Thursday, January 14, 2010

Dr. Jekyll and Miss Hyde

In case anyone is worried, my finger isn't broken. There is obviously soft tissue damage in there though. I'm going to have a big purple finger for a while.

So here's the bit I didn't mention last night. After she ran off towards the barn I slowly meandered over to it, catching my breath and making sure I wasn't upset. Why was I only meandering after a loose horse? Because I knew exactly where she was going, I got into the barn and there she was standing next to her brother's stall. I walked up to her, unclipped the lunge line, clipped on the lead line and draped it around the post in front of his stall. She didn't move. This is the point where I just groomed her and massaged her.

I've been trying to find a cheap saddle to use for starting Gwen and last night I had a candidate in my car. I found this very nice lady through Craigslist who actually suggested I take the saddle home with me for the night to try it on her, without paying for it. So I've got this saddle for one night only so I really want to check it for fit. I picked it up and brought it over for her to smell, she wasn't bothered by it. I walked over to her shoulder and put the saddle on her back. Know what she did? NOTHING! Didn't even shift her feet. I moved the saddle around to see how it fit and then my barn owner came over and slid the saddle around to see how it fit. Gwen still did nothing. You know why? Because Coriander was RIGHT THERE.

This is why she's so frustrating to me. When my stepfather met her, he gave me this ringing endorsement, "sell her, crazy doesn't go away." But I don't think she's crazy. I know that if she's comfortable, she's a great horse with a good mind. If she's not comfortable, watch out. And she's only comfortable with her brother nearby. Obviously I can't keep her right next to her brother indefinitely, but I don't know how to get her comfortable away from him.

I've got a new idea I'm going to try tonight. I'm going to buy a big bag of horse treats today, just for her. Then I'm going to just walk her out of the barn, give her a treat, and walk her back in. I'm going to keep doing this and see how far from the barn we can get without her freaking out. It's worth a shot.

By the way, the saddle didn't fit. It was too long for her back and pinched over her mutton withers. Bummer.


  1. I really like this idea! She gets a treat for being with YOU. She may be a challenge right now, but when it finally works it's going to be soooo sweet.

    Glad your finger isn't broken!

  2. I tried it tonight. We got outside the barn and she was standing still paying attention to me. We didn't manage to get very far away from the barn, but every little bit counts. I'll post again tomorrow night and let you know how it's going.