Quick update on Penelope the horse that crashed through the gate.

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Quick update on Penelope the horse that crashed through the gate.

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  • 3 Post By lightning
  • 1 Post By tinyliny

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    07-17-2012, 07:33 PM
Quick update on Penelope the horse that crashed through the gate.

Back in April I posted about Penelope my horse that had crashed through the arena gate while I was free lunging her. I also included a 15 second clip of her doing it.
Well, it took a while and a complete change in MY thinking but Penelope and Me are now very good friends. She looks forward to seeing me each day and I miss her when I am not there.
I couldn't ask for a better horse or a happier horse. She is perfect.
Some soreness still in her back and a hypertrophic left shoulder, but she is on medication for that and sees a chiropractor. She is the best horse ever and she knows it too.
Thought some of you would like to know.
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    07-17-2012, 07:40 PM
That's wonderful to hear.
    07-17-2012, 07:48 PM
I do remember that incident and I appreciate your letting us know of the change. Tell us more about your new relastionship with the mare, and better yet, HOW you achieved this change in your thinking . I am most curious.
And happy for you and her, too.
egrogan likes this.
    07-17-2012, 08:35 PM

Thank you both for the kind words.

TinyLiny, it may sound really strange to some and silly to others, but I tried to see things from her point of view. I was also honest with her. I was also honest with myself.

I heard it said (sad, but I don't know by who) that your horse is the reflection of your soul, but sometimes you don't like what you see. I thought about that allot and decided that maybe I was a reflection of her soul. Who knows but what I was seeing, all the so called flaws in her were my flaws. She is stubborn to the point of hurting herself. So am I. We couldn't but heads anymore. It wasn't working that way so one of us or both of us had to change our point of view.

She over reacts to what she percieves as a threat. So do I. She can be very reactive and is extreemly sensitive, getting her feelings hurt and turn aggressive instead of defensive. So do I. I could go on but I am sure you get the idea.

I tried to figure out why she did what she did and why it upset me so and frustrated me so. I had multiple people, trainers, instructors work with her. The answer I was getting from most was that she was spoiled and I needed to "dominate" her and show her "who's boss". That just wasn't working.

It got to the point with her that during a lesson she stopped dead in her tracks and no matter what I could not get her to go forward. She would power backwards fast. I was at a loss. I asked the instructor what to do and he said to turn her to the left and as I did she stumbled or something and went up in front with her martingale on, and the next thing I knew I saw her back rolling onto my leg and I thought "This is going to really hurt " and "I just bought that saddle". Next thing I knew I was crawling away from her as fast as I could, (think army crawl) and her feet were up in the air. Afterwards she was calm. She wasn't angry or upset even. That is when it first started to hit me that I couldn't read her at all. Other people said the same thing that she was very calm. I started thinking that other people aren't reading her right either. I did get back on her and rode her for about 10 minutes at a walk and then tended to her scrapes. I wasn't hurt at all.

The vet came out the next day and she treated her and also told me there were horses out there that wouldn't act as she does and that she is dangerous. Also that I should have a cowboy come out and really ride her a couple times a week.

Sorry this is long.

I didn't do what was recomended, and I started really trying to understand her and I spent a good many night trying to find out all I could about her online. I was actually able to contact her second owner. Her first was JeanClaude Rancinet. She was sired by Bonito VIII a high school dressage imported horse and champion. Her **** was Jean Claude Rancinet's favorite TBH "Sizzlin". In writing back and forth to the woman who bought her from him, since he was very ill at the time, I learned so much about what had happened to her and why she was the way she was.

She was always a high strung, very sensitive, stubborn horse that was prone to violent outbursts. But there were reasons for all of that. The woman who had her that I have conversed with is a wonderful person that truly tried her best with my horse and thought that selling her was the right thing to do at the time and she regrets ever letting her go. After that she went to different people that didn't understand her I am sure and then I wound up with her.

