Monday, August 29, 2016

Influencing people

When I showed up at the barn to ride my mare and feed/clean and spend time with the horses the next day, guess who showed up too? Yep, owner/trainer hotshot and his sister/girlfriend/whatever she is. I'm not sure how or if they are related so I'm not passing judgement there. I was tacked up and riding my mare around the barn at this point and I have to say, my mare was doing really, really well. She has a beautiful fluid walk, she was soft in the bridle, bending around my legs when asked, fearless going thru water and mud, and simply all kinds of awesome with her bad self. Hotshot and the girl are sitting on the gator with barn owner. My friend K is also talking to BO and I keep hearing from her, "She rides english too. This is the first time I've seen this mare in western tack."

So fast forward to me completing my ride and untacking my mare. Her white polos brown with mud and hotshot & his friend having washed one mare and now they're going to get the bronc. I had turned both of mine out to roll and relax while I got their stalls & feed ready for them. And. It. All. Starts.


Not judging, but not impressed either, here. Hotshot has a lasso around the mares neck again as well as the halter and lead on her. The rope has been run up thru the washrack and wrapped around the bar several times. Ms. Mare is having ab-so-fricken-lute-ly NO part of the idea of her going in the wash rack. NONE.

The paint mare went to town sitting back on the rope, rearing, striking out, bouncing around each side of the washrack and making it clear to everyone she was NOT going in there again. At this point the girl looks hopeless, the mare is choking with the rope not letting up even when she's close enough for it to go slack and hotshot is quite visibly pissed. The mare has gone up and over the door on the washrack, crashing down on it in various ways with her struggle, as well and trying to go over a poorly placed wheelbarrow and shovel. Yeah because we all want extra stuff in our way when working with an explosive reacting horse, right???

Did I mention there were several other boarders had shown up at this point? Oh yeah. Probably 5-6 of them sitting on the barn porch watching tv and relaxing while their horses grazed in pasture turnout. They've all seen the crazy going on at the washrack and so far just determined the horse is nuts. Yeah that's gotta be it, right? The horse is the one to get blamed. Always.

Me being me, I asked if these two would like some help. The mare was clearly not going in the washrack and their methods weren't working on changing that. The girl looked desperate and she accepted my offer. I walked into the tackroom and got a lunge line. The mare was in such a state of frenzy that when I snapped the line on her halter it set her off again. I will admit that as I was getting out of her way, my rope got the best of me and took my foot out from under me, but luckily I was at a safe distance, the ground was fairly soft and I had no time to brace for the landing so I didn't get hurt. In the process of getting the ropes loose, the mare also went down. Her feet got away from her and she took a dive. Not once but twice.

When the mare calmed down for a minute I stepped up to her and started stroking her head and talking to her. The hotshot helped me get the lasso off her and then he disappeared. He basically tucked tail and ran! To his credit, while I had gone to get my lunge line, he did move the wheelbarrow, so props for that... I stood there talking to the mare, letting her relax and settle down. Once we were acquainted and everything settled down, I led the mare around a little and then headed to the washrack. She got pretty close before planting her feet and not wanting to budge. Fair enough. I rubbed her head and continued to talk to the mare as she relaxed, put her head down and started chewing. A few more tugs on the lead and the mare stepped closer.

With her front feet close to the washrack, the mare was still not sure she wanted to go in. I looped my line over the front rail and stepped around the side of the mare, trying to get behind her. From there I could 'push' her forward and still guide her into the washrack with my line. A little more coaxing and within a few minutes the mare stepped up and walked into the washrack as if she were a pro. The girl was all ready to shut the gate behind her but looked a little shocked when I told her not to. She was even more surprised when after a litle praise I said, now I want to take her out and do it again.

Say what? Yeah that's right, I'm going to take her out and do it again. The next time she was a little resistant but she gave in fairly quickly and walked in again. Again she was praised, backed out and put back in. The next time I backed her out, I walked her around a little and tried again. She walked in like a pro. Now I backed the mare out and told the girl it was her turn. "She'll do it for me, but I'm not her owner and I won't always be here." The girl took the line and walked the mare around, lined her up and walked her right in with no problems. We praised the mare and I had her do it again. She put the mare in and out of the washrack a few times with no issue.

As I was bringing my two in, I noticed hotshot had come out of hiding and came back around to supervise the mare getting a bath. I didn't tie her and she stood calmly and relaxed while the two of them hosed the mare down. The girl thanked me for the help. She appreciated it. That was nice of her. The guy didn't seem to be all that thrilled with me. It's ok. I'm not surprised and really don't care. It turns out he is supposedly a trainer. He rides bulls. Yeah, maybe he should stick with that....

As a side note, this mare has some pretty big rope burns over her poll, on the left side of her neck, swelling on her right shoulder and a puncture wound and swelling on her left leg below the knee. It will all heal, but more importantly, it all could have been avoided to begin with. Seriously.


  1. At least you saved her from a worse injury by offering help. People. SMDH

  2. On behalf of the paint mare, Thank You for showing those two chuckleheads that a little kindness & patience can go such a long way. My gelding is the sweetest ever soul, but he hates deworming with a passion. I tried for quite a while to convince him it was no big deal (applesauce in a worming tube just isn't enough to tempt every single horse) but it is the one area where he insists that he will not budge. Instead I put a little feed in his bucket & squirt the paste over top, cover with a mouthful more feed, & let him lick the pail (because my gelding taught me that it really is no big deal to do it his way on this one thing). ;-) p.s. keep on winning friends & influencing people!!

  3. Poor mare, glad you were able to help

  4. SO glad you were able to help! when will people learn that NO ONE is stronger that 1000lbs plus of horse, and force rarely makes it happen!