Tuesday, June 16, 2009


After I spread the Fly Predators out in the pasture (highly recommend them, by the way- natural fly control and they really work) I went through the small enclosure in front of the barn where Jasper had finished eating his bucket-of-mush lunch. Fly Predators come in a package that's paper in the back and plastic in the front. I was crinkling it up to throw it away and you would have thought firecrackers were going off right under his feet.

The enclosure he was is is about 15x20 feet. I stood in the middle dumbfounded while my horse literally galloped around me, sliding into corners and doing rollbacks. So I of course kept standing in the middle crinkling paper. He was acting ridiculous. Like he did yesterday when one of the paper dressage letters I taped to the arena fence fluttered as we went by and I ended up on the side of his neck as he leaped 200 feet sideways.

Surely, I thought, he would see how completely ridiculous he was acting and calm down. Huh. I stood in one place looking down at the ground while he flew around me. After 10 or 15 minutes I was starting to get frustrated and tired. So I overturned his lunch bucket and sat on it, still looking at the ground. He continued to trot and run but quit doing the rollbacks.

After another 10 minutes I had almost reached the end of my rope and needed a distraction before I started shouting horrible degrading names at him so I called Terri, who also has horses, and we talked about her horses for a while. Phone in one hand, crinkling paper in the other. That passed the time for a nice chunk of time, and he worked himself down to walking and snorting.

How long after that did it take him to finally reach his head over my shoulder to sniff the cookie that was in the hand not holding the crinkling paper? About 15 hours I think. OK, maybe not that long but it felt like it. It doesn't help that he's not food motivated.

After about 40 minutes yes, eventually he did eat a cookie off the paper. THE PIECE OF PAPER. By grabbing it with his lips and flinging his head into the air afterward like he'd been slapped, rolling his eyes back into his head.



jacksonsgrrl said...

Hilarious! Surely not at the time, but a funny take on it for your readers! Luckily, Jackson is so food driven I can do almost anything with a treat in hand. BTW, thanks for the link for the Blocker Tie Ring! Can't wait to try it out! HOOOOORRRRAAAAY! It's gonna save me so much $ in halters and lead ropes that it will more than pay for it's pricey little self!

Jenn said...

Wow, what a turkey! Sometimes they just get "stuck" on one thing and can't get themselves unstuck in any reasonable amount of time! Silly beast. At least he FINALLY kind of conquered his irrational fear.

I'd love to try the fly predators...but I'm pretty sure my chickens would eat all of them. :P

Serena said...

Freak! Freak! OTTB FREAK!!!
The show this weekend is going to be awesome, huh. :)
They do calm down eventually--in about 14 years.

Terri said...

So...2 days after this indcident with your horse...I'm ground driving my 10yo OTTB who is normally very good long lineing... he was doing great and we were working on his bending, counter flexion, shoulder in... and he was going around beautifully, very obedient, really using himself ... until.. The feed cart comes around the corner ... the same feed cart that he can't wait to see twice a day, the cart that he nickers too, paces his stall because he can't wait for it to be his turn ... and he FLIPS OUT, snorting, takes off at a gallop, and then turning himself in circles and I'm screaming at him as the lines are wrapping around his body... and I'm thinkig this can't turn out good..... I'm getting ready to just let go and let him work it out... thank god he stopped... because at that point the lines were useless... whats up with that !!!....
The moral of this story????

Thoroughbreds, can't live with them... can't live with out them :-)
Good luck !

Anonymous said...

Sounds like another unconfident horse I know...

Albigears said...

Oh good lord- what is it about TBs???

allhorsestuff said...

Man he is tough.Frustrating~

My Wa is food driven and I have taught her to apy attention to my click(or cluck) as some put it. I never use it for a go sound. I use it to get her attention..she always comes to me or looks at me or stops ewhat she is doing when I do that...it means FOOOOOD!
And wrappers...mean food too!

I agree with with Teri! TB's!!!