Never Leave A Knot In Your Lead!

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I just got a birthday present, I’m not all crazy about.

It seems that of all of the choices, this was one I could do without.

I was working with my young filly, trying to earn a little respect,

When my plans and hers for the round pen, simply failed to connect.

She took off for the barn in a hurry, leaving me at a loss for a plan.

And before I could get her attention, the long lead was sizzling through my hand.

You can argue that we are the bosses, and the horse just has to comply.

But a 1000-pound critter with an attitude, will soon convince you that’s a lie!

Now the interesting part is arriving, and as I look back on the scene,

I guess I was just in a hurry, and didn’t notice the knot in my lead.

It seemed as big as a boulder, as it rode on the rope through my hand.

And when it met up with my finger, well I guess you can sure understand.

That the pain was an intense sensation, put stars in my eyes I will swear!

When I finally let go of that lead rope, I struggled to hold back a tear.

I stole a glance down at my fingers, to see if I had any there.

Sure enough I had all my digits, but one looked in need of repair.

Third finger, right hand met disaster, that knot went by with such force,

As it followed the speed of my filly, that damnable spirited horse!

I suppose you’re thinking I quit then, to tend to my wounds right away.

But now I was mad as all thunder, at this pitiful equestrienne display.

IMG_4628She was standing in the barn at the window, two blue eyes were looking my way,

to see if the contest was over. But I knew that I had to stay.

I followed the end of my lead rope, and gathered it up from the dust.

I studied that knot for a moment, no wonder my finger was bust!

I pulled up some slack and untied it, trying hard not to wince from the pain.

I pulled on the lead and the horse at the end to to start all over again.

T

The Horse Won’t!

"You think I will, but I won't" . . . .

“You think I will, but I won’t” . . . .

Tilly, our two-year-old filly, has been through several sessions of trailer training and for a period of time she did pretty well.  Horses, who are naturally claustrophobic, don’t like being confined in small spaces, especially when the doors slam shut and things begin to jiggle and bob as the trailer moves down the road.  This past winter when a trip to the vet was due,Tilly decided she had enough.  The past several trips had resulted in somewhat painful or uncomfortable procedures and she clearly had a negative outlook on what happens when she is coaxed and cajoled into the steel and aluminum monster, the horse trailer!  No amount of horse cake, cookies, apples, grain or hay would melt her resolve.

"If I stretch, I'll get a taste without getting in" . . . .

“If I stretch, I’ll get a taste without getting in” . . . .

After several frustrating attempts to load her resulting in a rodeo and total failure, the horse trailer became Tilly’s feed bunk.  All her hay and treats were stored at the front end of the trailer.  The feed bunk in her barn was left empty except for her mineral salt block.  This drove her nuts.

"I don't have to" . . . .

“I don’t have to” . . . .

Pacing back and forth, Tilly seemed uncertain what to do about her next meal.

"You can't be serious!??" . . . .

“You can’t be serious!??” . . . .

She seems to be looking at us in total disbelief that she would be expected to voluntarily enter the iron monster for her food.  Not this horse.  Not this day.

"I'll show them how unhappy I am!" . . . .

“I’ll show them how unhappy I am!” . . . .

By the next morning, Tilly was hungry and out of patience with us.  She ripped into a bucking, kicking stampede just to demonstrate to us she was not happy.

"This should get their attention!" . . . .

“This should get their attention!” . . . .

More to come . . . .

"Are they watching?" . . . .

“Are they watching?” . . . .

Hunger can lead to a grouchy filly.  She doesn’t appear to be weakening.

"Maybe I'll just jump the fence and have some grass" . . . .

“Maybe I’ll just jump the fence and have some grass” . . . .

Or wearing down.

"Maybe I'll have a little taste of Feed Lot's hay" . . . .

“Maybe I’ll have a little taste of Feed Lot’s hay” . . . .

Feeding Abe a.k.a. “Feed Lot” his morning ration was probably a little cruel, but he has no trouble loading in the trailer so why should he suffer?

" No you don't eat my hay!"

” No you don’t eat my hay!”

Feed Lot is on the fight, raking his horns over the corral poles to warn her away from his breakfast.  What is a hungry horse to do?

"Ill pout in the barn for awhile for a little pity" . . . .

“Ill pout in the barn for awhile for a little pity” . . . .

Standing next to her hay stack, she seems quite pitiful.

"Can we talk?" . . . .

“Can we talk?” . . . .

Another few rounds in the corral and she is tiring.

"I can smell the hay" . . . .

“I can smell the hay” . . . .

It is day two and evening is approaching.  Neighbor Tom, who has been observing from afar, said he thought she might be starving to death!

"I am thinking about it" . . . .

“I am thinking about it” . . . .

She went this far several times as we waited, hoping she would climb in and have her evening meal.  Not so fast!

"Not taking these feet off the ground!" . . . .

“Not taking these feet off the ground!” . . . .

As we left for the house, I heard her stomping on the trailer floor and thought, maybe, just maybe.  Naw.  Two hooves still on the ground.

"I'm not liking it all that much!" . . . .

“I’m not liking it all that much!” . . . .

Morning of the third day,Tilly’s hay sack was empty.  She had been in the trailer several times and eagerly jumped in for her horse cakes and morning hay.  We continued feeding her in the trailer for several days and she began to spend quite a bit of time there. And at last, here she is in her trailer, taking her first joy ride into town.  We’ll do a few more of these before she has to visit the vet again, and then we’ll do it a few more times to see if she can get over her fear of riding in her trailer.  Who knows, maybe she’ll love going into town to get the mail every day!