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OMG, I Have Raised A Feral Child, WTH?

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  • OMG, I Have Raised A Feral Child, WTH?

    I am 2 hours into my standoff with Cupcake. This all started at feed time when she decided I was not going to put the head collar on her so I could do things like hoof oil, ect. This putting on head collar stuff is routine. Nope she told me where to go so I figured right no food for you and you must stay away from the herd. You see I am trying to think logically here. Chased her away from the herd and she just looked at me like, " bring it on sister! "

    So I thought, right let's see how you like when the herd goes in leaving you all by yourself Miss All That Yearling. Apparently this suits her just fine. I gotta be honest here, I was really banking on this working! Oh hell no, she is quite happy on her own. She let's on odd whinny but that's while grazing. Not even a hint of can't be on my own syndrome. For God sakes my 16 yo gelding would have run through fencing at this stage.

    So I have grabbed myself a stiff drink while I start thinking of how I'm going to nab this feral child. Obviously running around the field is out because that's just fun for horses. So wish I had my quad bike still. That is a bit fitter than me but knowing this one she'd probably only knock me off somehow.

    This one is re writing the book. I am a few chapters behind because mine usually act like horses. This one has had handling as do all my babies. It's not that I'm new at this. And all mine spend summers out like they are supposed to. So far my threats of carting her off to Ballinasloe are not working either.

    Going to also have to rethink the name Cupcake too. Perhaps Devious Cupcake. Ok round 10 coming up.


    Advice would be great.
    Terri
    COTH, keeping popcorn growers in business for years.

    "I need your grace to remind me to find my own." Snow Patrol-Chasing Cars. This line reminds me why I have horses.

  • #2
    I read on another thread on the "hard to catch" is that actually, running around the field after her does work, but you have to outlast her. Like, 45 minutes of chasing her until she gives up. And not really chasing, just doggedly following her until she gives in. It's kind of like round penning, only in a much larger space. You have to make it unpleasant/annoying for her to not come to you.

    No fun, but probably your best bet. You can't give in once you start, though.

    Comment


    • #3
      If they play hard to catch i just keep walking after them,soon it stops being fun and they would rather come in.Good luck.
      mm

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        I got her! I was doing all those things and I also knew that I would have to get her even if it took all night. On my previous walk abouts the crinkly mint paper was having no effect. So when I went back out to start walking some more I did the mint wrapper again. She stopped, turned to me, put head down and I gave her a mint. The head collar went on as it has 100 times, with no fuss. I walked her around a bit, gave her butt scratches and then went to get her friends. Was able to walk back up to her again and catch her.

        I think that this will be my biggest challenge yet! I thought Abba was tough. Abba got up to all sorts and had boundary issues but she loved people. This one is a lone wolf!

        Geez I feel like a moron!

        Terri
        COTH, keeping popcorn growers in business for years.

        "I need your grace to remind me to find my own." Snow Patrol-Chasing Cars. This line reminds me why I have horses.

        Comment


        • #5
          Ahh!

          Ahh, the terrible yearling stage. One of mine decided she couldn't go through a gate she used to try to sneak through and couldn't cross a ditch she'd been crossing since a baby.

          Have you thought about renaming to "Devil's Food Cake?"
          Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Goethe

          Comment


          • #6
            terri, you could write a book.
            Hidden Pearl Farm

            Comment


            • #7
              So if my suckling has decided that at the moment, he cannot possibly be led from the right side, does this mean he's having a pre-yearling moment and he will be done with it?
              ______________________________
              The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                Oh yeah, I could write a book. The how NOT to raise your horses guide! She was just in a few days ago because it was a horrible rainy night and I wanted to give the outside horses a bit of comfort. No indication of the drama that was about to unfold. And I have always been pleased that unlike my youngsters of the past, she can wait her turn when going in and coming out. Pleased that she wasn't herdbound. Pleased that at my only weighing 100pds she hasn't ever taken advantage of this serious weight deficiency. Something everyone always takes advantage of, except when I am carrying a dressage whip! Then it's, whoops, mom means business today, manners everyone!

                So I sit flumoxed with a Jameson and diet coke and a pan of brownies. Oh yeah, a whole pan just for me! Boot camp will be starting tomorrow and I must get myself organized and reach deep within my reserves to get this one sorted. I just keep telling myself, she'll be a good one!

                Terri
                COTH, keeping popcorn growers in business for years.

