I’ve alluded to having issues with Subi lately. Sometimes he’s fine leading to and from the barn. Sometimes he’s a rearing mess. I cannot for the LIFE OF ME figure out what sets him off. Maybe it’s being in a stall for the night and he just has more energy? Maybe is that there are big, tall, terrible giants in the sky scaring him to death and only he can see them? I don’t know. But honestly? I’m sick of it.
I’ve been swapping back and forth between leading him in a halter and chain and a rope halter. For a while he was overreacting to the halter/chain so the rope halter was better, but then post OMG CRAZY HORSE incident, I swapped back to the halter/chain combo as I had better control. I had been backing/halting, but I’ve limited that some as Subi has started to anticipate the backing once he misbehaves… So, he rears, halts, and then backs himself. Stupid thoroughbreds…
Anyway, I ordered some ground training books and I’ll start posting about those later. BUT Friday night I basically melted down. For no reason what-so-ever he was stupid. He hates the dark and soft ground and that combo is a perfect excuse to misbehave. So we spooked at Batt, we spooked at the giants in the sky, and we just were stupid and poorly behaved in our walk to the stall. This was AFTER we stood in the howling wind with no halter or lead rope changing blankets (WTF? I can’t do that with either of my other 2). I finally dumped him in his stall, started crying, and told him I’d sell him if I could find someone who wanted to buy him. Then fed peppermints to Jiminy and Batt… Not my finest moment.
But, I started fresh Saturday morning. The ground was frozen and he was a perfect gentleman to turnout. Prior to turnout (post reading 101 ground exercises), we working on dropping his head for a few minutes based on poll pressure (with halter assistance if needed), releasing at the first sign of compliance. He picked it us really quickly. Then turnout.
Later that day, I dumped him in the round pen and did some basic lunging. Just walk-halts for about 15-20 minutes. I reintroduced change of direction too and we worked on that for about 10 minutes. We did some turns on the forehand (both ways) which were hand with his arthritis, but I accepted effort, not perfection, and he was trying. One side was easier than the other. After a while, I realized I needed something else since there were no fireworks and decided to grab the tarp in my car.
My plan with the tarp was to introduce it over the course of several sessions/weeks. Except, I walked it over, folded, and Subi looked at me and went back to grazing. So I dropped it by his head and he gave no shits. So I made it make noise and no response. Thanks horse. SERIOUSLY????
Next, thinking I might as well risk my life, I tossed the thing on his back and he continued to give no shits.
Then his neck. From his neck it fell over his head which was not a problem until it blocked the grass, which just required him to push it out of the way.
WHO IS THIS HORSE?????
So, I decided to make him stand on it. This took about 30 seconds mostly because he didn’t see the point.
Then we walked and lunged over it. Caveat. He was only willing to lunge to the right over it and had to be led to the left over it, but since he had no issue walking over it, I’m assuming he was tired/sore by that point.
We have 3000 problems, but tarps aren’t one of them.
I planned to work him more yesterday, but I was tired and well, day off. Today we have snow and my university seems to want to avoid closing despite the city closing offices…
ugh horses. he’s a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma…. cool that he’s so nonchalant about the tarp tho!
never boring is he? LOLLOL Just glad you have issues too it makes me feel better. Obviously you need to cover the walkway to the pasture with a tarp 🙂
I agree with Michelle- cover the path to the barn in tarps 😉 Horse are so annoying at times. Like, if you are going to be a dick then just be a dick and let me work it it if you. Don’t pick and choose!
Ah horses. They really like to mess with our brains. 🙂 At least it seems that way. I wonder if it’s an attention thing? If he’s attending to you then he’s not freaking out about other things. I find working on the leading iwth Carmen (with me in front, not like we were taught was the right way) and having her maintain the distance I ask works so well to get her tuned in and relaxed. It’s like she loves only having to worry about one thing rather than the 20 other things that were causing her to freak out.
Some excellent points here! I definitely have to work on him not tuning me out while leading though I may try your method too… this morning (and last night) were disasters for separate reasons but at least this morning I knew what set him off.
I’m realizing tarps aren’t an issue regardless as we walk past some semi regularly and don’t react either. At least I have a tarp safe horse?