Now most horses do the logical progression of: trust on the ground, trust under saddle... Ashe was backwards from day one. He'll do just about anything with me under saddle without too much of a fuss, but on the ground.... he was looking out for numero uno (himself).
I've gotten to the point where I'm going to get him a new bridle. Now with his funny head that means measuring and either finding someplace that does parts, buying parts separately online (and hoping they fit together) or going custom (= lots of money mom doesn't have).
That also meant.... addressing his weird panic when anything other than his halter, bridle, brush or flymask comes near his face. Comb? Deserves a look. Lead rope. Not okay but we'll tolerate that mom accidentally got a little discombobulated. Ribbon/Soft Tape? Nope. Nope. NOPE.
Last year I managed to accustom him to his ribbon to spend five seconds to take a photo. (We won 7th at a Paper Chase. If they hadn't removed some of the signs, and we hadn't gotten lost we would have placed higher)
|Mother I do not trust that this thing will not suddenly eat my face.|
Thankfully it only took two! The first I took all the "big" measurements. I didn't plan on getting much, as he did his faithful "No, NO, HELL NO" back up and run away plan. We have been working on this and I am proud to say that we had only two of these, and they were short lived and he was willing to go back to have his face measured.... after trying to see if he could shove my face up his nose.
That's his coping mechanism. Something is scaring him and he can't run away due to mom? Commence shoving snorting nose into mom's face and LEAVE IT THERE while dirt gets on my glasses and slobber on my face. Something to be said about him finding comfort in me though.
Second session was perfect. We had two "Mom I'm not sure" with the head up and the leaning back and both times he listened to my "It's okay, gooooood booooy" and he dropped his head and relaxed and let me continue.
On top of that he actually volunteered to rest his nose onto my shoulder and pulled me in while "grooming" it gently. I was so happy I nearly cried! He's never offered that sort of affection to me before.
Peeps for everyone!!
Now I'm off to find my bridle that seems to be warmblood brow, cob cheeks and horse nose. The joys of mixed breeds.
Next monster to tackle? Bathing...