Just a few months ago I brought home a pushy, stubborn, anti-social horse. Some of the things that were daily occurences with him were: any time I would go to pet him he would throw his head so far in the air I could barely reach him, when I would try to tie him he again would use his height to his advantage and throw his as high as he could, one time even snapping the metal clip on the lead line right in two. How about brushing? Well he really wanted nothing to do with me, he would cow kick at me any time I got close to his hindend and if I turned my back I better watch out if I didn't want some skin missing. Riding, well, he hated it but that I cannot blame him for we had some serious saddle issues.
I honestly questioned more than once whether him and I were ever going to get along let alone have a real bond. I thought maybe his past would be more that what I am capable of getting him past. Maybe I bit off more than I could chew.
Well four months have past and I tell you what you would not recognize this horses attitude. Tonight he followed me around the pasture like a puppy dog and when the other horses would come close he would walk between them and me. Making sure they didn't get too close. If you know horses you know this is big, it means that you are their herd and they are just setting boundaries for the others. Needless to say we have bonded! When I go to pet him when he used to call him a snob because he would do anything to avoid it, now he puts his head as low as my tummy and lets me love on him. Tying, he will stand there all day long no antsiness and no more broken leadlines. Grooming, when I go to brush his hindend he not only does not cow kick but he actually relaxes the leg closest to me so I can better reach his extremely high buttock, and the riding, oh the riding, the saddle issues have been settled. We have been taking lessons with a fabulous trainer. I never thought that dressege would be in our near future, it just seemed so far out of our grasp. He could not bend to the right AT ALL. Now he is flexing nicely, definitely not perfect but, he can at least get his head all the way to his side in our carrot stretches. His balance is improving, he is starting to learn to take cues with picking up the correct lead, when before a lead was foreign. He would pickup one, do flying lead changes for no reason just because when your only goal in life is to run across the finish line first it never really matters what lead you are on. I could go on and on about the miraculous turn around this horse of mine has made. I couldn't be more proud of his intellegence, his love for me and willingness to learn this new lifestyle that is so foreign to him and all so quickly.