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Sunday, 8 March 2015

Henry Goes to Bootcamp


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:

1)      Stand quietly while tied

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...

When Henry came to my barn I decided to house him with Mystic in a smaller pen.  It was supposed to be for a few days but it turned into over a week.  I was afraid he would get hurt in the main herd....he was so small and still so sickly looking (wormy belly and recovering from lice).  I was hoping he would make a friend in Mystic and she would ease his herd introduction...but I was so afraid to him out.    I came out to visit them on my lunchbreak one day and to my surprise...Henry was gone! 

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 :)

14 comments:

  1. What a story, the smaller the animal the more they endear themselves to their peers? ;-)

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    1. Apparently that's what Henry's plan is :)

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  2. So that story tells us all we need to know about Henry. :) What a character.

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    1. Haha yep, he's such a funny dude :)

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  3. haha love that last sentence. my mare definitely tries to trick me into coddling her - and had me convinced for the first ~6ish months of our lease that she was green and needed everything introduced slowly. um... yea, no... she's not green, but she definitely had my number! good luck with the boot camp!! :)

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    1. They are so much smarter than we give them credit for! Henry totally has me trained. :P

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  4. He sounds like a real character. I find horses like him very entertaining and endearing.

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    1. He really is, I do find it very endearing :)

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  5. He sounds wonderful (and smart)! Have fun with bootcamp :)

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    1. He is smart...maybe too smart sometimes ;)

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  6. Miles is getting a bit pushy on the ground too -- and I have plans to revisit some groundwork later this week.

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    1. It's so annoying to work on ground manners.... but nothing is more annoying than bad ground manners! :) Henry's bootcamp is already working.

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  7. Teehee @ Henry laying down in front of the trailer. :-) "No thanks Mom, I just want to stay here and nap." There was a filly that I helped put some training on way back in the day. She had I think 60-90 days with a respected Western trainer and then her owner wanted me to put some miles on her as an English horse. She was very smart, as soon as she felt like you were asking her to work too much, she would just lay down with me in the saddle. She was quite the quirky little thing!

    Sounds like you have a fancy jumper on your hands! :-)

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    1. I hope he becomes more cooperative as he grows up but it's hard to say.... ;) That's too funny about your filly, that sounds very Henry-ish haha

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