Working with Nervous Nelly!

Lucy is a 14 year old Thoroughbred mare rescued from the Enumclaw Auction this summer. I took her on because I’d just placed Petersburg Knight, and as they say, nature abhors a vacuum. A friend of mine had her all summer and put some rides on her, and now she’s back for me to continue with.

Lucy is interesting. She’s broke. She got ridden around all summer, no problem. But the horse is scared. She’s truly nervous about people. Oh, she’s 500x better than she was when I first got her – back then you could barely touch her head and she would not take food from your hands, not grain or grass or anything. Now, she only gets upset about her head if something happens like the reins hit her in the ears as I flip them over. I can touch her everywhere, she will lower her head and snuggle, and she was even letting me pet her ears today. She knows all about cookies and carrots now, will seek out attention, and is getting easier to catch.

Now I’m trying to fix her fear of mounting. I get on the block – she swivels the other direction. I have someone stand there to block her, and she stands but the head comes up, the whites of the eyes show, and she starts breathing faster. She’s genuinely scared. Why? What was done to this one? I don’t know, but I’d like to fix it. So I have been tacking her up and just going out to the block and standing there, and petting her, and scratching her withers, and leaning over her like a green horse. She seems to be less nervous but I still feel like she’s waiting for the ax to fall. Very interesting.
If only they could talk, right? Well, I’ve got all the time in the world…we’ll figure this out!
Published in: on October 21, 2008 at 7:05 am  Leave a Comment  

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