Original thread: https://www.horseforum.com/horse-tra...ur-herd-813417
So per suggestions from a few different people,
and I are starting a journal thread to track our progress working with Brandy, a horse who was left at the family farm by previous boarders. We do not know the full history of this horse but we were told that she was not very nice - this is definitely not the case, as we have learned!! We have not ridden her yet because she needs a hoof trim and a preemptive vet check, but she has the most wonderful ground manners and handles delightfully. She stands to be groomed, lifts all four feet easily, leads well, is very gentle and curious, and tolerates all manner of poking, prodding and tugging. Taking care of her gives us something to do during all this covid-19 mess :)
Today we went out to the barn to practice ground manners and tacking up. When going out to get her, she stood and waited for me to walk all the way across the pasture to halter her. Whoever was turning them out before we started coming out to the farm always left their nylon halters on :( so today I took that off and worked her in a rope halter. We were unable to catch Skippy, one of the other horses who is unrideable to keep her company, so we went without today. Brandy led like a dream, though she did get a little excited and forward as we neared the other small pasture we use for working (which is why we're practicing ground manners!).
I tied her up and groomed her thoroughly before we tried tacking up. She is a little sensitive to the girth being tightened, but she does not offer to bite or kick in any way. The best part was finding out that she LOVES the bit!! I slipped the bridle on over the rope halter since we were just going to practice leading in hand with tack on, and as soon as she saw the bit she started opening her mouth and grabbing for it. The entire time we worked with her today, she was calm, pleasant, and curious. Every time we see her I like her more because of her gentle curious personality, which is the opposite of what we were told!!
To end on a good note before untacking, we walked a few circles in hand around the small pasture and even jogged a little bit (until I ran out of breath). She moves beautifully and we can't wait to get in the saddle.
Once we turned her back out, we were a little worried that she may bolt away as soon as we took the rope halter off, so I looped the lead rope around her neck while
undid the halter. Brandy didn't move a muscle and stood there calmly, taking a crunchy carrot treat once I had fully released her, and she actually did not move from that spot until we took our attention off of her and started talking about something else. Once we were ignoring her, she took off with a tiny squeal to go round up her herd.
All in all, a really good day :)
(pardon our terribly mismatched tack LOL)