I would like to tell you about my bird from yesterday, which I shot down completely and purposefully and thus show that we horse people are not free from mistakes either.
Training on the lunge was announced yesterday. It was an intense training session and I was happy with my mare. Afterwards we were still walking uphill and downhill in the terrain and in the end I wanted to spray my legs and tendons.
Now it is the case that my mare does not like the washing area at the entrance to Stallgasse. It is not due to the hose or the water itself (although she will probably never be a water rat), it is due to the transition from dry (light) to dark (wet) soil. Puddles round off the scene and my mare has every reason to see all the trolls jumping out of the ground.
No question about it, we already had phases when she walked perfectly with me to the washing area. But the day comes regularly at indefinable time intervals and my mare looks at me with huge eyes and a reproachful look in front of the washing area and you can clearly read her thoughts: ‚You are crazy about wanting to go there, there is a gullet, 2 km will be we’ll fall and break all our bones! ‚
My chances of convincing them that this is not the case are zero. I call up all the theoretical knowledge: positive reinforcement, negative reinforcement, praise moving forward at 1mm, hold an apple in front of your nose, use a bucket of oats as a lure, point backwards: everything is punished with ignorance on your part with subsequent clear actions on your part I probably don’t have all the cups in the cupboard anymore …
Well. You don’t have to give up, because it turned out that my mare is highly intelligent and trained in this profession when it comes to learning to assert herself when she doesn’t want something. She then transfers that fabulously to everything that comes to mind.
And so time goes by … The person and the horse stand in front of the washing area and … nothing happens. The mare lofty and proud with an iron will and the person making plans to outsmart the horse without provoking an escalation.
Little by little, feelings open up in people, because plan A fails, plan B fails miserably and plan C was so unimpressive for the horse that it bordered on an insult. People get impatient, but discipline themselves immediately. The person gets angry, but disciplines himself immediately. And then despair knocks: not a good idea at all. No help to be seen far and wide. But one thing remains unswerving: the will of the mare, who brags more and more with certainty of victory (that she does not drum on her chest with her front hooves is everything) and the passage of time …
And there comes the triumphant idea of man! Ha! If the horse does not go to the hose, the hose comes to the horse. No problem at all with the lunge on the horse. So the person goes to the hose, opens the tap, opens the valve and walks to the horse with the thought of ‚checkmate‘.
The slit eyes of my mare tell me: the mare is not amused! But that doesn’t make them freak out …
Rather, she observes the ground closely as it becomes dark and wet and is more than astonished that we do not plunge into the depths, but what will happen in any case within the next second, she knows very well and acknowledges it with a rattle with his nose low on the ground. The human being speaks calmly to the horse and constantly behaves as if what we are doing was the most normal thing in the world.
And then the person sees it: in the midst of making plans, he has completely forgotten to remove the gaiters on the front legs. You now have the hose spraying water in one hand, a slightly tense mare on the other hand and two gaiters and two bell boots on the front legs of the horse that need to be removed if you want to hose down the front legs.
And then what should not happen happens …
The hose is filled with life and becomes independent. A hose that splashes water becomes a highly dangerous, poisonous snake writhing around in an S-shape, while the human being holds a stunned horse in one hand and quickly loosens the last bell with the other hand.
The mare’s thoughts could be captured in the air: ‚You’re completely crazy, that’s the summit to seriously expose me to this snake!‘, While we were showered regularly from left to right and from right to left at various heights. The other horses carefully patted us and were already writing the posters: Man for sale. Absolutely not suitable for beginners, showing off stupidity, at a low price!
I couldn’t help it. The hose made my day. I couldn’t hold back and started laughing uproariously. The situation was so strange and my mare just looked at me puzzled. Everything went really wrong, whatever could have gone wrong and that my mare didn’t completely freak out and fled, was probably only because I found the process so laughable that no tension built up in me, what it would probably only have been confirmed by an impending escalation.
At some point I managed to grab the hose and start the actual project, namely to spray my legs. We stayed there for a long time, until I was sure that my mare had calmed down, but I couldn’t stop laughing all evening. That was the perfect example for: Not like that!
Have you already made a good buck, which then entailed work with the horse to straighten what had happened?