Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Round Two.....

Today was round two with Frankie. I would like to tell you it went better but in fact it was worse.

Last evening I went back over and gave him a bath. After bathing him I tied him in the arena and went to put away my things. He freaked out and started screaming for Jane and pulled back and broke a lead rope. I caught him and decided that we must do something to stop this behavior.

Today when I saddled him he was much quieter as was Jane, I was hopeful. But.... when I got up on him he flatly refused to move forward. I nudged him and bent him to no avail, he just froze up and whinnied for Jane who of course answered. I used my spur ever so gently at first and he just flinched, then he exploded. He did the shaking of the head thing again and then launched straight upward and started twisting and bucking. I took this as my cue to exit stage left. I was not as graceful as I had hoped and ended up in the dirt on my butt.

So, out came the lunge line and we did some work. After lunging for 15 minutes I remounted him and although he was still whinnying occasionally we did get some good work in. I ended on a good note and tomorrow is another day.

I have decided however, that Jane will be heading to Ky tomorrow afternoon and their love affair is over. He will now be pastured alone until he grows up a bit and gains some confidence. Sigh.....

The saga continues....

5 comments:

Kate said...

You did end better - focus on the positive! When a horse becomes herd (or companion) bound, they really can't focus on anything else but their fear of separation if you push them too far - the lungeing was a good idea since you found something he could do successfully which probably made him realize he didn't need to be so fearful and could survive without his companion at least for a little while. Little baby steps may be needed - very slowly increasing what you do with him but taking it slowly enough that you avoid meltdowns. It can be very frustrating - but sometimes it's just like the sky clearing after rain - once it's clear again you barely remember that it was raining! Good luck!

Kate said...

I apologize for commenting twice - but something else occurred to me that has helped me in these sort of situations - if you can give him something to do with his feet that he has to think about so he has to focus on something other than his missing friend, that may help. Just getting on and riding may not be possible - try things like making patterns out of poles and doing in hand backing between and over them, stepping through grids, sidepassing over poles, etc. - and if you can ride do things like patterns of small circles or serpentines, and if he knows how to do something like shoulder-in, do that - you get the idea.

And remember that he really isn't being "bad" - he's just really worried and distracted - you can help him through it.

LuLo Designs/Blue Eyed Tango said...

Well, it sounds like everyone is making adjustments with the move. It is hard to see progress right now but keep it up, Kate gave good advice. We are having to do the same with a 3 yr. old loading and making progress every night just baby steps but none the less, he is going to load on his terms which is little by little or it's a challenge....we are not going to rush it and ruin it for the future. We were scheduled to take him to the trainer two weeks ago and he has loaded many times but for some reason he doesn't want to now....talk about frustrating...if we let be...which we're not! So plan B is keep working until he gets on up there....he's almost in now and didn't want anything to do with a trailer a week ago but he's still not there so we're taking another horse to our trainer for 30 days that needs it. Keep hangin in there and just do ground work for a time, then after you get results ride. Whatever they do on the ground is what they'll do with you on their back....no bad behavior is allowed! You cannot get hurt and he cannot get hurt! Seems like with horses one day we're bragging on them then the next we're eating our words! Hope this encourages you some! Luanne

gtyyup said...

Glad you didn't get hurt. Yes, the lungeing is a very good idea to get the edge off of him. I free lunge everything every time I get on them until I know that they can handle just getting on cold. Even Colt will get free lunged if he hasn't been ridden for a couple of weeks and of course I look at what the horse's mind set is on that particular day (not that you can always read it accurately).

It's probably good to send Jane away...they can be buds later. Again, glad your ok!

Pony Girl said...

Holy cow, I'm glad you are okay! That is really scary. I am glad you put him on the longe line and continued the work! At least he now knows that behavior won't get him out of anything!
Hopefully someone will have some good advice for you. I can't remember if they are pastured together or not?