Desert Horses

Welcome to my horse blog, Desert Horses. We live in the desert southwest, near Palm Springs, CA, but board our horses up in our local mountains where it is cooler in the summer. I have 4 horses, all rescues. Here is the ranch up the mountains where the horses stay.

Saturday, October 1, 2011


I always wanted a chestnut mare and when I saw Beauty online, I instantly fell in love with her.  She was even better when I finally met her~friendly, smart, curious, and unafraid.  Gigondas was on the same feedlot as Beauty and I figured, "Why not two?" so I also adopted her.  However, unlike Beauty, Gigondas wasn't real fond of people.  In fact, she hated humans.  She was very head-shy and constantly either turned her butt to us or tried to run us over.  As a horse newbie, even I knew that wasn't good.  It took me two years to be able to finally touch her head without her running off.  Now, five years later, I honestly haven't made a whole lot of progress with her.  She tolerates me, but that's about it.  She's never done anything bad to me...she's never run over me, she's never bitten me, she's never kicked at me...she just tolerates me, like a pesky fly.  ...sigh...I really, at this point, don't know what to do with her.  My trainer works her twice a month for a lesson and she remembers ALL her lessons and has never been a problem.  She used to bolt when I took her down to the arena, but now she stands and waits for her release.  It's just that, unlike all my other horses, she just doesn't really like humans.  Period.  I'm thinking about just finding a pasture where she can run and be a horse.  What do you all think?  I think the photo says it all.  She stands away me.  She would never cuddle like Sunni or Quad or Cali or Scout.  She's always standoffish.


Barb said...

She seems to like you well enough. Maybe she just isn't affectionate. Not all horses want to be cuddle bugs. However, if YOU want a cuddly horse then she isn't the one for you. Such is life. She could well be a better match for someone else and Lucille may be available again for you. Now there's an affectionate chestnut mare!!

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

That sounds like a lot of progress to me. I think Gigondas is the horse who will probably teach you the most. Lostine was stand-offish for many years, but now we can almost read each other's minds through eye contact. I remember trying to hug each horse once in the morning and once at night, and Lostine would always turn away. I got stubborn and turned with her and just kept hugging her until she stopped trying to get away. Now she loves her hugs.

lisa said...

She sounds like a right brain extrovert, I study Parelli and that is all I can say. If you go to his web sight Pat Parelli you might be able to get some info on how to work with her. She needs lots of very slow and patient work. She needs to take time. To digest everything you do. Like just go into her pen if you have room and just sit without doing anything for an hour and I mean ignore her completely! Do that until she comes to you. Or you can go in and just keep walking by her and then walk out of her pen. Lots of approach and retreat. When you ask her to do something go slow and let her process everything you want her to do before you go to the next thing. Start with what is called the friendly game, you have to be able to pet her everywhere. If you go to her head and she lifts it approach until just before you reach her threshold! then retreat. Go to the web sight you will be amazed!

achieve1dream said...

Clicker training! Once horses understand what exactly we want they become a lot more comfortable with us. I do agree though that some horses just aren't affectionate. My Percheron isn't. Clicker training helps with the trust issues (which he also has) and gets them using the thinking side of their brains. It might be worth a shot. I have some videos up on my blog of our first few sessions of clicker with our Percheron a couple of months ago. Good luck with her.