Wednesday, May 2, 2012

I just don't know what to do...

Piney is a funny, funny fellow. He loves being with his people. Last night he was acting exactly how he did the first day I met him. When I got into the pasture he came up to me, and then proceeded to block my view of the other horses. He was also not very keen on the idea of me interacting with any horse other than him. The ear pinning and charging the other horses is a new behavior that I’m not too fond of. But I spent a bunch of time with him yesterday. I even took him out to the yard to lunge him. Yeah, I’m def going to need a roundpen/arena without grass. It took a LOT of effort to get him to focus on me, and not the fresh delicious grass all around him. But once I got him tuned into me he was great. We only did walking and trotting. I cannot for the life of me get that monster to canter. Voice, swinging the end of the lunge line, whip nothing was effective. But come to think of it, when we were at my old barn and working with my riding instructor even she had a hard time getting him to canter on the lunge. Maybe I’d have better luck free lunging him in a round pen or smaller arena? I don’t know. Some horses like to run, Piney just doesn’t. Which was what his breeder told me about him. He ran because he was a good boy, but he never really had the heart for it.

don't EVER google wood ticks and then hit images...gag.
He is a really sweet horse and I just love him. The ticks have been eating him alive. I have been pulling ticks of him nonstop. I lost track of how many all I know is that it’s been a lot! Tonight I plan on getting the rest of his long, disgusting winter coat off of him. It’s stubborn, and has been holding on long enough! He looks like a hag! I wish I knew how to pull his mane. It is also long and I don’t think it’s a good look for him. Haha. His tail is also SLOOOOOWWWLLLLYYY coming back. It’s definitely not where it was 2 years ago, but it’s coming back around. Lets just say no one would have tail envy like they used to when looking at him.

 I tried to catch Pistol last night, each time I got near him one of the other two would charge him, and then he’d flee from me. Everyone has some learning to do. But I was able to stuff treats into his mouth without the other horses seeing me do that. If they saw that, they’d be all over me. I am sure I’m over abusing the treat giving, but I want him to associate me with good things like treats. He’s gotten better about coming up to me, but the other two usually just chase him away.  Pistol has a halter on 24/7 because he’s pretty hard to catch. If you grab his halter he will flip his head up and then get the hell out of there. It’s best if you just snap on the lead rope in one quick swoop. I don’t want him getting away with the head flipping. So I’m going to do some research on the head shy horse, because he’s headshy…big time. Other than that, we are taking it slow.
I wish I had him at my old barn, mostly because I would have help figuring him out. I don’t know what saddle I should use on him. I don’t know what bit or bridle I should use with him. I have NO clue how to deal with a head shy horse. Obviously these are things that happen when you buy a horse from an auction. You are usually left to figure them out by yourself. I am so worried all the time about my horses. Yesterday I was super late for work because as I was leaving I noticed Duke lying in the pasture. He usually isn’t curled up in the morning. He likes to curl up at night, but never in the morning. I went up to him and got him up, then listened to his guts, and observed him. He wasn’t kicking or biting his stomach, and he was eating, pooping and peeing like normal. He’d just had a long night, but in my mind he was colicing badly and was dying. Hypochondriac much? I’ve always been this way.  I know more than I give myself credit for, and I am also a better horsewoman than I think I am. But I still kind of want someone to come out and put a ride or two on Pistol before hubby or I does. If hubby rides and it goes badly, than we will more than likely get rid of him. While it makes sense, that we don’t want to feed a horse we can’t ride, I don’t want to give up right away. I also don’t want anyone getting hurt. So more than likely this horse was a mistake for me to have. I just feel so down about the whole situation and it’s only just begun! In the last couple years I’ve gotten on some horses that I wouldn’t have even considered getting near 10 years ago, but I am still a big chicken. Ugh. Snap out of it. What it all boils down to is that I’m scared and scared of ruining this horse. I want to do the best for everyone involved.


  1. Scared or not, you have to start at the very beginning with this fellow. I wouldn't suggest anything more than a simple snaffle to start, but before you even get there, it sounds like you'll need to do some serious desensitization with him. Trust what you know about horses and apply it earnestly toward pistol. Above all, take your time! I would recommend having a vet out to make sure he's physically sound enough to start working with (have his teethe/back checked) and go from there. You're going to do great!

    1. I plan on taking things as slow as possible! And I've got my lesson plan worked out for him. He is going to be a project, and even thought he was ridden a week ago, and sold as "broke" doesn't mean it was done the right way. I have had a rough week and am selling myself short on every aspect of life it seems.

      I love Piney to death, but I almost wish he would have been more of a handful when I got him so I'd have experience with a green monster.

  2. My friend's horse has had very little training, other than getting hitched for driving in a four-some, so he just followed the leader. She has made such great headway with him over the last couple of months in desensitizing him and building his confidence that she is planning on getting on him in the next month or so. It takes a lot of patience. Don't give up on Pistol yet! The pay-off will be soooo sweet. :-)