Thursday, May 29, 2008

The Perfecting of Bonnie

Its been a long time since I wrote anything in my blog. Sometimes I just don't care to talk. Sometimes talk only causes confusion. At this time I will talk about trying to perfect LH Bonnie Belle, my wife's 8 year old mare. Why am I trying to perfect Bonnie? Well, we just came home from a horse show and Bonnie was not what she should have been. Bonnie is a long story. Cathy, my wife, kind of lost her confidence to ride after Tori, our 7 year old daughter was born. So she wanted something that she could work as a project on her own, so Bonnie was chosen. Cathy did most of the training and handling of this mare. Problem is Cathy works and has over an hour drive to and from work, she has a 7 year old daughter and a husband to look after also. Trying to work this mare has not been easy. Not being a perfected rider or trainer plus the fact that she was trying to regain her confidence means that the mare has some holes in her. Cathy and Tori had a great time at the show but the holes in the mare's training was quite apparent. She received about a 100 opinions about what was wrong and what the mare I thought I had better fix this mare.
Keeping her stabled is the first part of my fixing. Today I started her work. The first thing I wanted to do was to work on confidence, take away her hastiness, and regulate her speed. A lot for the first day, but the mare did very well. To work on her confidence I had to be firm, yet let her know that I absolutely meant her no harm. I started this by fly spraying her. I sprayed her very aggressively and abruptly. She got a little uptight and started to move around in the cross ties. Every time she remotely got quiet, I soften my manner and spraying. In just a few minutes, she had figured out that when she was quiet, everything around her got quiet. This is part of teaching her to problem solve. The goal is to teach her that she can control chaos, all she has to do is to be quiet and chaos will go away. We all know in real time this is not always true, but it sure helps horses. More next time.