Well. We all knew that the good streak that Willow has been on had to end at some point. To say that I’m at the end of my rope is a bit of an understatement. When the girl is good… lordy she’s brilliant! When she’s bad…it’s really, really bad.
One of the things that I struggle with is making her a priority. I don’t blog about it too much, but between the baby, the Army, and trying to find time for family (not to mention weather!) Willow always seems to fall to the bottom of the list. The guilt that I feel about it is something that is really hard for me. Mike is now on leave because of our impending move, and I’m excited to be able to take advantage of it to really buckle down and put some elbow grease into her.
I went out today during the afternoon, since the weather was supposed to get yucky again tonight and I wanted to squeak my barn time in before the yuck hit. Willow gets seriously stressed when she’s in by herself, but tying has worked really well in the past to chill her out.
I brought her in and she started screaming and bouncing around right away. Sigh. I stood in front of her door and just waited for her to chill out. It didn’t happen. She started trying to climb over the top of the door. Imjit. I backed her off the door and went it to try to slip the knot (I always tie to baling twine, with a quick release). She tried to climb over me and out the door again, clocking me one in the process. Luckily I hadn’t locked the door all the way so we kind of spilled out into the aisle.
I slipped the knot and put a chain over her nose. Time for ground work. My whole goal for the day was just to pull her in and clean her up a little bit (she’s looking a touch feral…). I took her out into the arena and when she started trying to drag me backwards out the door I gave her a sharp tap with the whip. Apparently that pushed the physco button and she totally lost her mind. Tried to kick me (Momma is smarter than that, beeeotch!) then reared and ran backwards. No ma’am. We did a lot of walk/halt/walks on the ground and took a spin around the parking lot. She was still tense, but at least not rearing anymore. I figured I would leave that battle as it was, on a slightly more relaxed note. At least her eye was a bit more relaxed.
I really do love her, but she can be the most frustrating thing. Her reactions are always way over the top, and at 17.1…that top is REALLY high up there. I get so discouraged with her, but then I remember that I really haven’t been out to work in a bit (thanks, life) and she’s NEVER been good with being in alone.
I’m not sure what my plan of attack is for this one. Obviously the issue has to be addressed. I think that her living situation in KY is going to help with that, since I have the option to put her out by herself. I need to have a sit down talk with Becky and pick her brain. I’ve had horses with separation anxiety, but never to this extent (or with this amount of drama).
Wish me luck, y’all!
On a positive note, Mike is home on leave (WOOHOO!) and we just got back from a Strong Bonds retreat in CT that took place over the weekend. I’ll do my best to recap that in the next few days. 🙂