Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Things that no longer scare my horse

I have a spook bag of things I take to the stables to freak out Canyon. It's like Halloween every day!

Okay, maybe not.

Anyway, these items are officially in retirement:

Swimming noodles. He'll even step on them. You can wave them all over, wail on him with them and he just stands there, bored.

You can put the pink hula skirt on his head. It's incredibly amusing. Unless you're the horse, then it's embarrassing.

The silver window sun blocking thing. No problem.

Next we'll be going with tarps and large balls. Bwaaa haaa haa! (that was an evil laugh).

So do you know how to despook your horse to a pink hula skirt? Here are the steps I was taught:

  1. Halter up and have a nice, long lead line. 12' at least. Get thee to the round pen or another enclosed area.
  2. Scrunch up the scary item as small as possible and rub it on the shoulder.
  3. Work it around and around going down the back, legs, belly and up the neck to the head. Touch every part of your horse.
  4. Gradually let the item get larger and more floppy. Keep doing it until your horse doesn't even flinch.
  5. Go to the other side and do it all over again (because you have two horses. the one on the right side and the one on the left).
  6. Get progressively crazier, waving it around until your horse sees you as "an annoying little brother" and will just stand there and sigh instead of looking for an escape.
  7. Leave the item on the horse's head and take an amusing photo.
  • Optional: I wasn't taught this, but I also put the scary thing on the ground, since Canyon has an issue with things on the ground. Then I try to get him to walk fairly close to it. He doesn't have to step on it, but he has to go in a circle around it and remain focused on me.
Reward your horse with a cookie at the wash rack. It's a tramatic thing you're doing to him/her. Cookies make it all better. Okay, maybe not, but when you have a horse that smiles for cookies it's worth the oats.

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