Monday, March 10, 2008


Marilyn brought in a yearling, special request for halter breaking. She assigned the little guy to a couple of the girls, and they've been working with him. Unfortunately, since it's not a regular class they have to do it in between their other classes. Which doesn't suit their schedules, or their sensibilities, entirely.

Anyway, this little guy is a brat, he's been babied and spoiled at home, and he has no respect for people.

And they're trying to pick up his feet. They had issues with one hind foot that he wanted to kick out on, and they asked me for help. I tried his front foot first, because frankly even a yearling has a heck of a kick, and I like my skull in the shape that it's in now.

"He picks up his front feet, you just have to be quick about grabbing them."

Ummmm no. That's not giving you the foot, that's striking. When you touch the leg and it comes up and down really quickly, that's taking the foot away from you. Just because you can grab it now doesn't mean you'll be able to when he's grown. When the foot paws at the ground coming down, that's striking.

So, I worked with him on one side, running a lead rope around his legs and rubbing them until he quit freaking out about it, and then using hands.

Apparently, even though they asked for my help, and when they bugged me about putting him away enough that I accepted the progress of being able to grab his back leg below the hock without him kicking he wasn't kicking at me anymore, my methods aren't pleasing to them.

Oh, and on top of that I made him move his hindquarters away from me when I said, instead of trying to turn them towards me whenever he got tired of what I was doing, and he was standing quietly while I worked with him.

So, one of the girls called her aunt, who is hundreds of miles away and doesn't know exactly what the little brat is doing, and took her advice.

I appreciate that it's not my project, and that Marilyn gave the whole thing over to them, but I have discussed the issue with Marilyn herself, and her opinion pretty much matches mine.

The little bugger needs to learn some respect, and since he's not scared of people at all that means he's gonna have to learn it the way he would in the herd. If he acts bratty, he gets "kicked" or "nipped."

In other words, the little sucker needs his spoiled little butt beat when he pulls crap. Otherwise, he's gonna wind up thinking he's the boss, and trying to enforce it, and get someone hurt.

Of course, it's not my project, so I get to watch. We'll see.

Meanwhile, if they want help, they can just deal with my methods, or they can ask someone else. You don't get instant results, and it has to be consistent. He's already learning bad habits which, if they're not corrected now, someone will have to fix later. I wish them luck.