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The easy to offend head slinger :(

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  • The easy to offend head slinger :(

    Well this just royally sucked! I got a call yesterday to see if I could do a horse up at Evergreen, one of the barns I usually braid did not go this year and I have extra time so I am picking up some extra work if available.

    I get to the horse about 4 am and notice that the forelock and the top half of the mane is braided (and not well, it was baaaad!). I go in, say hi to the horse and start to rip out yarn when the mare slings her head violently up and shoots backwards. nice. It takes about 10 mins to get her to let me take out the braids working by rubbing up from her shoulder to her crest. The forelock I managed to undo and find the real fun with this particular horse, she has decided she does not want anything touching her in anyway she may or not approve of. The touch of a comb on the poll gets 5 head slings, trying to braid down gets 6. Super loose braids get 3 and an almost passable job.

    The mare also dislikes water from a sprayer as well as in the hand/near her. This earns many head slings and shooting back against the back of the stall.

    The mare also will not allow a comb to touch her crest. Period. Head slinging and snorting and shooting back and evasive histrionics for about 20 minutes ensues. I give up. I text the owner a sorry but message and mentally throw in the towel. No way I am putting in loose nasty braids at an AA show and deal with a rude head sling every 5 seconds.

    Now, I have had defensive horses who have just been pulled, it can take a few mins to calm them and convince them that it's definitely not pulling time again. I have had youngsters just wiggly, unknowledgeable or baby-temper tantrum-ish, all I have worked through. I have braided the naughty semi-aggressive horses, no issues. I am considered a good hand and very competent, especially with difficult horses and babies. The horses I braid end up relaxed and happy with me. THIS mare is rude and has "decided" she doesn't like braiding/combing/whatever near her forelock or crest. It was not a fear or learning issue but a line in the sand. My own horse used to do that about clippers, I recognize the attitude and it takes hours or more to work through.

    I do believe if I had taken anywhere from 3 or 4 hours to days or maybe weeks depending on how stubborn this mare is I could have worked through it. But! This is not expected of a braider. And why on earth didn't they mention that mare was ill mannered??? I could have started yesterday, I am so willing to help out in any way. On the other hand, I am not being paid to train someones horse and get them over a major attitude issue either

    *sigh* it just sucks all around.

  • #2
    You did the right thing by giving up. They must have hoped you would do the training they were too lazy to take care of themselves. Sure, why not? You've got nothing else to do right?
    Yogurt - If you're so cultured, how come I never see you at the opera? Steven Colbert


    • #3
      Kinda like when the farrier isn't told how horrible the horse is, and they just hope he trains the horse instead. My farrier will leave. You did the right thing, how ridiculous!

      What was their response?
      COTH's official mini-donk enabler

      "I am all for reaching out, but in some situations it needs to be done with a rolled up news paper." Alagirl


      • Original Poster

        No response! I'm kind of wondering if the reason the mane was half braided was because either the mare would not let someone finish or would not let someone take them out.


        • #5
          Agree you did the right thing.

          Back in the day when I used to braid, I wasn't as smart as you. I'd fish around for a one-man twitch, or a chain to put over the nose then stand on it while braiding, throwing my back out. Of course I didn't have the stones to charge extra for the horses who took 3x as long to braid.

          Curious as to what the reply will be, but again: Good for you.


          • Original Poster

            The day I have to put a chain over a nose (to use forcibly, some just do use them daily) or use a twitch to braid...well, I just wouldn't do it LOL!!

            Braiding is not getting a shot or anything that should need brute force to do. I'm a very firm disciplinarian too (I tend to be a little too "big" with sensitive horses and need to tone it down LOL!!) but teaching proper manners is essential, not slamming a chain on and whipping.


            • #7
              Yeah.. I slammed the chain and whipped a horse to quiet its' head.



              • Original Poster

                Really?? I was thinking about what I posted and I didn't want you to think I was ranting at you, I'm not. I'm cranky with the idea that it's okay at a show to suddenly have different expectations and enforce that with physical punishment.

                I remember back in the day when I thought it was okay too. It doesn't work very well and is just a cheap way of doing things.


                • #9
                  Well, and here i thought my horse was difficult to braid. I don't braid myself, my trainer does all the braiding for the tests, but he's quite er, touchy, when it comes to his forehead. He'll throw his head up when I try to just brush it and it takes a little time to convince him to lower the damn head for a couple minutes. Also, forget about spraying him with anything!

                  But i digress. My point is, if this was a difficult mare to handle, not only should the owners have warned you, there should have been someone there to help you keep her still.
                  Yes, I smell like a horse. No, I don't consider that to be a problem.

                  Originally posted by DottieHQ
                  You're just jealous because you lack my extensive koalafications.


                  • Original Poster

                    I am sure your horse would have been no problem Niennor A lot of horses can be touchy in the forelock area, they can't see what I'm doing and it's no big deal to spend a few extra minutes asking for them to put it down a bit LOL!!

                    Some horses I can spray, some I can't. The non-sprayers I just dump some water, whatever, in my hand and rub it up and down the mane/crest area. Most horses LOVE that rubbing up and down the crest.


