In a good way! … Kind of.
On Monday night, a bunch of the ladies from the barn got together for margaritas and horse talk. You know, standard stuff. One of the women sought me out, and blurted out “I am so thankful your horse is so good. I almost lost her the other day!” I stared blankly at the woman… what?
She was out in the mare field to get her horse in an attempt to squeeze in a ride between the time the sun comes up in the morning and the time she had to be at work. She moved all the mares away from the gate, got her mare, opened the gate, and May (politely) RAN through the gate. Trotting down the path to the barn.
(for those that didn’t see my barn post, here is a diagram of the barn. May goes out in the teal field and lives in the bright green barn. The only road is the one at the very bottom of the picture.)
Now, this needs some context. A few months ago, a boarder was covering for someone on one of the morning weekend shifts. No big deal. On Saturday, she says to me, “I know May turns herself in and out, but I had to lead her myself.” News to me.
Apparently, May has trained everyone into knowing that, once her muzzle goes on, she can take herself out. And once breakfast is ready to be served, she is quite happy to let herself in and wait for her muzzle to be taken off. And that’s just… May for you.
At first, I was ready to be upset when I learned about this. Parts of me screamed about how unsafe it is, how something could happen, how horses need to be led everywhere. But you know what? Last year she got bit by a horse fly while standing in the grooming area. What did she do? She basically levitated in the air, spun herself around (carefully), and trotted the 10′ to her stall. She is far more likely to be kicked by another horse being led with her in and out of turnout than she is to hurt herself walking back and forth to her stall. (or even trotting when she knows she wasn’t technically being let back in)
It works for her, so it works for me. (Although, I continue to lead her from stall to field and field to stall… Maybe I’m the sucker because May gets an extra treat this way.) Are there any “rules” your horse breaks?
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Hahaha oh May! So smart! There was a recipient mare I knew when I was in Texas, and she wasn’t easy to catch at all, but we figured it out one day to just leave the pasture and stall doors open, and she calmly walked herself from her pasture to her alfalfa in the stall for the evening, and back out again in the morning. It was pretty cool.
haha I have known horses like this! Mine are mostly this way.
My in-laws horses all know which stall they belong in, so they just open the doors and let them all walk in for breakfast everyday! I’ve never had one that consistently like that, so I think it’s really cool!
ha ha horses are so smart! I freak out about things like this with my horses and dogs, but really, they’re smarter than we think. And what other motivation would May have to not go eat??? lol
Hey – the first time I got her on a trailer, she wouldn’t load. I shook a bucket of grain in the trailer, and she practically ran me over to get in! Food motivation is a wonderful thing.
Haha too true, they train us too! My last horse Ramone knew that after I ride I would stall him and feed him grain. I almost always would put his grain in the stall across from the cross tie and would just unclip him and he’d walk right in. He only made a liar out of me a couple times and went for a stroll (not too far he loves people too much.)