October 22, 2012

The Flapping Flag

The process of moving a horse to a new location and being a new owner has been interesting.  The first week when I groomed Dani each day in her stall she neighed out loud and would move back and forth in the stall.  It was horrible in a way, I felt bad and dejected but I also felt compassion for her.  Dani's whole life as she knew it had just turned upside down.  As a word of advice to any future owner....give them time and give them a break.  Sure, don't let the new horse walk over you but have some empathy and take it one step at a time.

In the couple weeks I've owned her I've grown pretty close with her and this is just from some basic groundwork and daily grooming.  Dani has gotten to realize that I'm there for her, I won't let her get hurt.  We have a lot more to do in growing out relationship but I feel we've started down a good path.  Dani now stands still with me grooming her and has shown that she trusts me, she enters the wash rack and has stood calmly when the Bobcat was busy going up and down the aisle with bales of hay.

The day of the horse show at the stable Dani had some issues going into a stall but I have to understand that there were a million people in the aisle way and  behind her.  I'm sure the confined stall and the people milling about behind made her panic and think of the trailering experiences she has had.  I could have used the moment as a trainer moment but at times you just have to realize when you won't win.  It would have jeopardized the safety of the other people and would have most likely backfired with Dani.  Instead Steve and I gave it up and just groomed her up a little before getting her fit for a blanket by a vendor that came to the facility.  I'll be posting that a little later.

Today I want to post about the flag.  The people milling around, all through the stable and grounds was a good experience for Dani who is used to a very quiet environment.  After we had the blanket fit I walked Dani by the outdoor arena and then noticed a flag near the trailers.  Hmm.  I walked her around in slowly smaller circles by the flapping flag.  She did wonderfully and didn't show much upset if any.  The only time was when we got close enough and the flag touched her but she didn't freak out.  She took it all in stride.  I'm very happy with the progress I've made with her in just a couple of weeks.  We have more to go and I'm awaiting the Clinton Anderson DVD's to arrive but I feel we've already started down a good path.  I love her so much!

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