Cautiously Excited


After 10 days of (mostly) no power, we got our power back (again) yesterday. I didn’t put the extension cords away. We’ll see……..

MEANWHILE. I had another exciting moment when the donkeys and Patriot got out of their pasture. Apparently, when some friends were over visiting the animal pastures the other day, the gate to the “equine” field wasn’t shut back right and nobody noticed until, you know, the donkeys and Patriot were in the yard. I easily whisked the donkeys back with a couple of sugar cookies, but Patriot was less cooperative.

Morgan got his halter and tried to pull/lead him back.

He didn’t want to go.

I left her to it for several minutes, then when the situation starting looking slightly out of hand because Patriot was starting to drag her around a little, I had a vision. A vision! I knew exactly what horse trainer Mike would do. Or, you know, sorta kinda. And my brain/body was overtaken by a pod person, and I said, “Morgan, let me show you what the horse trainer would do!”

Seriously. That was just ridiculous.

Morgan was exasperated enough to hand me the lead.

Which was seriously ridiculous.

But the pod person had control of me, so I took it.

The horse trainer uses the Clinton Anderson method, and I don’t know the correct Clinton-Anderson-method words to use, so please excuse my layman’s wording. I took hold of that lead like I meant it and I made several short, powerful yanks at it, jerking both down and upward/forward, forcing Patriot’s head (and attention) on me, and what do you know but that horse snapped to attention and started walking toward me (and toward the gate)–instead of pulling away, which was what he was doing when Morgan tried to pull the lead. There’s something about those short, swift jerking pulls up on the lead that transforms the horse’s mindset. I have seen the trainer do this to snap Zip’s attention to him and what he wants her to do (not necessarily moving the horse forward, also can be backward, if the horse is stepping into his personal space, etc).

So then, immediately FREAKED OUT by my surprising total control of this massive animal, I yelled at Morgan to come take the lead away from me! I have control of a horse, someone save me. She easily put him back in the pasture. I said, “Morgan, I just taught you something about horses!” She said, “Yes!” And I think neither one of us could believe it.

P.S. Riding Zip on Sunday was rescheduled because of Sunday’s storms. We’re riding Zip tonight!


  1. SuzieQ says:

    Horses just have to be shown who’s in charge…that’s all!
    :snoopy: :snoopy:

  2. Diane says:

    Good for you!!!

  3. Murphala says:

    Thanks to being nibbled and mildly abused by horses throughout my life, despite my ardent love for them, they freak me out, so you have my total admiration. Congrats on little ol’ you telling that huge horse what’s what! :happyflower:

  4. Cheryl LeMay says:

    See – there’s hope for Patriot yet! You just have to learn how to handle him.

  5. wkf says:

    Good for you! It jiggles their brain, so all the common sense is in the front. You’re gonna be ok.

  6. fowlers says:

    Job well done! you go girls!!!

  7. tearhart says:

    Look at you Suzanne – you’re turning into quite the horse whisperer!! Good for you! 🙂 I knew you would love Clinton Anderson!! I just read his training tip of the week this morning. You can sign up for it on his blog!

  8. BuckeyeGirl says:

    Yep! That or turning their head/neck far enough forces them to take a step to adjust their balance, then you continue that movement to forward momentum. Kind of like the circles Your trainer made Zip do to get her loaded. Forward momentum is your friend, except when it isn’t. You’re absolutely right though, you’re learning how horses think (or don’t think) and learning how to get their attention which is what needs to be done! :woof:

  9. cabynfevr says:

    Good for you! That’s the method we use with the draft horses…God forbid they EVER realize how much stronger than us they are!

  10. willsahna says:

    I really did laugh out loud at this. I had horses growing up, and I love them, but I will say they are not very bright. They are really strong though. You never want to get in a physical battle with them, they will win, but you can usually outsmart them. You have to learn to use their strength and nature to your advantage. Well done!

  11. denny144 says:

    I had to chuckle when you described making the jerks to the reins because it reminded me of the short leash jerks that Cesar Millan does with troublesome dogs in order to get their attention. Did you say “Ssssssttttt”, too 🙂

  12. Leah says:

    That’s awesome! Enjoy your ride.

  13. Remudamom says:

    Clinton Anderson would be so proud of you!! You can also yield their hindquarters to get them to lead for you. Are you watching your tapes yet? Here’s a test- You are not a “Betty”!! Do you know what I’m talking about?? 😆 Have fun learning!

  14. auntbear says:

    knowledge is power

  15. lesliedgray says:

    Good for you!
    :snoopy: :woof: :dancingmonster:

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