Training the Mind of the Horse and Rider

Training the Mind of the Horse and Rider
Click on Logo (Original artwork by Lanie Frick for Messick Quarter Horses. Not permitted to be copied)

Friday, September 30, 2011

Boss Mare Cap is on Again

Today, I went to catch Honey, a 3 year old filly, that I raised, but sold as a yearling. She was a very friendly weanling and yearling. I sold her to one of my older lesson kids, as a Christmas present from her parents. She was a cooperative 2 year old, as she was handled a lot by her new owner. This year, she is a “I want it my way” type of horse. Granted, on her part, she wasn’t handled as much this summer.

Honey is a buddy to one of the dominant geldings, who he thinks is #2 in the lot. That is only because he should be about #5, and then Honey would be lower on the list, a lot lower!

Science class here… A is boss over B and C and D, but A is not in the lot now, as she is one of the broodmares this year. So is B still boss over C and D? It should be, but nooo. D is now boss. Isn’t that strange? Especially since D and C are geldings, and B is a mare. When that alpha mare is in the lot, B and C are at a higher status.

Anyways, I’m not sure any of this matters to Honey, except Honey just went high on the pecking order. Just because she is now buddies to D.

As babies and yearlings, both Honey and Duster, the other 3 year old, always pushes into the feed bin besides their mothers. They always get to the grain. They always get their way. They naturally are dominant.

Until, they are weaned. Then they realize that they are on the bottom again, with many horses above them. So what do the smart ones do? They buddy up to an independent horse! Honey still wants her way. Duster accepts that he should be an easy going gelding.

Some do realize that they don‘t rule the herd, but some don’t. Duster didn’t, and he is a pleasant gelding. Honey did, and she is getting ornery. She NEEDS that boss mare in that lot with her.

So, that would be Starlet. But she is a momma. And she won’t be in the herd for another month. So now that is me!

And what does that herd mare, in the wild, do when a youngster is disobedient? She chases him out of the herd! Out of the protection! Away from momma!

Today, I went out to catch Honey, and I expected her to stand still. Today, she is determined to walk away, with an attitude. That is because I caught everyone and wormed them a few days ago. Usually not a big deal, but that time, Honey didn’t think so. I guess she determined that she didn’t like be wormed that day. And she held a grudge against me.

That meant, today as I walked towards her, she walked away. I took the time to pet every horse in the lot as I moved towards her, and she still walked away. I acted like I didn’t want to catch her, and she walked away. I turned my back to her, and she walked away. I caught 3 other horses, and took them out of the lot, and when I went to get her, she still walked away.

So, now it’s time to catch her. I followed her until she stopped. Each time she would walk away, I kept walking after her. Finally, she stopped and faced me. And I walked up and haltered her. No big deal.

But I did what that boss mare would do. I kept her away from the herd. She loped away from me and tried to come back to the herd. I cut her off. She loped towards her friend. I kept her away. Finally, she realized that I was her only friend, and I walked to her. I would have rather her walk to me. But that is the next lesson.

The point is, the boss mare needs to be around now and then. The boss mare hat needs to be put on more often.

Actually, the boss mare needs to go into the lot with the youngsters, and those who forgot their place in life. And that will happen within the month! Oh, glory days!

Then my life should be easier. When they see the boss mare hat on, they should know what that means!


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