* I’ve tried to post this multiple times. WordPress and I can’t seem to get our business together, so I’m posting from my phone. If this doesn’t work, I give up.*
Tempertantrums are the bane of my existence, but when you work with green horses, there isn’t any way around them. They have to be handled properly and sometimes that’s a pretty fragile line. The rider has to properly convey “This is not okay” and “I understand you’re struggling with this concept.” With some horses, that line is pretty thin.
Somethings to think about, when you find yourself in the midst of a tantrum (like you really have time to think!):
* Keep your cool. If you’re losing your hairnet over them losing their hairnet, all you’re going to have in the end is hair in your Mac n’ cheese. Then whose happy? Ain’t nobody happy!
* Don’t push it. When you’re introducing a new skill, give it 10-15 minutes. Don’t keep hammering on it. That just frustrates both of you.
* Forward is your friend. Greenies often run away from contact. Sometimes that path is backwards. Shut that door. Open the front door. Backwards can sometimes = rearing. Rearing = bad news bears.
* Always end on a good note. Willow, for example, is pretty good at standing still (not shocking). We end with that, if she’s struggling with a new skill. Stand, pats, dismount and done. If they’ve done a good job at the new thing you’re asking, end it there.
* Finally, keep it positive. Pats for good things. Ride through the tantrums, then forget them. Don’t carry on with “That was horrible and I hate you for it.”
Getting these horses started down their career paths, whatever that path may be, is so rewarding. Seeing them move on to their ‘professional’ lives is tenfold the joy that the tantrums are obnoxious. You’ll forever have a good partner or will forever be happy knowing that you contributed to that horse’s success.
If the horse turns out to be a raging butthead. Walk away. Quickly.
(I’m joking. Always take credit for your success and your failure.)