Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Mr Attitude

It doesn't really matter how well trained a horse is, if he/she gets excited enough something is bound to happen. With as many horses as I have, examples of this seem to happen pretty regularly.  Since I had a difficult day and have not completed the post I intended, I thought I would share an example that happened earlier today.

Pretty much all of my morning was taken up because of a doctor appointment and Dave and Lindsay had errands to run that were going to take the afternoon. Lindsay had the stalls all done when Dave and I got home but hadn't gotten to turnouts. I was too miserable after riding in the truck to take care of turning stallions out so I asked Dave if he would do it for me before he and Lindsay left.

I warned Dave to be ready for Legs to be pretty full of himself because the temperatures have dropped and he's missed some time out. Either one would be enough for the horse to cop an attitude so I didn't want Dave to be caught off guard since Legs is normally so good for him. Usually if I let Legs know I am prepared for his games, he behaves because it's no fun if I am ready for his silliness.

The other stallion I wanted Dave to turn out was Tango. He is 3 now and, between the lawsuit and my illness, his manners can be a little rough around the edges. He wants to be good but he's still unsure what that means. Considering the small amount of work done with him, Tango's behavior had improved dramatically but he definitely still needs work.

I heard Tango scream with delight when he was turned loose in the front paddock. I didn't hear he and Dave approaching so I figured he must have been pretty good. if Dave has problems with a horse I usually can hear him in front of the house chastising the horse.

Dave grinned when sharing how hard Tango had tried to do what Dave asked. The horse was oozing excitement from every pore but watching Dave like a hawk  to assure he didn't get ahead of him. Tango was a star.

Legs on the other hand got the dunce cap. He came out of the stall bouncing around and standing on his hind legs. I imagine Dave didn't think my instructions on how to diffuse the horse's enthusiasm were necessary. He tends to learn better the hard way. Legs came out of the stall leaping and cavorting and flinging his head from side to side.  

Luckily for Dave, while Legs was tossing his head expressing his "I'm the coolest!" attitude, he flipped his head just right that he bonked himself squarely between the eyes with the lead. He'd flung his head with such force there was an audible thud as the rope clobbered him.

The stallion immediately looked at Dave  and dropped quickly, but quietly,  to all four feet, convinced the man had landed this well placed blow. Dave laughed and the horse sulked because he hates being caught doing something stupid, but he walked like a gentleman the rest of the way out. Legs had no idea he landed that blow himself so he'll think twice before he tests Dave again. Dave is still chuckling tonight because the rope couldn't have landed more  squarely between the horse's eyes and the expression on the stallion's face was priceless. 


  1. Ha ha! I love it when horses discipline themselves, and in this case not intentionally. One night my boys were running around refusing to go into their stalls, so I got stern with them. I looked away for a minute, and when I looked back, they both had not only gone into their stalls, but shut the gates behind them. A little disapproval goes a long ways, I guess.

  2. I love it when they discipline themselves. Ha, next time Dave won't have a problem at all I bet. Tango sounds awesome.

  3. They always seem to 'get it' much deeper and thoroughly when they have done it to themselves. Knowing we are there and seen it all happen- priceless, yet it also seems to inflict a harder blow to the ego.

  4. What a funny story. It's good to hear about Tango, too. Last I heard, he was still having issues with his leg. How did that heal up?

  5. sometimes we are good, and sometimes lucky lol

  6. you OK? haven't heard form you in a few days