Jellybean is incredibly smart. I sometimes like to forget and assume she’s a baby and doesn’t know much… But she does know what she is supposed to be doing. I lapse sometimes, and try to “be nice.” As all the horse people know (including myself), there is no kindness in letting things slide. So I guess its confession time.
I have had Jellybean trimmed several times since I owned her. The first two times, I had one guy come out and I didn’t like his handle. He wanted three people standing around her to keep her still and then also wanted to tie her mouth shut and yell at her. I wasn’t really digging the treatment, so when another boarder mentioned he did trims, I decided to check it out.
The next guy has been pretty good. He knows what he’s doing and he doesn’t care if Jellybean loves him or hates him. So I grab Jellybean and let him get to work, and she tests him. She pins her ears and tries to bite him and kick him. I though he would get fierce with her, and he thought I would get fierce with her. No one did anything, except patiently try to get her leg. This happened for three trims. Now, you might be wondering, why I would let this continue. I don’t know why I didn’t deal with it. I made a couple of excuses for her, and hoped next time would be better, and then it wasn’t.
Then the vet came out to do some work, and Jellybean was nasty. She wasn’t letting the vet techs take her temperature. (It didn’t help that the tech was nervous). They finally got her temperature and then sedated her for the procedures and all was well. Until the vet tech suggested I talk to “a trainer experienced with young horses.” Words don’t really do justice to the fury. I decided Jellybean was done being a jerk.
So to get to the point… Yesterday Jellybean had a trim scheduled. The same guy came out and I told him my plan. With the assistance of the handy dressage whip, there was going to be no ugliness. Jellybean had no issue with her front right, and when he moved to the back right, she tried to get fresh. I whacked her a couple of times, and he tried to get her foot again. SHE PICKED IT RIGHT UP.
And this friends, leads us to the moral of the story. While I definitely expect this behavior from older horses, it seems my two year old tricked me into thinking she was [insert spooky, nervous, defiant, hateful]. Its always good to have a learning experience, and you can bet I will be repeating this lesson with the vet next spring.
|Jellybean as a baby|