Henry is a quirky fellow. He’s probably the quirkiest horse I’ve ever handled. He can be kind of dramatic (ie. he laid down on the ground in front of the trailer and wouldn’t get up the first time I tried to load him) or totally non-chalant (ie. I gave him a full bath without any desensitization to the hose or wash rack). He is extremely sweet and friendly but he has a cheeky stubborn streak too.
We had some words last night because he’s been really pushing into my space lately and he actually bonked me in the head with his head. I was kind of frustrated with him and to my surprise if I’m a bit mad at him he actually behaves/responds more appropriately.
I think I have spent so much time stuffing his hard keeper self with food, bandaging his many wounds and changing a million blankets that I just haven’t devoted enough time to ground manners with him. I need to raise my expectations of his behaviour. Mystic doesn’t need extra grain/blankets and has never hurt herself (besides an abscess last spring). When she comes in she gets more time spent on brushing and lunging/ground work in the arena than Henry. So she is obviously is easier to handle.
It honestly requires a lot of energy to work with Henry! I’m up to the challenge and his lousy ground manners aren’t going to improve by doing nothing about. This month of riding daily and feeding the whole herd their new diet daily means I’m around a lot more to work on Mr. Henry’s ground manners. Henry needs manners boot camp!
These are my herd rules and expectations to being part of my herd:
2) Be respectful of Kate’s space
3) Move forward/sideways/backwards willingly when asked
4) Politely pick up and pick down hooves
Henry needs a little bit of work on all rules! I know we are both up to it. :)
Anecdotal Henry Story...
Mystic was still in the pen and all the gates were shut. There is no room to go underneath or through the panels. I was worried he was stolen or had tried to jump out and hurt himself on the way out. I ran out to the back pasture calling his name and expecting to find a very injured Henry.
When I found him he was sleeping with two other horses right in the middle of the herd - injury free! He jumped out of the pen (with the 5 foot + plus) without a scratch on him! It was a good reminder not to coddle him haha :)