So, after the previous attempt to get my big Jessie (Scottish for wimp) horse past the kid goats the following day I was determined we would have another try.
The tactics were – speed and leg yields!
We set off on our hack, roads were quieter so this was good start and ten minutes later we were approaching the huge scary feck off alien monsters from outer space! Time to change up a gear. Approximately 30 yards away he was already snorting, head up with a slightly elevated gait…. kick on!
Into trot, a very big bouncing trot with snorting. Cue left leg yield! Damn it, should’ve put a martingale on…. kick on!
One thing in our favour this time was the fact that the kids were not in clear view. I could see them behind the tall hedge but this gave me a better chance to getting him actually past the hedge. And past the hedge we went!! It wasn’t pretty but he did it!
Lots of pats and words of encouragement later I felt like we’d overcome a wee hurdle. Now all we had to do was walk back haha!
He did walk back, with less snorting and carry on. Maybe the thought of getting back to the safety of his stable away from these horse eating monsters was the motivating factor!
We will keep going this route until he calms down and stops trying to put me in the ditch, which is rather deep by the way with a nice thorny hedge along side it.. NO thanks pal!
Love him x
And the kids won!
Okay we’re not talking the human variety here, more the four legged cute kind. As I was feeling a bit under the weather today I decided on a ride out instead of working in the arena (much less effort for me lol) So we set off down the drive.
We’ve been this route four or five times. I always do this with Finlay when we move yards, go the same route for a week until he relaxes and feels more secure. So I didn’t think we would have any problems, how wrong was I?
The road seemed busier this morning, we met quite a few cars and not all of them slowing down either! Its a quiet road but can be a fast road too. Ten minutes away from the yard there is a small garden centre, we’ve been past it a few times and admittedly he is spooked by the geese (they also have a few animals) But I’ve always got him past safely.
Today however the kid goats were in full few twenty yards away. And that’s as far as we got! I tried all the tricks in the book but he was not going to walk past the goats. His heart was thumping so hard I could feel it. Eventually I got him to stand then I asked him to walk on which he did then before he decided it wasn’t going any further I turned him around and we walked back.
It may seem like I gave in but I knew there was no way I would get him past the goats so the only option was that I would make the decision when we turned around, not him. You’ll never win a fight with half ton of horse, so picking your battles and how you negotiate the issue is the only option. So we will keep hacking out to the garden centre until he feels brave enough to walk past. This may take a few days or a few weeks it doesn’t matter how long it takes the important thing is that Finlay learns there is nothing to be scared of.
I know him well enough to understand that nothing he does is out of badness, only fear. You would think a 17hh horse wouldn’t be scared of many things but you’d be surprised! Being a flight animal makes them very sensitive to possible dangers, some have more awareness of this than others. Some will overcome their fears quicker than others, they’re like people, all unique! x