Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Two steps forward, two weeks back.

I have tremendous respect for everyone I have been involved with thus far in the NC horse world, especially my vet. He is extremely knowledgeable, and really knows horses. That being said, there are certain horses whose minds you must be careful with, regardless of the circumstances. Today was a bad day for the little beast, just as we were beginning to get somewhere, with her in the cross ties, she started her little rearing charade.

When the vet began looking at her teeth, her reaction was to stand up on those hind legs of hers. I haven't figured out the proper way to punish her on the ground yet, but my vet sure figured something out. I have only ever seen one horse get punched in the face before, and it was a stallion with a habit of striking out at people. Today that was what the filly got for rearing. Each time, he gave her an opportunity to quietly open her mouth, when she didn't, he let her have it. Two big rears in the aisle warranted a location change to the stall. He did the same thing. Each time she reared he let her have it. This is not something he would ever do to a horse of a client's, but he and Jim Bob have a friendship beyond that relationship.

The rearing has become a temper-tantrum evasion tactic, that is unacceptable. Rather than beating her every time she does it though, I need to figure out a way to once and done the problem. There are many different opinions out there on how to treat a rearer, but one that I think might work is getting her to flip herself over. If she does it on her own she might just figure out what a terrible idea rearing is.

Unfortunately though, for as far as the pony has come in the past two weeks while in my care, that all went out the window this morning. After the vet left, I went to get her out of the stall to put her outside and as soon as I opened the door, she scurried to the back of the stall terrified. When I went to attach the lead rope to her halter, she threw her head up and put all her weight into her hindquarters the way she does before she rears, and it took a solid five minutes of soothing words to even get her to walk forward to me in the stall.

I thought before that the pony would always be afraid of men, as it has been men who have handled her most of her life. Most of her life she hasn't been treated to well either. By no fault of Jim Bob's he has ended up with a pony who is scared to like life, and who really may never amount to anything. She is no world beater, and she isn't worth getting hurt over. I think its going to take another two weeks to undo today's lesson, and it might take even longer since the vet is coming out on Monday to actually float her teeth.

Only time will tell if this one amounts to anything, but as I'm not getting paid to work with her, she will be put on the back burner as soon as I have a horse again.

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