Monday, May 9, 2011

Don't Touch my Legs!

Stormkite's legs were particularly muddy, and he needed some general attention and TLC, so I pulled him out and went to work.  He did not fancy the rubber curry comb, even though it's one of the soft type, rubbing on the encrusted mud around his fetlocks.  I'm afraid it turned into a bit of a war of wills.  

A rare shot of Dee and her little brother standing near each other.
He tried to avoid me in the usual ways, including scooting forward on the rope, shooting backward on the rope, picking up his leg quickly, and yes, he threatened with a couple of kicks.  They weren't kicks that made contact, but they were definitely kicks.

In response, I scolded, shook his lead chain buckle, and, when he kicked out, backed him rapidly across the paddock area, and sometimes spun his hindquarters a bit with the rope, to get his feet working.  And when he was good, and let me work on the mud, he got praise and treats (hay pellets).

We made some progress, I suppose.

I know that his bad behavior is due to my lack of focus on him.  He needs hands on him more often. So, I will make sure I spend more time with Dee's naughty younger brother.  I also know that in no time, his leg fussiness will be a thing of the past, a distant memory.

I have to remember that what's not a big deal to me can be a very big deal to a horse, and Stormkite's sensitivity to having his legs curried is one example of this.

In the meantime, I just need to look at his big sister as an example and be fairly certain that he will mellow out and become cooperative as he gets a couple more years on him.  But Dee got that way not just with maturity, but with attention, so I need to lavish as much on him as I did on her when she was younger.

Dee, by the way, did carry me under saddle on Sunday afternoon.  It was just a couple of short walks, but she did very well, with no bucks or freaks.

I'll be going out of town for a couple of days on business, so everyone will have time to rest, in my husband's care.  Maybe they'll think about the work I have done with them in the last couple of days and be ready for more when I get home.

No comments:

Post a Comment