                    • #11
                      My sympathy goes out to you. My mom's mare is a head slinger. If you try to deworm her, clip her, rub her face with a wet towel, etc, her head flies up and she shoots back into the corner of her stall. Once when I was deworming her I was holding onto her halter and she threw her head up and she lifted me into the air and put me down on the other side of her stall. My arms and chest were very sore the next day...
                      http://www.youtube.com/user/NBChoice http://nbchoice.blogspot.com/
                      The New Banner's Choice- 1994 ASB Mare
                      Dennis The Menace Too- 1999 ASB Gelding
                      Dreamacres Sublime- 2008 ASB Gelding


                      • #12
                        Stupid question here from the owner's perspective, (and not meaning to hijack) but is it worth having the braider come out a bit before the show to get a feel for how the horse acts/doublecheck my pulling job? That way they know what to expect and it's not a situation where they have a bunch of other horses to braid that night? Also, gives me time to start working with the horse before going to the show and improve any bad behavior, lol. Or is it easier to just say, "Hey, I haven't had him braided before so I'm not sure how he'll act, and BTW, you might want to double-check my pulling when you get there?" and be ready to hold the horse? As a braider, what works best for you?
                        Proud member of the Snort and Blow Clique


                        • #13
                          Perhaps the horse is a candidate for a roached mane?
                          How did the neck look?

                          A pretty horse looks good with or without a mane.
                          A pussycat of a horse with a chewed off tail won the triple crown, The Cubs won the world series and Trump won the Presidency.
                          Don't tell me 'It can't be done.'


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by twotrudoc View Post
                            I am sure your horse would have been no problem Niennor A lot of horses can be touchy in the forelock area, they can't see what I'm doing and it's no big deal to spend a few extra minutes asking for them to put it down a bit LOL!!

                            Some horses I can spray, some I can't. The non-sprayers I just dump some water, whatever, in my hand and rub it up and down the mane/crest area. Most horses LOVE that rubbing up and down the crest.
                            He gets a little antsy even when rubbing things on his forehead. I have to hold on to the halter just so that I can rub some fly spray on his face. He's also a big chicken when it comes to applying anything on his body: water, spray, powder...
                            He's also the kind of horse that the moment you finish grooming him, he tries to shake off all the hard you've done
                            Yes, I smell like a horse. No, I don't consider that to be a problem.

                            Originally posted by DottieHQ
                            You're just jealous because you lack my extensive koalafications.


                            • #15
                              That is no fun an especially at 4 am....

                              Whenever I body shaved horses or braided them "years" ago; I would always ask a lot of questions about the horse.

                              It sounds like you have done this a time or two and would do that as well... and (if the horse in fact does this as a regular thing and they actually know about it) that was WRONG not to tell you. But since you have not talked to them, until you do, you just wont know.

                              I am the type of person that will use a twitch... but will not beat, smack or whip them. I have used a lip chain but it really depends on the horse and which one they do better with if I have to resort to that tool box. I will give the horse every opportunity to behave first.

                              I also used to braid and clip with a co-person. That was so much easier for situations like this.

                              I think you did the right thing with a head fling-er horse. No one wants a broken nose.
                              Live in the sunshine.
                              Swim in the sea.
                              Drink the wild air.


                              • #16
                                Maybe TopTurnout can chime in.
                                A pussycat of a horse with a chewed off tail won the triple crown, The Cubs won the world series and Trump won the Presidency.
                                Don't tell me 'It can't be done.'


                                • Original Poster

                                  Oh, MissMyst, I don't think so. Any owner who cares enough to consider how the braider and horse may get along/work together is going to have a horse that is perfectly well mannered or will be sure to fill in any issues beforehand Of course, I do go and pull manes at the barns before shows a lot, that usually sets up a good relationship for the horse and me.

                                  I usually do ask questions, funny that I did not ask "Has your horse been braided before" and it is a bad experience. That wouls have opened the door to the owner maybe saying something about the big HUGE GLARING disobedience issue with her horse

                                  Niennor, sounds like your horse needs Man Braids, not regular ole girly hunter braids, that might make him a little happier with being fussed with


                                  • #18
                                    I always saved my horse for last when I was braiding barn horses before a snow (eventing mostly). He hates, Hates, HATES, H.A.T.E.S. having his mane pulled, trimmed, braided, picked over; try to touch his forelock or bridle path? HA! Being prettified is not his thing.

                                    Braiding his forelock and top three braids involved a string twitch, two tack trunks and my braiding stool (pretty precarious I might add). If it weren't for the little purple razor trimmers, he wouldn't even have a bridle path. I wouldn't in a thousand years ask another person to braid or pull his mane! It has been nearly seven years, and I've only been able to pull his mane once without drugs or a chain/twitch. I've learned to be creative with thinning shears.
                                    Leap, and the net will appear


                                    • #19
                                      Did it happen to be a grey? I saw a horse at Evergreen that only had the top half of it's mane still braided going in the ring and I thought it was very weird...maybe it was the same one!


                                      • #20
                                        Just a thought, but some highly opinionated mares behave differently depending on the person. My mare is fine for me and I can usually braid her quickly, but I recently hired someone to braid her because I was riding a second horse and was short on time. Her neighbor also left and she was apparently wretched. Same mare will be perfect for farrier A and farrier C, but horrible for farrier B. Farriers A and C have thanked me for having such a well-trained horse, and Farrier B charges extra.