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.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Sunni's lesson

I was up at the ranch on Tuesday for the horse lesson for Quad, Sunni, and Gigondas.  Sunni has made a LOT of progress since August.  He's much more relaxed and trusting.  It's good to see him trust another human! Maia is very calm and patient with all the horses and Sunni really responds to it.  I remember one time a farrier came out to trim their feet.  He did tried to trim Sunni's feet, got the front ones done, and started to work on the back ones, but Sunni kept moving off.  He got very confrontation with him and started barking commands.  Sunni's response was to rev up his anxiety get the picture.  It was a nightmare.  Needless to say, after that, I switched farriers.  I LOVE Solomon, who speaks quietly to the horses and who has a very calm demeanor.  What a difference!  Anyway, Sunni now stands quietly at the tie rack, doesn't pull back, cocks his back leg, and just chills.  Phew!  I think, on his part, that some of his new-found behavior is just maturity.  Mikey, am I right? He responds very well to Maia, doesn't freak out, so she's going to restart him on his saddle training.  My cousin started him on his saddle training a year ago, but then she went up one day BY HERSELF, saddled him, started texting on her phone, and he crow hopped and she landed on the round pen railings.  Oops!  That was the end of his training with my cousin...back to square one.  Maia is taking it a lot SLOWER with him this time.  She's told me, "There's a difference between an agressive and a fearful horse.  I'd much work with an agressive horse.  At least then, you know what you're dealing with."  Unfortunately, Sunni is a fearful horse...therefore you never REALLY know what he's going to do.  We are hoping that all her desensitizing (and my work, too) is helping him get over his fears, but who knows?  So, my question to my horse friends is this?  Do fearful horses EVER get over their FEAR?????   Here he is during his Tuesday lesson and having a nice roll in the dirt.  See the difference between his "before" (muddy) pic and after his brushing?  I have a friend coming up with me this morning to help groom and walk ALL the horses.  Whoo, whoo!!!


Barb said...

You'd better bust out the grooming kit, lol. Sunni looks great, though, even when covered in mud.

Mikey said...

I think horses do mature and get more relaxed. But a farrier who's confrontational isn't going to help a horse do better (that's old school thinking).
As for the fearful horse, yes and no. Sometimes they come out of it, sometimes that's just their personality, like a neurotic person :) Seen both... that pony Blue I posted Mercy riding, he used to be the most fearful creature, always bolting, jumpy. He's gotten used to us and Mercy, and just settled with age/time.

Breathe said...

Fear can be addressed a little with appealing to the horse's ability to think. Clinton Anderson talks about this a good bit, and I have worked diligently to try to reward Smokey's curious nature to overcome his fear. Also a veteran horse can help a youngster develop better habits in new situations.

Yay about the new farrier. Horses so often reflect our attitudes, if we bring our best, they do as well...