Hi, I'm Ev. I'm training to become a horsewoman. These are my adventures and misadventures. I'm green as hell, but so far, so good. I'm now learning from Bo (and sometimes his wife DeDe) at D&D Ranch in Pope Valley. I am extremely lucky to have this opportunity, I feel quite blessed, and I feel that they, and horses, have really turned my life around.
Solomon is my baby- a big old flea bitten grey Appendix gelding who is very kind and way too smart! I love him so very much. He is a rescue and was meant to be co-owned rehabbed, and maybe rehomed to a good home. He turned out to be over 25 years old with injuries that ultimately do not make him riding sound, so he is retired.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Stud chain time.

Yeh, Solomon dragged me yesterday. He was getting more and more unruly, upset that he can't go out to his pasture. It was getting to the point where he was being dangerous.
Mr. Solomon, meet Mr. Stud Chain.
Now, I'm not big on gadgets generally speaking. But Solly needs to be walked and he needs to be SAFE to be walked, and while he's a well-behaved and kind horse under normal circumstances, it seems that "usually" does not apply when he's going stir-crazy.
But, as it happens, Solomon seems to already have more an a passing acquaintance with Mr. Stud Chain. "Oh," said Solomon, "I guess it is time to work now." He jerked his head once or twice towards the pasture, but didn't after that. I used soft hands and let him sort of self-correct: if he tried to go faster than I was going, he got pressure. If he tried to go someplace I wasn't going, he got pressure. As soon as he got back in line, no more pressure. It is a tool that does not have to be at all cruel if handled properly. And he actually took well to it pretty quickly. When it was being put on he swished his tail a lot, but once we were walking and he believed that I was serious he gave to it readily. No whimpering or anything, he just understood that it was "pay attention and behave" time. I have been, it has been pointed out to me, not firm enough. And it is important with horses to be firm, but fair. Not cruel or angry, but with strong, sturdy boundaries and firmly established as the alpha. So. So far, so good. And we shouldn't have to use it for long.
He is healing very well still. Walking well, almost back to normal. He might get his sutures out on the 18th, we'll see if he's ready. He's getting his fall vaccinations. The man gets to buy the groceries for a while.

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