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.

Saturday, November 8, 2008


So Solly was nice and calm today, which was good. I picked and medicated his feet, brushed him, got some more clay out of his mane, and then turned him out for a little while. He wasn't so big on the turnout because it was around dinner time, but he didn't flip out.
When I brought him out of the turnout pen, I decided to take a walk down to chat with one of the Nice Boarder Ladies. NBL was talking to another NBL and wondering why I was sitting in the middle of the turnout pen, heh. Welll I left him alone in there but after a while he just stood at the gate waiting to be brought back in. If I go in with him he'll wander around more. So. Yeah. I'm sure people think I'm crazy, heh. But we worked a little more on "help me up" too. So that was good.
Anyway, so I thought we'd walk down to talk to NBL. Nope. Uh uh. No way. He wanted to go BACK to his PADDOCK and he wanted to go NOW.
But of course I couldn't let him just plant his feet and refuse to walk in that direction. Oh it was a battle of wills and stubbornness, but with a little advice from NBL I finally got him to obey me. I hate having to be harsh, I'm not a harsh person by nature when it comes to animals. But he can't be refusing to obey just because he wants to go eat. It's dangerous and such a bad thing to teach him that he can get away with. So we walked all the way to the end of the orchard, with plenty of halts, and then back again, also with halts. We came to an understanding, and he became obedient. I hate when he closes down on me though, which he does sometimes when I have to be really firm with him. I'm not sure how to describe it, except that he is a very expressive horse and when he's worried that I'm going to lose my temper with him as people have in the past, he just closes down.
But I can't let him get away with not obeying basic ground work commands. I'll turn him and back him and whatever else that is within reason until he yields. If it means having to be a little harsh then I'll have to be a little harsh until he yields. Of course if I were to lose my temper I would lose the argument, and if I were to go above and beyond what's appropriate to make him obey I would also lose the argument. But if I were to have just taken him back to his stall, I would most certainly have lost. So we worked at it and worked at it until he was whoaing and walking as soon as I told him to.
A lot of the discipline difficulty is the long stall rest, I think. Once he is back in his pasture and feeling secure with his herd, he'll be back to normal. Or at least not so bad, a friend told me that an injury and stall rest can set you back 3 or 4 months of work easily. Guh. But we'll work though it.
I ended the day with some positive reinforcement, doing a bit of "kiss me." He knows what to do for sure now, but we still have to work on him doing it when I say so, not just to try to get a carrot bit when he knows I have one. Heh. Just have to be very patient and consistent, like with everything.
I put his blankie back on for the night. Tomorrow it'll probably come off again, and he will likely go back into the pasture. I'll take him out at feeding time so he can eat first thing instead of running around all crazy.

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