Archive for February, 2000
It’s now February 2000. I haven’t had any training sessions with JR since his arrival.
I have been delegated as the feed girl. I am also the rub-him-in-places-that-he-likes girl. He has just started to try to work his way up in the five horse herd. Lately JR has decided that this is a six horse herd and he is number five. The feed girl has been determined to be number six in rank.
Lately, he has been touching or lightly bumping me when I am in the midst of traipsing here and there with the grain bucket. He also doesn’t get out of my way as I head towards his feed bucket. I have to shoo him out of my way, or walk around him to get to his grain bucket. Thank goodness, I know better than to do that! My feet keep walking straight and, if his feet don’t move, he gets run into with something unpleasant…usually my transporting feed buckets.
I have been forced to have my second training session with JR. There is a beginning clinic at Pine Dell next weekend. JR and I are going to be in it. I have 7 days to get JR in a trailer. We stand on the outside of the trailer and “send” the horse into the trailer. This is safer than the human being in the trailer, trying to get the horse to come in.
Well, it’s a good thing I started today. I might be able to get him in the trailer by next Saturday! JR follows the feel of the rope fine, until the rope goes somewhere he doesn’t want to go! What JR and I will be doing this week is learning how to circle and learning how to go between me and a nearby object. The later game is called the squeeze game. I stand and “tell him” with the feel of the rope where I want him to go. Unfortunately, I expect him to go in a small space between another object, like a fence or a tree or a trailer and me…anything. He is supposed to squeeze through a small space. Horses hate this. They are claustrophobic. When we get the squeeze game good, I will be able to tell him to follow the feel of the rope into the trailer.
This workshop is not a moment too soon for JR and I. He has lately gotten the idea that I am muck maiden and feed girl…and not #1 lead mare. He’s been just a little disrespectful …bumping me…not getting out of my way etc. In our session today, his thought of him being dominant over me came in loud and clear. Instead of squeezing past me, he decided that it was safer for him to run over me (just like he is starting to do when I am carrying grain). Instead of going out and circling me, he decided to go out and then boomerang back in and clip me.
He is starting to learn that I am higher in the herd than him. I can cause his feet move and I make it unpleasant when body contact is approaching. We end up on a good note and JR gets to eat his supper which is now waiting for him in the trailer at the door. Hmmm, maybe trailers aren’t such scary things after all!?