Monday, July 13, 2009

What's Wrong, Red Horse!



For the last couple of days Red had been looking downright mopey. No signs of physical discomfort. Could it be that his love Coal is gone from the general pasture? Could it be that I've been using a BIT since the buddy sour espisode on the trial ride? Definitely not a happy Red Horse.


Why, after almost two years of riding bitless, am I using a bit? Actually I am not particularily pleased with this myself. There are two separate reasons. The spooky behavior is one reason - not a good one. The other reason is I'm wanting to work with Red on his balance and self-carriage. Our Dr. Cook's bitless does not seem to effectively promote poll flexion. I just purchased a Richard Shrake full cheek snaffle. Actually, what I'd really prefer to stay bitless. Maybe Sydney over at Science VS Tradition can offer a few pointers. Sydney is about to graduate with a degree in equine science and is a dealer for the Nurtural bitless bridle. Think we'll ride over to her blog with a couple of questions about collection and bitless bridles. Meanwhile . . .



One day later: OK, so we had a talk. Please don't think I'm a total whack job. Well, maybe I am just a little bit. I laid it out for Red, I just can't keep fighting him over plastic bags beside the lane. If he won't respect our communication via the bitless bridle, I'm committed to using a bit to get and maintain his attention. We went back to our Dr. Cooks for one last try. Yesterday Red was outstanding. Today we went a bit farther down the road. Again, outstanding. You don't think it might be our little deal? No. Couldn't be - could it?

6 comments:

Once Upon an Equine said...

I'm sorry your red horse is blue. I had a filly years ago that the vet actually diagnosed as depressed. I do think they get blue sometimes.

Tami said...

UGH! The wretched white plastic bags. There should be a ban on them.

Mira was a freak about them....Head to a B&N and look through the Linda Tellington-Jones book...I think it's called Ultimate something or another. (if you want the exact name I will get it for you as I have it at home). Anyway. The exercise with the plastic sheeting over the poles should do the trick for you.

Sydney said...

About the plastic bags. Keebler was terrified of them. Like he would explode and gallop as far away as he could get from them.
One day I went up to him with the bag in a tight crunched up ball. I put a carrot on top. He took the carrot. The next carrot I un-crunched the bag a little. each successive carrot I un-crunched it more until it was open and he was snorting like crazy at it. I rolled it down and put a piece of carrot in the bottom. He cautiously stuck his nose in. I unrolled it a tiny bit at a time, each time adding a carrot until he would willingly stick his whole head in the bag. Then I would play games. I would take the bag, put an apple in it, leave it in his paddock. He would canter over all excited about the treat feeding bag and RIPPED IT TO SHREDS! Woah this pony that was absolutely terrofied by the white plastic terrors would now go through them. It was a complete game to him. I started to use shavings bags. I rolled them down and put food in them and did the same as I had with the shopping bag. A bag could roll over and stick right on him and he would stuff his nose in it rather than run now. Try it. It's fun for both horse and handler.

One Red Horse said...

Funny thing is, standing ground tied or in the round pen or on his back or on the lunge line - I can cover Red in white plastic bags, hay bags, ropes, tarps. He stands steady and give me his "whatever" face. I'm thinking we need to do this on the trail or someplace outside of his comfort zone.

Lori Skoog said...

You both sound pretty smart to me!

Crayons said...

Wow, this is so amazing to me. I'm just a never-met-a-horse kind of gal. I am mesmerized by the beauty of horses, but I'm even more struck by the intense, caring relationship between rider and horse. I'm sure Red Horse notices when you are down or up or crabby. I'd love to see you two ride together.