Let me tell you what happened. With the weather (hence yesterday's whiny post) I've not been spending as much time with the horses as I would like. And this has been causing some guilt- warranted or not. Today after walking the dogs I was puttering in the barn. Steele came in to hang out so I brought him in for a groom. He was quite funny about it- stretching out to show me which parts to scratch. When I was finished he nuzzled me. I let him back out and went back to preparing the stalls for night.
At that point Irish came in. I gave him a pat but went about my business. He stayed around so I thought that I would bring him in for a groom as well. I grabbed his halter and walked up to him. When I had it almost on he drew his head back and scooted away.
With a saucy flip of his tail he trotted off.
I now knew that my time in the barn was extended. I can't let him decide if and when he can be haltered. And what he did was blatently disrepectful. Now normally I would grab the lunge whip and make him move away from me until he would be ready to come to me. And then keep him moving for a bit more. However, the ground is icy- chasing him was asking for disaster. So I did the only thing I could. I locked him out of the little paddock just outside the barn. When he came scooting back he saw the gate was closed and slid to a halt.
"fine, I don't care" he pranced off looking positively defiant.
Meanwhile Steele is hanging at my side.
"I know that I'm supposed to stay with you. I'm the good one"
I grabbed some treats and threw them in his food bin. While he was munching I closed his door. Now Irish was not only alone in the field but he couldn't see his buddy. Steele got a little upset but he calmed down immediately when he saw that he had hay. While I cleaned Irish ran back and forth a bit
"I'm free! And Independent!"
And hungry. He reached over the fence to grab some hay. I turned on the electric.
Now he was cut off from the barn and his food. It was becoming less fun now. After a few minutes I walked back out with the halter. I stood with my back to him. He came up to me. As I moved the halter towards hime took off. I walked away. Gritting my teeth I went back to work. Irish started to pace. I ignored him. I started getting dinner ready. Now he was looking less happy. After a few minutes I walked out and stood by the gate. This time he came up to me quickly. This time I didn't reach for him right away. Instead I spoke to him softly for a minute. When his eye softened I put the halter up over his head. I knew that I could open the gate and he would boogie right into his stall. But that wasn't the point. The point was that I can halter him and lead him if I choose.
So I did. I led him through the stall and into the aisle. Where I groomed him . And he enjoyed it.
Steele: "So what was that all about?
Irish: "You need to teach them that they aren't always in charge"
Irish: "That way they learn that they can't repress us and that we can choose our activities. It's all about freedom"
Steele: "But all you did was run around outside looking stressed"
Steele: "I let her bring me in and I was groomed. While you were running around in the cold I was inside eating hay. The good hay I may add"
Irish: "what's your point?"
Steele: "And now your inside. Getting groomed. Which is what she wanted in first place."
Irish: "Shut up"
|'the good one'|