I’ve found myself to be exceedingly lucky with the amount of quirks I’ve so far uncovered with O. She doesn’t have too many irrational fears (I once rode a mare who was afraid of yellow), and typically gives me a heads up when something is bothering her. Thank goodness.
However, just this past week I’ve discovered her new, and very sneaky bad habit. I’m sad to say I played a major part in starting this habit, and am now desperately trying to stop her from doing it. Just over a week ago, I had her tied to the edge of a stall for a quick fly spray session. During the course of my full-body hose down I accidentially sprayed her too close to her face, something I knew already that she wasn’t a fan of. Like any rational 1200lb animal she had a meltdown right smack dab in the middle of the stable aisle. It consisted of a series of head tossing before she literally planted her hindquarters in the dirt, sat down and threw her weight back thru the halter that was keeping her near my evil fly spraying. Of course the metal tie down creaked, but held, I was busy “whhooooaa”ing her and couldn’t get her untied due to all the pressure. So POP went the halter and she flopped over on her right side completely free of anything. I’m pretty sure she was more embarrassed than anything at that moment, and immediately turned looked at me. I grabbed a spare halter and snagged my escape artist before something else scary happened. After that she got a nice walk and really seemed totally unfazed by her recent ability to 1. sit 2. get her own halter off. Besides being worried about her I clocked this event up as a “oops-let’s not do that again moment”.
WRONG. After that day O has now done it twice more. Yes, that makes 3 halters we’ve gone thru in just about a week. Only the issue is now, she thinks it’s fun. The last one happened because she didn’t want her mane pulled. As soon as I turned my back to pull some hair from my comb she calmly lifted her head, pulled back, broke her halter and walked 3 or 4 steps away before proceeding to lick at the stall wall. The latest was when I was attempting to wrap her feet. Nothing scary or interesting happening, and this time I was looking right at her. And yes, she gave me a snort of victory that time. You could practically see the lightbulb. O has figured out how to get away from the things she doesn’t like- goody for me. This week I’m going to try a variety of techniques to discourage this type of behavior, but please feel free to send me other ideas too-I’m up for anything!