Saturday, August 5, 2006
I started the month with a 99.9% horse who is an absolute darling until anyone produces a set of clippers. Poor lad has obviously had a bad experience at some time and trembles as soon as he hears the noise. I encouraged his owner to walk around with something vibrating in her pocket for the week before I met him and she had got as far as being able to lay the clippers on the floor next to his feed bucket while he ate. We used a little travelling hair dryer to desensitize him to noise and warm air before we just touched him with the clippers. We finished the session by being able to touch him all the way up his hogged mane to his ears. He has had this problem for a long time and it will take some time for him to get over it but it was a good start; much better than having to resort to a so-called humane twitch everytime. Twitches may work in the short term but eventually the horse gets wise and starts to play up way before the twitch arrives. I wish vets wouldn't resort to them quite so quickly - if they want to keep themselves safe why on earth don't they start with something as basic as a skull cap?!
Now don't get too excited, but my lovely man, David is off to do his Stage I at the end of August. David is unwittingly good with horses - he has no preconceived ideas about them and see them for what they are - a horse. He doesn't feel the need to dominate them or project his unresolved emotional issues on to them and they seem to find his chest a very comfortable place to be. He doesn't do ego and he doesn't do macho even though he has a motorbike and leathers. He doesn't do competitive and he doesn't do stressful. He's the only person I trust to put me on an unbacked or remedial horse. On the other hand, he has an interesting style in long-reining.......