Yesterday it rained in the afternoon and the horses had to come in. When I came home from work I put Irish in the cross ties, cleaned out his stall and gave him a quick groom. He was, of course, Mr. Perfect.
I then brought out Carmen. She snorted at the radio playing and I had to stand there for a bit while she realized that the radio (which she's heard every day since she arrived) was not going to leap off the shelf and bite her on her delicate nose (she does have the cutest nose). I then put her in the cross ties. I decided to proceed on the side of caution so I shut the barn doors just in case she broke out of her cross ties.
I then started cleaning out her stall.
(Which leads to a question for other mare owners- is there a trick to finding the pee spots of mares? With geldings it's easy but I find looking for hers difficult. Kinda like an easter egg hunt. Only with pee. Not chocolate. )
Sorry, back to my story. Carmen was quite impatient, moving around, pawing and generally behaving like a young horse with an excess of energy. I ignored the unwanted behaviour and praised her when quiet. She does like being praised. I finished by putting hay in her rack and then went to give her a groom. That was okay- she likes being groomed. I then decided to put on her lighter blanket because it's warming up. I remembered that it was in my trunk which is, of course, a catch all for lead lines, brushes and other stuff that I plan to put away. I picked up some stuff and dropped it into the feed bin of the empty stall.
Carmen exploded. I leaped away while she leapt ahead
Flee, run for your lives!
She jumped ahead and hit the end of the cross ties and then bounced back (I love my stretchy cross ties, they give so there's less to fight). She stood there
"whoaaa" I said soothingly.
whoa? WHOA? I must flee
You're being silly I simply made a noise.
I began to rattle the items in the feed bin while she stamped her feet. I kept doing it and she started looking less frightened and more peeved.
I will. when you stop dancing around.
I don't like it
I realize that but noises happen all the time and you can't just flee.
We ended with me dropping stuff into the bin and her standing there. Looking royally annoyed but still. That's my girl.
I finished up with my groom and changing out her blanket. I walked her back to the stall and she got ahead of me going in.
So we spent some time going in and out of the stall until she remembered what it was I expected.
I did like how quickly she figured out that the noise was no big deal. I tend to not pussy foot around my horses so that they get used to noise and abrupt movements without losing the plot.
All of this is the result of young horse, well fed who needs to be exercised. I've cut back her grain ration and bumped up her roughage. While I would like more weight on her I will have to settle with a slower gain until I get her butt into the ring and put it to work.