Anyway, back to my little story here. As I said, I am no trainer. My dad used to tell me that you need to be compassionate, you need to listen, and you need to set boundaries with them. They are a lot like people but usually better than most of their human counterparts." In my opinion, my dad has turned out to be right on all of those thoughts.
To be a bit more exact, horses are a lot like kids. Each one with their quirks and unique personalities. Having three almost three-year-olds I have been slowly educated a bit more over the past two years just by the fillies alone (and, of course Terri). Each filly is her own self. Kaia is my little grey who is easy going and will allow me to basically do whatever I want to her. Bronte is my chestnut who was somewhat timid for a time but after living with an old gelding who has taught her some lessons she has turned out to be a very special girl. And then there is Mia my big bay filly. Well, she would be my toddler who crosses her arms and says, "No!"
The past two weeks as the weather has grown cold and has even gotten down into the low 30's at night (I know all you East coasters are shaking your heads right now) I decided that since they were coming three it was time to do winter blankets. (Last year we decided to let them build some immunity). Kaia was easy. Tossed some treats into her feeder and the blanket was on in five minutes. She immediately fell in love with it and now my ten-year-old daughter blankets her. Bronte was my next victim. She took some time (2 days). I rubbed her with the blanket, let her sniff it, chew it (I know--bad mom) and just check the thing out. I rubbed it on her face, neck and finally smoothed it down her back. Five minutes later it was fastened and the next morning it was still on and she seemed pretty pleased and warm while her sister Mia was cold. Mia continued to be cold for another week. I tried the same tactics as I had with Bronte. We would get close but when it came down to it, she would simply say, "no." I would leave the barn and yell back, "Fine, be cold! Ask your smart sisters what they think."
Then two nights ago, I knew this game had to end. I was done allowing Mia to win the game, which is sort of what it had become. I put the halter on her, started with the usual tactics and then made a decision to get it on her. See for yourself. Here are the results:
|I hate you! I look like a donkey
|Hey look at you! You got one, too.
|Oh fine since it looks like you're gonna feed me!