Tuesday, November 8, 2011

sweet and sour

I had some grand plans today! The weather was a perfect 60 degrees and we won't be getting too many more days like today. So I rushed to the barn from work so I could take Shyloh on a walk through the fields before it got dark. I grabbed her bridle and headed out to the pasture to get her. 

Chilling with her homie

Once again, Shyloh was not in on my plan. She messes with me. . .she would not let me catch her! And I know she is messing with me because she does not take off to the back of the pasture. She will stay up front and just scoot herself right out of my reach. Then, at some random point, she will decide that she will let me come up to her. No problem. Ugh!
Using Ryleigh as a shield from me

During this time that I was trying to catch her and she was skillfully avoiding me, Ryleigh was busy protecting his girl from Forseti. Forseti kept coming to the fence of the pasture and Ryleigh put those ears straight back and ran him off. If Shy approached the fence while Forseti was near, Ryleigh would nip her and move her away!
True love!

I finally put her bridle on and we went on our walk. What a mistake. Because Shy took so long to catch, it was time to bring the other horses in and Shy did not want to go on her walk. She knows what happens when everyone goes inside. . .hay. And on top of that, she got all of the horses riled up. The fields are on the other side of Forseti's pasture, so he was walking next to us. Ryleigh could see from his pasture and was not pleased. He was galloping up and down  his fence line, which got other horses running as well. We gave up and went inside. That is sour Shyloh.
Gotta grab that grass!

But, I did not let her eat. We were going to lunge. Actually, the lunging went very well considering the start of our day. We worked on walk/trot transitions. I had Shy trot a lot and she worked up a sweat. I think we are both improving with our lunging and we were able to make our circles bigger. 

Lunging is boring

After she cooled down, I put Shy in her stall to eat her much anticipated dinner. I worked on getting her comfortable with me in her stall while she is eating. I touched her and back off. Then repeated. I would move closer to her, but if she looked like she wanted to move in the corner, I backed off. Eventually, Shy let me come up to her. She does let me approach her in the stall, but she usually backs into a corner. I scratched her in her favorite place and held her head. Then I rubbed her head and she relaxed. I was literally holding her heavy head up. I let go and Shy nuzzled next to me, wanted more head scratched. This is sweet Shyloh.
Like a Sour Patch Kid!

Like I said. . .she can be so sweet, yet so sour!


  1. Camryn here:
    Just a thought but maybe your body language is telling Shy to move away from you at first. Then maybe without realizing it your body finally tells Shy that you want her to stay put. Take note next time of what your body is doing when her allows you to catch her, then try that the next time.
    Also on the rare occasions I don't wanna cooperate (today was one), Mom simply tosses the end of her rope at my bottom. This makes me hasten my departure with more energy than I'd really like to expend. A few tosses of the rope and I'm more than happy to make things easier on me and get caught. Goes back to making the right thing easy, the wrong thing difficult. You may be doing that already of course

  2. Good idea! I will take note of my body language! Funny thing about the rope. . .usually Shy will canter away and stop, then just let me come up to her. Kinda like she has weighed the option of keep on running or just come with me!

  3. Doc here, Interesting point, Camryn! I know that when my Mrs. Owner wants to put me in the big white box she is usually very huffy and puffy and is walking fast. That makes me really, really, really not want to go in that box. But, when she takes a deep breath and goes very slowly, the way I like to do EVERYTHING, then I will usually follow her right in. I think I've trained her now so she doesn't waste my time making me go around in circles 'cause she was doing all things wrong!
    I can tell so much about my Mrs. Owner and what she is thinking just by watching her; the way she walks, the way she holds her shoulders, where she is looking and how she is breathing. Isn't she stupid that she doesn't know she's telling me all of those things?!!!

    Hey, Camryn, you were right about our argument...sorta. We were arguing about which of you gals is cutest! We couldn't decide!

  4. Doc! Hahaha! Don't worry, there is a mare for each of you!

    Funny how horses are more willing to do things when they are "just so." I know that Shyloh prefers me to walk in the correct position between her head and shoulder, otherwise, she stops until I correct myself!


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