Thursday, March 26, 2009

Who's the boss? I'm the boss!

It figures, just when I'm all prepared to go just have a nice standing session with Gabe (ha!), it rains like mad. There is mud and puddles EVERYWHERE! It's gorgeous out, sunny, a bit chilly, and very muddy.

What I wouldn't give for a nice, all-weather outdoor arena. I don't even need an indoor, I'll ride in just about any weather, but I won't ride in the slimy, slippery, deep mud we get around here. *Sigh* There is so much I want to get done on my farm, not enough in the farm funds to get 'em done any time soon.

The ponies got their feetsies done Saturday. Calypso has shoes again, she is the only one who gets shoes at the moment and she is SO much happier walking on iron than she is barefoot. I'd keep her shod all the time if I didn't think she'd slip and fall on the ice during the winter.

Gabe was apparently a complete ass for the farrier. I was absolutely mortified when I found out how bad he had been. Mortified. Kind of like when your kids do or say really bad things and you are MORTIFIED that you raised them! Same with Gabe.

Saturday was a busy day: the farrier was scheduled and the hay shed needed replenishing. My appointment with the hay guy overlapped the appointment with the farrier. Of course, when I asked hubby what he wanted to do, he chose to stay home and hold horses for the farrier. I got to go pick up hay. Yay me! Every time he has stayed home to hold horses for the farrier Gabe is a jerk for him. The last time he held him Gabe bit him and bit him hard enough to leave marks. This time, he wouldn't stand still and behaved like an unbroke baby.

Every time I hold Gabe for the farrier he behaves very nicely and stands still, but I expect him to and I absolutely require him to. My husband, bless his heart, knows just enough about horse handling to handle the well-broke ones with ease. The ones that like to test you, like Gabe, he is at a loss about how to make them behave. I don't know if he's afraid to make him behave or just doesn't know HOW to make him behave. I guess that's something I need to work on with Robert and probably with Gabe, too. He should be able to handle Gabe without any issues at all because he really isn't that difficult....if you know what you're doing.

Gabe likes to test you and if you don't pass his tests, he keeps pushing and getting brattier and brattier. He's one of those, who, if in a boarding situation, would develop a reputation for being a bad horse. Not necessarily because he's bad or entirely mannerless, but because he tests and pushes the limits if you don't push back and remind him who's in control. Usually all he needs is one good smack on the shoulder, a sharp, loud "NO!" or a quick trip walking backwards across the pasture on the end of the halter. He is always contrite after punishment and straightens the heck up.

I am the "boss mare," he respects me because I take NO crap from him. None. He's not even allowed to look at me funny and he is definitely not allowed to get mouthy or be wiggly. At all. Ever. He knows I'll "bite and kick" if he gets out of line. (I don't literally bite or kick him, you know what I mean!)

Robert is merely a play toy to the big guy because he has figured out that Robert won't push back and make him behave like he should. *sigh*

On the bright side: My pastures are a gorgeous emerald green. The rain has really pushed everything into overdrive on the growth front. Yay!


  1. I stress out when my horses are asses for the farrier. I worry that he won't come back, but fortunately he always does. I have to promise him I will work with the horses' feet and lunge them before he arrives. Fortunately, all of my horses are past that point now and stand quietly, but I've been there.

    I know I'll get harrassed for this, but on occasion I do actually kick my horses. If I'm walking out a gate and they are trying to push me out of the way to barge through, and there isn't time for me to turn to face them, I lift my leg and kick back, essentially punching them in the chest with my foot, and they back off. Horses kick a lot harder than humans, so I doubt it hurts them. They react more to the shock of being challenged. I've found that if I am facing them and they try to barge, all I have to do is tap them on the chest with my hand to get them to jump back, and that is with less force than I'd use when clapping my hands.

  2. No fear Nuzzle... I kick too..preceeded by a loud horsey like- human squeel. I am more subtle around other folks but, that IS horse language!

    It is probably a good thing that you do take Calypso's shoes off for what snowy conditions I saw there...she'd get rather bad Ice/snow balls in her shoes.I saw them for the first time this winter on the shod horses...bad!
    I think Gabe does have your husbands number Jenn! Wrascal! rained out last two times I went to ride...yes...I live for an all terrain outdoor arena any day, over an indoor!

  3. What a naughty boy!! He is sure testing the waters lately isn't he?? Meesa thinks dear hubby needs a lesson in horse butt kickin' 101 - better watch out Gabe!! Momma's gonna ride the warpath big boy!! And the saga continues...

  4. Oh naughty Gabe. Sounds like he was being ALL horse. Hope the mud dries soon. We're having an all out blizzard today.

  5. NuzzMuzz...I HATE it when my horses are jerks for the farrier...I'm like you, I'm worried if they are jerky enough often enough he'll stop coming out! The other two stand beautifully and often doze off when he's working on them...but Gabe, no, he has to be a butthead!
    I'm not gonna harass you for kickin' your horses...I've done the same to pushy horses, and I'm not afraid to smack them when necessary. I know there is no way I can deliver a smack or a kick as hard as they give each other!

    allhorsestuff....I've done the squeal thing too, but I've found that growling at Gabe gets his attention quicker. He is a squealer though, which is funny because in my experience, it's usually the mares who tend to squeal more than geldings! He squeals when he's feeling good, he squeals at the other horses, he's even squealed at me when I get on to him.

    c-ingspots...He's definitely testing his boundaries lately and I don't know if it's because it's spring and he's feeling his oats or if it's because he's bored and I'm not challenging him enough to keep his mind busy. Hubby does need a lesson in horse butt kickin' 101...he's far nicer and more accepting of the occasional naughtiness than I am. I am constantly reminding him not to let them get away with X, Y or Z.

    onceuponanequine...Definitely! He's been throwing his weight around a bit lately, even during feeding time. I don't let them be pushy when I'm feeding and he's been getting a bit rude with the feed bucket. I expect them to stand to the side and wait for me to fill it and move out of the way before they eat. The other two are great about it, Gabe has been trying to shove me out of the way. Oohhh...such a BRAT! We're expecting snow and rain and all kinds of other crap this weekend...there goes my riding plans. *sigh*

  6. I call my horses attitudes by the month. Right now I am dealing with "March" horses. One would think "March" horses are better than "February" horses, but not so. I think the warmer temps and the winds have them quite high! They were rather butts for the farrier, too! And yes, hope he comes back! Finally found one just 5 miles down the road from me and I like him!

    My "September" horses are the best! We've had a good season of riding, they are in decent shape, know they can't pull any punches and are too tired to try!

  7. Helloooo there!! Just checking in with you and hoping everything's alright.

  8. I am so glad to have found your blog. I just brought home a 4-year-old OTTB on April 2, and I can already see the similarities! I will be checking in here to see what Gabe is up to.

  9. Hope all is well! Your is one I check frequently and anxious to hear how Gabe is doing!

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