Temporary Groom

Atty ForsythiaThis week I’m working as a fill-in groom for my former dressage trainer until the new groom starts next Monday.

It’s interesting to me that not only have I forgotten how to do some basic chores, such as putting boots and coolers on, I’ve also forgotten to brush around ears!  I haven’t done things like this in so long!

But the more interesting thing is having to “haul” horses around from the fields, to their stalls, out of their stalls, into cross ties, back to their stalls, and back to their fields. They don’t just automatically walk with me like my guys do with or without leads. They don’t just automatically lift their feet for me. They don’t just automatically put their heads into their halters.

One mare doesn’t like going through certain doorways. Going into and out of her stall is fine. Coming out one of the barn doorways is not. Keeping in mind these doorways are narrow, but not any narrower than going into or out of her stall. Pulling on her is not an option either. But standing by her shoulder and waiting for her to lead me works. 🙂

A young gelding is “suspicious” of me; I guess because I’m new. He’s friendly enough and I can walk up to him in the field. But when I raise the halter, he raises his head and he’s tall! I just wait and let him sniff me and his halter. Then I raise the halter a little bit to see what he does. If he’s okay, then I go a little bit higher. I got the halter on eventually. He was the same way in his stall when I wanted to put that halter on again. He turned away from me and continue to eat hay. Again, I got the halter on eventually, but it’s just so different from my guys who’ve been trained to put their heads in.

There’s also a horse that apparently is very difficult to catch.  I offered my services, but the trainer told me they’d tried everything including bribery.  I just smiled.  If they ever get desperate, she has my number.

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About Laurie Higgins

I play with clicker training - with my horses, dogs, and cats. I also attempt to grow vegetables with the hope of one day being able to feed my family from my garden. My daughter and I are learning ballroom dancing. Well, we were. But she left me for a paying horse job, so now my husband and I are learning ballroom dancing. I'm also now helping Peggy Hogan, of Clicker Training Horses (and The Best Whisper is a Click) to teach people how to train their own horses using "clicker training".
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