05 January 2013

Battle of Wills

The battle of wills has begun.  I wasted no time after arriving in Lincoln starting work with Dancer.  A very generous friend of mine has allowed me to board my horses at her beautiful facility in exchange for some fence repairs so I'm taking advantage of the month-long free babysitting and the spacious indoor arena.

If you didn't already know, Dancer is incredibly stubborn.  For any other creature, it wouldn't be that much of a problem but when a clever 1,200 pound mare decides she doesn't want to do something I ask, it's either going to take some brawn or some brains.  Sometimes both.  Needless to say, properly and patiently starting a horse is tough, dirty work.
I give up on manicures when I'm working my horses.
It isn't all work an no play though.  Even though most horses fuss a bit at being trained, they enjoy the mental challenge of trying to figure out how to coordinate all of their feet or more likely, relish in discovering new methods of evasion.  Dancer can put up a bit of a fight when she doesn't get her way, but most of the time she's got her little tail high in the air, trotting along like she's worth a million bucks.
I tend to take for granted all of the manners Stoney had already when he came to me--he knew how to load on a trailer, stand for the farrier, go in and out of stalls, etc. but our beautiful Dancer barely knew anything when she came to us as a slight little frightened filly.  That's why, even though she acts like a million bucks, she was actually only $100.  In the few weeks lately I've had full access to training her, she's gotten the hang of everything from cross ties to lunging.
She's shown by how much she's absorbed in so short a time that there's real potential in her.  Dancer is incredibly smart and may be stubborn but fortunately, so am I.

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