Gorgeous day. My plan was to bring Feather out and work with her on various things in the roundpen. WAS being the magic word.
Cash had been in with her overnight a few days prior because he had lost his right front shoe. So after bringing home a box of horse shoe nails and struggling with it for about 45 minutes [sad, I know], we finally got the shoe and pad back on and I put the new bell boots on him then turned him back into the big pasture. The ground is still saturated with water but Feather, possibly being in heat, bit him several times, two of them down to the skin leaving big red ugly raw spots. Ugh! Thanks Feather!
There was also a lot of activity across the road where several horses live as the owners were dismantling their barn. Feather kept going to the side closest to them and neighing repeatedly.
So back to Feather. I put all the stuff by the RP to use with Feather and headed off to her pen with the rope halter and lead.
She wasn’t having any of it. I was able to pet her on her right side a bit. If I moved around to her left side she took off. I tried several times to approach her, touch her and halter her without any luck.
So I used the lead rope and gave her a reason to move more. If she wasn’t going to stand still while I haltered her, or even touched her she was going to get a workout, I mean we were going to get a workout. So around and around and around and around we went. She didn’t give an inch as I kept asking her to whoa [which she did] and approached her time after time to halter her only to have her scoot off again, not wanting to be caught.
I stopped yet again, she still wouldn’t let me catch her. So I went to get the lunge whip and kept on making her work. Nothing was working. At one point I dropped the whip and just walked up to her, talking all the while, just to see if she would let me touch her. I was able to pet her a bit, but she would take off again.
My book of tricks is a small one but making her move didn’t work, moving at regular speed didn’t work, moving slowly didn’t work, talking to her didn’t work, approach and retreat didn’t work, trying to slip the lead rope around her neck first didn’t work
I left once again to get her regular halter and slipped it over my shoulder, trying to hide it. I am sure at this point she was a bit tired of running from me, or perhaps the sunshine had made her a bit sleepy.
Finally I was able to approach her left side without her scooting away and just spent several minutes scratching her back, withers, neck, head, legs…slowly I let the halter slip down my arm as I was petting her until I finally got it around her neck with her standing still. I worked my other hand down to the halter and was able to get it on her nose without her running away.
This all took between 2 to 2 and 1/2 hours – JUST TO GET HER HALTERED!!!!
I don’t know about ever letting her into the huge pasture if she is going to be like this. In heat or not. But at this point, her halter is back on, and isn’t coming off in the near future.