Thursday, August 19, 2010

I don't know what I'm going to do with the little bugger.

My mom loves her horse, but she can't handle him worth a crap. He can be a little obnoxious, seeing as he's young and still slightly colt-ish. But it's ridiculous when it comes to my mom treating him like a delicate little kitten. Drives me nuts. Norman is a horse. A fairly gargantuan one. You won't hurt his feelings if you give him a spanking when he deserves it.

We've only ridden together once since we moved, and the horses both did fairly well. Except Norman kept dragging my mother into the tall grass on the side of the trail, and mom doesn't have the heart to be firm and correct him. She's stuck in the "passenger" frame of mind. She also keeps anticipating him doing something naughty, even when he's being good. That fall off of another horse years back didn't do anything for her confidence. I want to go out and work with Musclehead sometime today, but it's been too beastly hot the last couple of weeks.

My goal is to be able to load the horses up and go on trail rides with our friends from the barn and not have any hassle. Victor's pretty good about it. He's a very good traveler. And Norman's getting better and better about loading. I'm just worried about him behaving once we're on the trail. I really need to put some miles on him. But it would work a lot better to have another horse ride with us and keep him calm, and my mom can't ride Victor unless she gets over this ridiculous nervousness.

We've been talking about possibly getting a third horse sometime down the road. If we do, it'll be a 12-15 year old Walker or Foxtrotter. But that won't be for a while, if it happens. I would rather spend the time and money getting Norman more trained before we bring another horse into the picture. And who knows? Once Norman is better behaved, we might not even want another one.

I've been asked why we don't just sell Norman and get another horse. Well, because 1] with the market the way it is, we would take a hit money-wise, especially since we paid way too much for him in the first place 2] because he isn't very marketable the way he is at the moment, and I would be scared to death of him ending up in a bad situation and 3] most importantly, because I made a commitment to this horse and I have no intention of walking away. When I buy an animal, I keep it forever. We've had him since he was 18 months old, and he was my first horse. I can't even picture seeing a different horse in his stall.

He's also a really pretty lawn ornament. ;]


  1. This comment is my offering to be of help for you and your mom. I greatly admire your attitude about Norman, because that is the way I am and have been with every horse I've owned. To me they aren't commodities but living beings to be loved. So it is that I hope you will consider the little book I wrote especially for recreational riders who keep their horses at home. It is a paperback narrative available at Amazon for less than $10. Basic Training for a Safe Trail Horse offers methods to teach a horse to be as safe as a horse can be for trail riding. The methods differ from traditional training and are therefore innovative. For example: a good way to teach a horse how to keep from spooking is to show him how to confront what he fears. If you are riding along a trail and your horse startles in a certain place do not allow him to pass by that place without walking back and forth at that spot until he can walk by calmly 3 times with no notice of anything startling. Always turn the horse in the direction toward the problem spot when walking back and forth. Never turn it away from the spot, because it will give him the idea that he is escaping. See more details in what I've learned myself and seen it work in developing a foundation of trust that works both ways..your horse trusts your cues of how to proceed and you trust your horse to obey your commands. Some videos (with more in the future) have been made and posted on You Tube under "granny with a trail horse". Future videos will be about mounting, riding, and performing trail maneuvers.

  2. Thank you very much for your advice, and I will definitely be looking into your book and videos. =)