Mint

“Would you like a horse? He’s yours if you can put him in a trailer.” I had one horse. A second one would be easy to put a bit of training on and I could sell him. When I got there the “horse” was a 14-month-old stud colt who had spent the last 6 months in a 10′ x 15′ pen attached to an old chicken coop filled with old wire cages and junk. He learned to push people around scaring his family until they stopped feeding him. His ribs looked like a washboard and his flanks were sunken. His appaloosa blood showed through his rat mane and tail. I went home immediately and brought him a couple flakes of hay. His flanks appeared less sunken after his meal. 
Three days later Mint joined my heard. Days turned into months and months turned into years. The little guy turned out to be afraid of everything. Teaching him was easier said than done. Ten steps of progress one day might only go nine steps back overnight. Sometimes he was worse than the day before. 
After trying a long list of things I finally stumbled upon an essential oil blend which helped him focus. As long as he received a drop every day or so he was trainable. His training went slowly, but nothing helped his pitiful rat tail.
A couple of months after starting his customized supplement plan Mint was in saddle training. He now remembers everything from day to day. He’s confident and with his new supplements I have hope he will grow a tail.
The preimum package he is on is  avaliable here.

Day 4 – Trailer sucesses

I went to visit Cole’ twice today. At first she wasn’t so glad to see me. She didn’t want to go back into the trailer. We played in the round pen where she is staying until Monday when the course starts until she connected with me then I left.

I came back in the afternoon. She was happy to see me again. I groomed her and played in the pen a bit before approaching the trailer. We played with the trailer until she could stand in the trailer without trying to jump out while the door was swung a little bit. On the way back to the pen she hesitated and looked over her shoulder at the trailer as if to say, “That’s it? We aren’t going to drive forever again?”

I got a message about Mint today. Mint has been conquering his fear of anything hind foot related. First the flyspray, now he is working on his trailer loading. Today he went on his first trailer ride in years. Last time it was to rescue him from starving to death in the middle of the city back yard. This time it is to visit a friend for a month. All those little steps have really paid off.

The Best Channel On

The recent storms trimmed the tops of the major power lines for a mile down our road, knocking out power to the entire area for a week. With crews and large equipment up and down the road for the better part of the week the horses didn’t leave the front pastures. I had always been told that horses are afraid of big noisy machinery.  Someone should have told my three. They line the fence to watch; the bigger and nosier the truck better. Even Mint, the most skittish one of the three, seems to think that this is the best channel on.

Power Posing and Dominance Games

When I watch my horses play in the pasture, it is not the biggest or the strongest that wins the dominance games, although she is arguably the fastest. Cole’ wins dominance games because she is the most confident. She doesn’t believe in the equine who is more dominant than she is and thus they don’t exist.

Mint, who always winds up on the bottom of the pecking order is her exact opposite. He would really like to be dominate if someone would let him. Almost every move has a hesitance in it, even when he vies for dominance with a new horse. It looks something like this: I am big! I really am. Come on, I really am. I would like to be. I wish I was.

Some horses will engage him and prove dominance,  others, I had a mare who was so underfed she didn’t care what he did, just ignore his antics and he talks himself out of it without much help. He goes through the same steps with humans. One day he will come on strong, but if he is ignored or sent away he becomes submissive in less than a minute.

Many of my girls come out lacking confidence. Whether the lack of confidence comes from the fact that horses are big, or this is all new, or they are afraid of making a mistake, or training at home or at school, or a natural part of their personality, it really doesn’t matter. As long as they remain unconfident around horses they are a target for Mint and will be ignored by Countess and Cole’. The moment they find confidence Mint backs off and the girls start to listen.

I can only address so many underlying issues. Time will help them get used to the size and the newness will wear off. They will eventually learn to make mistakes and learn from them. I may be able to provide a safe enough place to build confidence, but all of that takes time. Time in which a girl gets frustrated and may talk herself completely out of horses, making her feel like a failure and reinforcing her lack of confidence.

I struggled with what to do before they became confident. I can be safe and positive, but it wasn’t until I watched this video I knew what else to do. I have tried it with every unconfident girl I have had since, and it works. Two minutes before or during a lesson and the horses respond entirely differently to the girl.

It is not magic, it is body chemistry.

Watch the video, tell me what you think.

Parelli Level 1

One of Mint’s girls has unofficially passed her Parelli level 1. We had a small celebration with a ribbon presentation and cake before jumping into level 2.

 

My ornaments and the support for my horses are at GallopingGlass.com.

Level 1 Here they Come!

I got out with a camera and shot a few pictures of Mint and one of his girls. They are doing so well. They could pass their Level 1 within the month.

 

My ornaments and the support for my horses are at GallopingGlass.com.