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Discipline: LD/Endurance, CMO, Trail Rider, Cartoonist, Writer, Co-Director/ Green Bean Endurance

November 5, 2008


How do you get a horse to respect you? I know about ground exercises for respect, teaching a horse to be caught, manners on the ground. I've taught them all to Phebes. A lesson will only "stick" with her for a very short term. If you miss a day of training, you will have to back up and start over. This horse is very perplexing. I feel she is intelligent, but always wants, and attempts to get the upper hand. Be it getting caught, being ridden, handling, you just can't ever quite let your guard down with her. We had an almost all day marathon on Sunday over respect issues, and when we finished it was YES! I'll be good, I'll bend, I'll stay out of your space. Tuesday, she seemed to still be respectful. But show her the halter today....and off she runs, squealing, kicking, and farting. So I think to myself, lovely, today I will "kill" the horse. I've had it! I block off all the gates (cause I'm not going to run myself silly if I'm going to kill the horse) and that really ticked her off. So I start driving her off until she doesn't find it entertaining any more, approach and retreat, and get her caught. I'm thinking to myself, "If I'm going to kill you I've got to calm down first", so I tie her in her stall, shut the door, and walk into the house wondering if my husband has any air to ground missles hidden in the house, so I can just launch one at the barn and be done with it once and for all. I drag myself to the kitchen and stew over it, while pouring a glass of tea, plop down in a chair about as dejected as a fat granny can be. I drink the tea. The urge to blow her up with large ammunition passes. My resting pulse is feeling pretty good now, it is at least down to 90 bpm, and I'm hydrated from the tea. Time to get my sorry butt out of the chair and do something about this horse...sighing, I go out to the barn. The horse I was going to kill has untied herself and is watching me with BIG eyes out her stall door. I halter her up, and we trudge out to the round pen. She drops her head the first lap, and tips her ear to me. We work on line, clockwise, and counter, back up in hand, pay attention while the garbage truck picks up the trash. Maybe I don't really hate her, but she sure is dirty, so I give her a bath. After a good shampoo she isn't looking like a horse I'd want to send to the fertilizer plant any time soon. In fact, she looks almost nice enough that I decide to take a few pictures of her with her wooly winter coat which started a few weeks ago. I'm going to ride the clean, pretty, horse tonight. Aren't I lucky? ~Endurance Granny

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