Shortcake Want a Carrot?

Sep
27

Goats like carrots.

Horses….

….should like carrots. You’d think. Zip checked it out.

She had to sniff it real good. Then she said no.

Shortcake may or may not like carrots. She wasn’t sticking around for a snack.

I had the halter looped around my arm. I was experimenting just to see if she would flip out from nothing more than a halter. If I didn’t even look at her or approach her. Just had the halter with me. Zip will follow me around like a dog.

But Shortcake? She’s a suspicious one. She saw the halter and took off.

I gave Zip a peppermint treat and left without giving Shortcake a second glance. I knew who would like my carrots.

I’ve just been trying to warm up Shortcake so far. I’d like to work with her in a smaller space, but right now I don’t have one. I do think I need a smaller space if I’m going to get anywhere. If she’s got the run of the back barnyard, all she’s going to do is wear me out. I’m also thinking about moving Zip out to the pasture with Jack and Poky, leaving Shortcake with only one friend–me.


A while back, when Glory Bee would run off when she’d see the lead rope, I’d just carry the lead rope with me all the time until she stopped noticing it. After she got used to seeing me with it all the time, she didn’t even have a fit when I’d snap it on and lead her around. Not sure whether or not Shortcake would react the same, but I can’t have her running every time she sees me with a halter. That’s not very handy!

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Posted by Suzanne McMinn on September 27, 2012  

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  1. 9-27
    4:17
    pm

    I’m a firm believer of having a round pen for working horses in.

    We’ve got a couple that you can’t walk up to with a halter in your hand. Open the barn and holler “come up” and they zoom into their stalls.

    We feed twice a day in their stalls, then most of them spend the night in them. Because we let out a couple of different horses at night.

  2. 9-27
    4:39
    pm

    Walking around with the lead/halter will probably help… a bit. But horses have a much longer memory than cows do, so it may take longer. running them into their stalls or even just a small pen if you get one, (maybe under the shed area?) to feed will probably help some too. Feed em there, pet em there, sometimes getting them in to get groomed (scratched) and turned loose, sometimes not etc etc.

    I also want to say that keeping her halter on in the field part time isn’t the end of the world IMO. Could something happen? Yep, but your lower pasture looks pretty safe and as long as it’s days you’re around a lot, I’d go for it. I know a lot of people will freak out, just don’t take pictures those days! Just my opinion of course.

  3. 9-27
    5:26
    pm

    One of our horses favorite treats is watermelon rind. They just love it. They like carrots also but they usually get them in their bucket of grain ( or beet pulp/ slash whatever else is used to carry their vitamins)

  4. 9-27
    5:42
    pm

    You are doing great. Keep it up and Shortcake will start associating you with treats and no pressure. Having a horse alone has always been a big help when I am training. They can’t hide behind their buddies anymore. The more time you spend with Shortcake, the more she will be able to trust you. You are on the right track. Have you thought about baking her some treats yourself? There are bunches of recipes online sure to tempt the fussiest mare. :woof:

  5. 9-27
    8:24
    pm

    Loving this part of your Journey! Hrm….Mare Treats! :happyflower:

  6. 9-28
    2:30
    am

    Awww…Shortcake looks so beautiful in that picture where she’s standing next to the red barn staring at you. I believe it’s the 5th picture in this post. She’s such a cutie! Glad you have yourself a kind and smart horse. :fairy:

  7. 9-28
    8:22
    am

    I know it must be frustrating, but I have to admit I laughed my arse off at the pic of her peeking around the barn at you! Tee hee! If I even pick up the nail trimmers my pug Ruby will go and hide behind a chair, and peek at me like that!

  8. 9-28
    3:19
    pm

    I have been following Shortcake’s story, but I didn’t have anything to add about catching her. Jealousy of other horses always worked for me! :) :)

    Looking at the pictures of her head-on, though, I do have a question. Do you have any issues with the halter once it is on? I ask because of the line across the bridge of her nose. There is a bone there that ends and can be quite a pressure point if the halter is annoying her. She would be fine under saddle when the downward pressure is off, if you ride with it on. Of course, your set-up could be perfectly fine and she is reacting to previous pain.

    If that is it or just part of it, I’m sorry for not having a solution (halter hooked just around the throatlatch can be dangerous in other ways), but I’ve seen that mark before where there were issues. She sounds like such a sweet horse otherwise! I hope she comes around soon!

  9. 9-28
    3:42
    pm

    I don’t know, re the halter bothering her. I’ll take a look at her nose closer next time I get out there–it’s way rainy today. But I know she was hard to catch when I got her, and not just when a halter was in sight.

  10. 9-30
    3:50
    pm

    Well, problems can be so old that even Shortcake may not remember what the specific trigger was. If your equipment is rubbing or such, she will let you know.

    I went back and looked (at the Sugary Shortcake post), and it looked like she had white rub marks on her face in a different picture. She’s too young for that to happen naturally and it can take a while for those to occur. To me, it is a clue that she was forced to wear ill-fitting equipment for some time somewhere in her past. Rubbing = sore spot = unhappy horse. The sore spots are long gone, but the memory is still there.

    Again, it doesn’t help with your current issues, but it is kind of clues to the puzzle. I’m so glad that she has found a home with you and that you want to work these issues out! Who knows how many others might just give up or take a far too drastic approach. :hug:

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