dancing horses

dancing horses

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

In Which Carmen is Naughty

I was still pretty happy after my ride on Saturday. And even more excited to repeat it all the next day. Carmen was lovely- floaty, responsive, NOT WORRIED. There were a few small hesitations when she checked things out but nothing even remotely concerning. She caught on to the leg yielding quicker this time and we were able to work on transitions of trot to canter and trot again with no dramtics.

After our ride she hung out with me in the barn while Irish napped in the field.

The next day the farrier was coming to do both horses. I told him to let me know when he was coming to my place (you can't really plan a scheduled time) and to start with Irish so that I could be there to hold Carmen.

I arrived home and threw on my boots and a coat and headed to the barn. Irish was in the cross ties. Carmen was in her stall looking rebellious and both Ed and Paul (farrier) were looking unimpressed.

Irish: Hi! You missed all the excitement. 

It seems that what happened was when Paul arrived Irish came down to greet him. This got Carmen's knickers in a knot and she spent the next 10 minutes getting in between Ed, Paul and Irish and herding Irish away. My imagination has it something like this:

Irish: Oh, look. There's my poidatrist. Time to get my feet done.
Carmen (squinting suspicously): That's a STRANGER! Stay away. 
Irish: no. It's fine. See, it's the male servent too.
Carmen: SHE's not here. I don't think you should go.

After a few minutes of running, bucking and cursing and the use of bribery Irish was finally captured and things calmed down. Ed reported that Carmen had her head so high he couldn't get her halter on. I think he used carrots to finally get it on.

I felt like a parent who's child has just thrown a tantrum in the store. I looked at Carmen.
Carmen: Don't look at me like that. They started it and you WEREN'T HERE! 

Carmen's 'not impressed' face

When it was her turn I brought her out. She threw her head up and looked at me.
Me: there's no need for that. 
And she came out and stood calmly while her feet were done. However, he is not a fan of hers at the moment. When he looked at her, her ears went back (not pinned just back) and when he turned away they went forward. I know that she is wary of people she doesn't know and is a bit slow to warm up so he doesn't see the sweet horse that I often do (the one who nuzzles me and watches me whereever I am).

At first I thought that I need to do more work bringing Irish in without her. But the truth is that I do that all the time and never experience such behaviour. I can use a lead rope around his neck and he walks along like a lamb and she doesn't get in my way.

So what I need is someone to come and take Irish out that isn't me.

Any volunteers???


14 comments:

  1. Interesting. I suspect my horses would walk off with any stranger. With the exception of Lostine, my horses let different people ride them. Lostine will only let me ride her. She takes anyone else for a wild ride. But keeping another horse away from a stranger is kind of fascinating behavior. Maybe it's ingrained in mares, and that's what they would do with their foals?

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    1. Never thought of that. She's definitely more wary

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  2. I have trouble like that when strange people come around as well. My critters are all well behaved and polite until someone comes for a visit and suddenly Tessa crowds and the donkeys nibble on anything they can reach. I find it impossible to train them out of it because the only time they act that way is around other people and people only come out here a few times a year.

    Leave it to our animals to show the world how incompetent we are right?:) They do like to keep us humble.

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  3. I don't know what my horses would do if my farrier went out to get them. It would be interesting to see. I highly doubt Beautiful would be caught. It shows that Carmen has a good sense of survival.

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    1. Never thought of it like that. You make a good point.

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  4. Ginger does the whole stranger danger thing too. The best thing I've done is move her to a super busy barn with lots of different people riding/handling her. She still wants to be "my" horse, but she's much more accepting of others now. Sorry, that's probably not a lot of help to you...

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    1. what's interesting is that Carmen has been lots of places (before I owned her) including very busy barns

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  5. I think this is a very good example of mare vs gelding mentality. My gelding loves everyone. My husband's mare requires him to be there for all vet work. The farrier can now get her on his own, but she's in a stall. I'm fairly sure she'd give him the finger if she were out to pasture.

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  6. My mares are all well behaved with me and me only. My neighbor absolutely hates them, they are wild and crazy and won't let anyone touch them unless I'm there. They only get handled by strangers once or twice a year though.

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    1. Interesting that your neighbour hates them. Why would he/she want to touch them anyway?

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  7. I had to laugh about this post. It's definitely a mare thing. Though Indy gets protective over me with other horses. With people, she is the biggest suck up in the world and they think that I'm a huge liar when I tell them about her shenanigans under saddle because she is so sweet on the ground.

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    1. Mares are a whole new world to me

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