Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Bucharest, Romania. Eastern Europe
I don't want to start a new thread for each problem I encounter, cause I figured I would flood the whole forum since I am indeed very new to horses.
So here's my 2 latest issues I encountered with horse behavior:
1. Leading a horse that refuses to move forward
As I was leading one of the horses to the training area, he suddenly stopped in the middle of the road.
My first instinct was wrong, exactly what you advised NOT to do, and I am very sorry for that, I guess my brain took a vacation for few seconds... I tried to just drag him along. Obviously no result there. He was not even making any effort to hold still.
Then I tried circling him which did not work either, the road is very narrow, not much circle space. Only thing I managed was to bend his neck a lot on both sides.
All this time the horse's attitude was a polite but firm "NO, I am not moving, but thank you very much for insisting." He was looking at me, ears pointed to me, relaxed neck and head, just that he just did not want even to flinch.
I tried with a pat / tap on the shoulder but no avail either.
Eventually I gave up and gave him a good scratch all over the head and behind his ears, muzzle, etc. Then I asked him again to move but without pulling, just standing near him and with my hand on his shoulder.
Was it the right thing to do? And what to do next time, if there is a situation in which I cannot afford the time to beg scratch pat pretty please him?
2. My own behavior
I went to pick a mare who was grazing. The other volunteers advised me to "try but be careful" as this mare has a history of kicking / biting apparently.
But I went there brave like Indiana Jones, with my pockets full of carrots.
I really don't know what was in my head.
As I was approaching, the mare lifted her head and gave me an ugly look. When I came closer she immediately turned her butt to me. On this point on I was already kinda shaky lol.
I avoided the butt and came in front of her with a carrot, she accepted it, then I tried to put the halter on.
I could probably spare you the details and not embarras myself on a public forum, but I guess if I hide the truth I'll never learn.
I froze there >.>
As soon as she saw the halter she elongated her neck, planted her feet on the ground, ears flat pinned back and moved towards me one step...and tbh I know they're herbivores and such but her face turned quite frightening.
And here is my problem: My reaction was among the worst. I froze there like a deer in headlights. I could hear in a muffled far away universe the girls screaming for me "Just drop it! It's okay just leave her, don't get closer" but none of that was really reaching to my brain. I just stood there petrified for a few good seconds and then retreated backwards carefully
How the heck am I ever going to be good around horses, as rider or anything, if everytime one horse threatens me I freeze like a statue :/
Actually even the idea of running away crossed my mind a milisecond. Thankfully I had a fragment of logic left in my brain and my conscience whispered in a tiny voice "You can't exactly run faster than a horse"
Right, so resumed, these are my problems, for those who won't read the long post:
1. I can't make a horse move if he refuses to.
2. I'm such a chicken.
That's it, thank you for reading!