July 16, 2015

June 5, 2015 -- Flipping Out

Well that was a hair-raising afternoon!

Gossip seems to be through the "make me" stage with regards to leading. She was awesome today, both in the same pen with a few of her friends for distractions and off on our own in the wide open. So we moved on to tying. With past horses that I've trained or helped train to tie, I've found prior leading training helpful. They understand, at least somewhat, that if they move towards pressure on the halter/lead it goes away. Naturally, Gossip had to take a more dramatic approach.

You know what I'm going to say... she pulled back. And she did it in a big way. The ring she was tied to is designed to break if they pull hard enough to injure themselves, and it held, but man did she fight! At one point she even lost her footing and went down, and flipped herself right over as though she was rolling, with her head suspended. She scrambled back to her feet, and was suddenly calmer. She pulled back a couple more times, but with far less force and quit almost immediately each time. I'm kind of glad the ring held and her halter didn't break, because she didn't learn that pulling back works to get free. But man, I think I have a few new gray hairs after watching that!

After she had relaxed and stood there for a while, it was time for her to get her feet trimmed. This is the first time I've been able to be there on farrier day, and I was told two things: She's better for the farrier than the other yearling on the property, but they've been trimming her in a stall (largely because she won't let them catch her without running her into one first). I don't know if she was just on edge after her little meltdown, but she was not so good today. She was also not in a stall, so the change may have been part of it, who knows what goes through her little brain sometimes. For each foot she'd stand for a bit, and then start trying to pull it away and leave. She looked to be fixing to run me over once, but that was quickly corrected as was the whole idea of pulling away and taking off. By the last foot her attempt was rather half hearted, but she still tried. I guess I know what we need to work on next....

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