I would like to apologize in advance for the novel you are about to read. =]
My filly, Gracie, is turning a year old in a week or so. She really is brilliant, I just love her. She learns so quickly, she is so sweet, and I'm so excited to be able to work with her.
The problem? She is totally fearless. I mean, she is the most UN-reactive creature I've ever met. Thank god she isn't a wild pony, because she wouldn't survive.
And why is this a problem? She's decided she doesn't care that my hot fence shocks her, she's going through it to get to the grass on the other side. She's giving herself welts. I mean, she isn't running through, she's crawling through, ever so slowly. And since she doesn't scare, I don't know how to make the fence line a "bad place." I could throw a pine cone at her every time she touches it, but she wouldn't care. I could yell at her, I could smack her, and she might scoff and trot away, but she'll come back, because she isn't afraid.
I don't want anyone to think I want to use fear to train my horse, because that's not how I go about things, but the horse has to have a "fear" of a consequence. If horse bolts, horse will quite rudely be brought back to a halt. Horse should learn that when it bolts, bad things happens. It has to "fear" the bad thing that will happen. Gracie does not "fear."
I've decided that she is also under stimulated. I think that's why she is so keen on crawling her way through the fence. She's bored. There is only so much I can do with her. She's still a baby, so I won't work her hard enough for her to sweat. I'm limited to grooming almost every day, working on her leading skills, and the occasional walk. Obviously, what I'm doing isn't enough, and I simply don't have time to go on these walks twice a day or anything.
I'm thinking about altering her feed. She's on Omolene 100, and I'm thinking it might be giving her too much energy or protein or something? I'm going to put a Jolly Ball in the pasture, even though she never played with it when she was in the stall at night. I'm also going to put a caution cone outside. Maybe that's fun? AND I'm going to put a basketball or soccer ball or something in their water. Assuming, of course, it won't scare the other two horses that are so much bigger babies at 9 and 17 than Gracie is at not-even 1. O_O
I have also been thinking that when I DO start riding Gracie for real [meaning after she is solid under saddle for a few years,] a ride 5 days a week won't be enough to keep her mind healthy. I'm planning on bouncing around and finding what she likes to do. She WILL learn to carry herself correctly though, we will still school in dressage. But other than that, I'm going to do what she wants to do. And I'm thinking doing things with boring, inanimate objects won't be enough for her either. So I'm pondering putting her on cows. Not that I have cows, or any experience with cutting or even western games, but I can just see her getting bored super easily, and what more can keep her entertained than getting to chase an animal with a mind of its own?
I'm not sure I need advice. But if anyone has any experience with a horse so fearless, or any helpful hints on the whole cow horse industry, is welcome to respond. =]
And two friendly reminders for anyone who decided to skim...
I AM NOT AND DO NOT PLAN ON USING FEAR TO TRAIN THIS FILLY.
I DO NOT PLAN ON STARTING WITH COWS UNTIL SHE IS SOLID UNDER SADDLE AND AT LEAST 6 YEARS OLD.
Sorry to be loud, I just don't need someone yelling at me for something I'm not doing or planning to do.