Wednesday, August 28, 2013

things to think about

I told myself I would not do this, but I can't stop thinking about it. And since I have missed my exits on the freeway three times, I decided to just write it out to get it out. Trying to figure out what is wrong/bothering Shyloh is pretty pointless, she can't tell me, and I can only speculate. I appreciate all the comments and insights, and they are definitely something that I considered. So here goes. . .

Change in food
At the other barn Shy was being fed hay, grass pasture, and barn grain. She pretty much got as much hay, grass, and grain as she wanted since she was at the top of the herd. I fed her the supplements I give her (magnesium, raspberry leaf, and multi vitamin crumbles) when I was at the barn, since the barn was unable to separate from the herd to give them to her. I would say I was at the barn about 3-6 days a week. 
At this barn Shy has grass and round bale access. She gets her supplements daily. 

So could it be the supplements? I can't imagine this kind of behavior from a lack of grain, it is usually a problem with too much grain. 
Change in herd
At the other barn Shy was top of the herd. She ate what she wanted, went where she wanted, and could move other horses off when she wanted. 
At this barn, I am not quite sure where Shy fits in yet. She can hold the others off of the round bale if she wants, but sometimes they don't let her at the bale. 

She seems comfortable here, but maybe she is lacking the confidence that she had when she was top of the herd? Also, she may be getting a little herd sour. She doesn't want to leave them and she nickers when she sees them. Shy rarely nickers. 
Less doing nothing time
At the other barn, we did spend a lot of time walking around, through the trails, grazing, and just doing nothing.
At this barn, I have been leaving Shy in with the herd until I want to do something with her. 

Maybe she needs that do nothing time to be comfortable?

Those are really my top three. I don't think she needs less work, we don't really work much. She may need more work or harder work. The work we do does not even put her in a sweat. So maybe harder work? Pull more weight? Or maybe more intellectual work. Get back into clicker training and even try some horse agility stuff. Other thoughts are that maybe Shy is only comfortable driving team? She does really well in a team. She is more nervous by herself. She also does really well with my lead line kids. She feels more comfortable with someone on the ground with her. Like I mentioned earlier. . . so many possibilities, I will never know the answer. 

I spent some time with Shy today walking through the soybean fields and discovered that Shy loves soybeans! Then we spent some time cooling off in front of the fan. It was a good day, even if it doesn't solve the problem. 

Also, She Moved to Texas is going a Horze halter give away! Head on over and check her out!


  1. Glad you had a good day . That is a great picture loll

  2. I love the picture of her forelock standing straight up!

    If you think about it, she's had a lot of changes in a relatively short period of time, so she might be lacking some confidence. Don't beat yourself up trying to figure it out right now, enjoy your pony. She's a great one.

    1. It was so funny, she really liked the fan! I think you are right about her lacking confidence. And I think that is the root of her issues.

  3. My, my, my - your brain certainly has been in overdrive!
    As I read through your post one thing hit me like a ton of bricks... if she likes driving in a team, to that. That will give her a buddy so she can relax a bit and not worry about those things we have not idea she is worrying about. I had a long talk with a trainer about Pippin - who did a lot of scooting in harness. He was fine when he went out with Doc. The trainer commented that having a second horse is great for many - and often serves as an 'anchor' if one horse gets fractious.
    My other thought was to try pulling something heavier, where she knows it is behind her all of the time... do you have someone you can borrow a forecart from? The other advantage of a forecart is that they are very stable.
    Have a happy day. Think about fun things today - pretty skies, butterflies, ice cream and chocolate!

  4. While answers aren't easy, I think its very commendable that you're spending so much one on one time with her. Answers will come with time, I'm certain!

    Love the forelock blow out photo!

    1. The hardest part is that they can't talk and tell us the problem. Life would be so much easier if they could, right?

  5. Yeah, she has made lots of changes. Give her time to still settle in. You guys will be good:)

    1. I think we will. It has just been a long and slow process.

  6. The last picture is a hoot. Mitch almost never makes faces when I have a camera avaliable.

    You seem to be very thinky-thinky right now. I had a couple of thoughts yesterday while warming Mitch up. Are you only just doing driving stuff now? Or are you mixing things up with saddle work, and exercises to make her feel confident about listening to you and not spook or wig out? The reason I ask is because if she were to scoot while under saddle, you can drive her on with your leg. Mitch has a terrible little habit of knowing exactly where the gate is, and when he thinks he's done, he is DONE. Yesterday, barn gravity was bending him off the circle and he kept trying to pull left towards the exit. I had to close my right rein, block with the left,and drive him on with my outside leg until he finally stopped being stubborn, and went all the way around to the right.

    Haflingers, are stubborn beasts at times, as you and I know. And having a mare (albeit not a Haflinger) I know that while you can tell a gelding to do something, you have to discuss it with a mare. It's no easy task.

    I'd second Dreaming's suggestion that she should be pulling more weight. She's probably blowing off the ground driving and the sled. She's likely past all that, and needs something more challenging to really make her stop and think. And by doing that, she can't do the stuff she's doing now. Keeping her mind engaged is paramount.

    Another thing I'd probably suggest is going back to saddle work. I vary things up with Mitch, which is one of the things I absolutely love about his versatility. I generally drive a few times a week, depending (sometimes we can go a week without the cart at all) and alternate between a casual easy trail ride in his hackamore or more serious work in the snaffle. It goes back to keeping his mind engaged, but letting him relax when I want to relax. We've gotten pretty good at reading each other's body language, after 5 years, it's really feeling like a partnership now,and we're confident lil devils, so we have the I-can-take-on-the-world attitude. But I try not to let him get too burnt out on one thing.

    1. Saddle work is iffy right now. But I am going to get a schedule for my lead liners to work with her and improve their riding to mix things up. Between that and getting more weight on her, going back to learning some fun, pointless tricks with the clicker, I think we will be alright.

  7. Loving THE forelock picture, wonderful. The answers will be there, they will come to you when you're having some good one on one time with your girl with no pressure :-)

    1. Yes! And if you have any suggestions for some horse agility obstacles, I am all ears!


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