Saturday, June 19, 2010

Xena, meet tack.

Yes, indeed, that means Xena and I got to play with real tack today! Progress is fun!

After a bit of a warm up, I layed a bareback pad and cinch on a bucket in the round corral, and hung the bridle on the fence. We played driving game/touch it on the end of the 22' with them. She spent a lottttt of time investigating the pad. I carried it around a bit, then put it back down, and it was like she had to check it out again every time it moved because it might just be different now lol. We played the same with the hanging bridle. I put some molasses on the bit. She wasn't to sure about the taste but she took the bit just fine. I guess I'll find out what she thinks of molasses when I try again tomorrow!

We did a ton of approach and retreat with the pad and cinch. We've been doing some with a rope around her and she's done pretty well. At first she was RBI and zoned out most of the time, did the tongue sucking thing for several minutes before licking her lips. Then with more retreating and reapproaching she was blinking and chewing and blowing constantly. We tried a few circles after I took it off, and she felt like being LBI. I got one step my first send. 3 my next. She cocked a leg like.... I don't feel like moving. Bipolar horse! I laughed and did a little of lead by the legs to take advantage of her calmness.

So I was going to end the session there, huge success. BUT THEN (there's always something isn't there!) she went RBE x 1000000!!!!! Ugghhh I hate when that happens. My dad had come to mow the lawn, and although she could care less about the lawn mower, she lost it when he walked around the back of the round corral to check something out. Remember our round corral is 6' solid wood so she can't see out unless she tries really hard. She heard those twigs snapping under his feet that she couldn't see and I was afraid she was going to crash through the walls! Rear-buck-gallop-snort, lather rinse repeat. I had him stop walking and come pet her, that helped for a second but when I turned around she took off again. He walked away so she stood still for long enough that I could make an escape. I hope one day I'll have enough savvy to do something about it, but our tiny round pen just puts me too close for comfort to those flailing feet.

I went out and started walking around snapping twigs until it appeared she had calmed down a bit. I was going to take her out when I heard the noise again... this time coming from a deer 15 feet from us. She flipped out again at that and snorted for several minutes. Mmm.... tripolar horse!!!

The obvious solution is take out some boards so she can see out, which I plan to do. But the discovery of her fear of the unseen is just to big to pass up. The boards shall stay until scary sounds outside aren't an issue. Oh boy!

When I put her back, I walked over to the giant branch/twig pile and stomped on it. No reaction. I walked off and she followed me across it herself!!!!! The snap crackle pop didn't bother her when she knew what it was coming from. FASCINATING!!!


  1. What patience you have! It can be such a challenge to deal with their prey animal instincts. I recently rescued a calf who's mooing was apparently calling to demons because the horses thought she was the devil! They couldn't see her tiny form in the stall, but that moo HAD to be coming from a beast from down under. Take her out of the stalls and the horses are like, "Run little calf, there's a monster in the stall with you!" Even when they SEE her moo, they could care less. It's the fact that they can't put a "face" to the sound that unnerves them. So interesting!

  2. Hahaha that is really funny! They are like kids afraid of the dark, it's the same old room you just can't see it lol.

    Yesterday a truck came to haul the muck pile away, Xena was spinning around in her stall at the noise. Until she poked her head out the window, "Oh it's just a giant semi truck headed right for me, I'll go back to eating now."

    Silly horses!