything. He won’t remember what the issues are and besides, we have seen no signs of the TIMMINATOR since that show. My trainer agrees we need to just let it be, since he has been working so well again. I think Timmy just needs a break from showing and now is the time. I think maybe getting him off the property for fun might be a better plan. He is not an eventer, but loves to go cross country schooling. A change of scenery will be good for him when he doesn’t need to “perform”. He recently did a trail ride with another horse and was as good as gold.

So the tale of two Timmys ends for 2012. The infrequent appearance of the TIMMINATOR, although occurring for the first time this year, will hopefully be behind me. I am hoping it was just a teenage thing that Timmy has gone through and outgrown. As I develop a plan for this winter, I center it around TIMMY, who has been my partner and the love of my life these past 6 years. If the TIMMINATOR flashes in and out of the picture from time to time, we can deal with that. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

Is this the face of evil? Photo by Sheila Wolff

Until next show season, we will keep our shoulders back, eyes up and kick on!