Seemed like allot of people just treated her like you would a "normal" horse, but she really is so much more. She, like me carries around defensive "quirks" and scars from the past. But that is all in the past now and knowing what I know now we have moved on from it.

The wonderful woman I discussed Penenlope with was kind enough to send me a great book on understanding horses that has really helped. I am only just starting to read it but is confirms what I am doing. Of course it is much more elegantly written than what is in my head.

So after all that she had one more lesson where she tossed the trainer in one of her backing up moves and cut herself up and that is when I decidied to stop all and any kind of "training" for her and I. I decided to stop riding her until she was okay with it all.

I went to see her daily as always, but now I would bring carrots and the bunge cord quick release lead rope and we would go for a walk. Sometimes she would stop but I could usually get her to go forward by giving her choices like a carrot for an extra 100 feet. Or green patch of grass to graze ahead if you just walk a little further. She would and does always pick the food, and a few steps more. We now can walk around the neighborhood with all sorts of chaos, lemonaide stands with huge signs and loud kids, dogs barking, peackocks, birds, kamakasi squirrels, and dirt bikes. She is fine with it all now.

We spent allot of time just me sitting in one end of the pasture reading and her grazing in the other end.

I gave her choices and options. I stopped forcing my will on her and trying to do everything my way.

She is really a great horse.

Two days ago we went on a 4 hour trail ride and she led the entire way. Today she let around 5 or 6 loud children get on her while I walked them around. Sometimes she doesn't want to go on a ride and that is okay. Sometimes she just wants to graze and that is fine too.

I don't have to force myself on her anymore. I give her space and she gives me space. She also comes up to me to say hi or just to graze near me. These are all huge things to us. Might not sound like to much to anyone else but it is big.

One of the biggest breakthrough points was when I was leading her and dropped the short reign I had on her and she stepped through it and of course the head went up as did the leg and she started to panick and I told her to stop and whoa and she actually waited for me to come up to her and unclip the reigns.

The other was when lunging her in the arena on a lunge line, I picked up the lunge whip only to cue her for the figure 8 we were going to do, and she had a vietnam flash back and went full tilt out of my hands dragging the line behind her and I told her to whoa and that it was okay and through the whip away and she actually waited for me at the other end of the arena with her nostrils flaring. When I got to her she burried her big old horse head in my arms and hair. (she may have been looking for carrots) LOL

It doesn't sound like much but it is huge. So, like I said many will not understand or care about this sort of thing, but it is working for us.

If you made it this long , thank you for your interest.
    07-17-2012, 10:23 PM
HOly Cow! Sounds like the screen play for the coolest movie!
    07-17-2012, 11:00 PM
No, that was really interesting! I think for the majority of aggressive horses, the problem is one of dominance but for her it sounds like her aggression was fear-based and she felt trapped in the normal training structure. Not all horses are the same and I'm glad you found a solution and shared it with us!
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    07-18-2012, 01:31 AM
Green Broke
Great job! You were patient & what a reward!
    07-18-2012, 12:57 PM
This is just so wonderful! I couldn't be happier for the both of you. Sounds like the two of you are truly bonding and have a wonderful future ahead. I commend your willingness and personal strength to go beyond the obvious and to look deeper into the issues you were having together. She is trusting you not fearing you and that is a huge thing. I get that!
    07-19-2012, 08:31 PM
Thank you. I am so happy with her. Today we both walked over ground rails together. Other people look at me like I am crazy, but I don't care. I have a very happy horse and she has a happy person. Funny thing is that she really tries very hard now that I took the pressure off, and is she is so smart.
    07-19-2012, 08:42 PM
Isn't the breakthro wonderful? I experienced that last year and the horse that emerged is incredible. I'll bet your mare is too. I often refer to horses being compliant which can be confused for trust. Trust is the greatest gift a horse can give us. The past needs to be forgotten and worrying about the future needs to be set aside as it's always in the future. We need to live, like our horses, in the moment.

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