                "I need your grace to remind me to find my own." Snow Patrol-Chasing Cars. This line reminds me why I have horses.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Kwill View Post
                  I read on another thread on the "hard to catch" is that actually, running around the field after her does work, but you have to outlast her. Like, 45 minutes of chasing her until she gives up. And not really chasing, just doggedly following her until she gives in. It's kind of like round penning, only in a much larger space. You have to make it unpleasant/annoying for her to not come to you.

                  No fun, but probably your best bet. You can't give in once you start, though.
                  This exactly. Just like roundpenning- make it work for them to not listen. And don't let up until they volunteer to behave. You can move this process along more quickly by teaching the round-penning body language to the horse in an actual roundpen, then just carry it to other locations as needed. INVALUABLE for naughty babies!

                  Note: even if the horse has never been round-penned, the body language still works to draw them in. Learn the techniques, because they capitalize on basic herding body language, and it WORKS!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Jameson and coke? Pan of brownies? Are you sure you dont want to share?!
                    Charlie Brown (1994 bay TB X gelding)
                    White Star (2004 grey TB gelding)

                    Mystical Moment, 1977-2010.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Also, in learning the body language techniques, you give yourself a reliable set of tools to pull out in cases like this. From a mental standpoint, this changes your response emotions from, "WTH is wrong with this baby?!" to "Here is the solution to this behavior problem, time for a lesson on who is the boss mare."

                      It makes the whole process (which seems to happen with every baby to some degree at some point) to a much less emotional experience for all involved.

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        Thanks for that advice guys. Yeah, I knew that I had to walk her down, get her on me ect. Knew what I had to do. I did add a couple of time outs just to watch her reactions and to try and figure out what was making her tick. (OK, time outs for moi!) You have to understand this is just a yearling and I'm not going to take her into a round pen and run the legs off of her. This was also the first time she decided she was going to go rogue on me. I will admit, that hurt a little bit. I pride myself on telling happy baby stories and maybe am a bit snottier than I have to be when others have raised rogue babies. Oh well, that doesn't happen to me...... You know kind of like your honor student coming home one day covered in tatoos and smokiing. It's a shock to the system people!

                        Most of this has been for a little humor in a somewhat difficult situation. As for the brownies and the Jamie and diet coke, all are welcome!

                        Terri
                        COTH, keeping popcorn growers in business for years.

                        "I need your grace to remind me to find my own." Snow Patrol-Chasing Cars. This line reminds me why I have horses.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Honestly, I am disappointed she gave in so quick. This is a bit funny.
                          Don’t feel bad, that same horse in 7 years is going to be a great partner. The ones that think are the really good ones!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            First 6 months........momma thinks for them. Next 6 months , you think for them. Sometime between 1 yr and 18 months , they decide it's time they think for themselves. They always think wrong ! Every one of mine have done this at some time during this age. They will figure out that thinking for themselves isn't always in their best interest !

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              Shhh, Stoicfish, don't say things like that. It was around 2 hours! And honestly I do believe this one has a laptop stashed somewhere out in the field and probably reads COTH. Do not put ideas into her head! LOL!

                              Terri
                              COTH, keeping popcorn growers in business for years.

                              "I need your grace to remind me to find my own." Snow Patrol-Chasing Cars. This line reminds me why I have horses.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Holly Jeanne View Post
                                Have you thought about renaming to "Devil's Food Cake?"

                                lol that's great
                                Draumr Hesta Farm
                                "Wenn Du denkst es geht nicht mehr, kommt von irgendwo ein kleines Licht daher"
                                Member of the COTH Ignorant Disrepectful F-bombs!*- 2Dogs Farm

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Just had a similar moment with my yearling last night. There were bot eggs on his lower front legs that I wanted to get off and he had a fit about me using the knife on him. Hands have never been an issue and the brush is off and on but gets done. I figured he's just ticklish as he's mostly OK with a softer brush there. We spent over an hour tied and moving around the tie pole one way, then the other, until he quit jerking his legs away as we went from no knife to no hands either. Finally got it done and turned him loose to go find his buds. They came back up 1/2 hour later and I went out and picked up feet with no issue...

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Spectrum View Post
                                    This exactly. Just like roundpenning- make it work for them to not listen. And don't let up until they volunteer to behave. You can move this process along more quickly by teaching the round-penning body language to the horse in an actual roundpen, then just carry it to other locations as needed. INVALUABLE for naughty babies!

                                    Note: even if the horse has never been round-penned, the body language still works to draw them in. Learn the techniques, because they capitalize on basic herding body language, and it WORKS!
                                    Yep -- it's called "walking 'em down."

                                    Back when I had younger, smarter dogs I confess I would use the dogs to do the leg work for me. I would point out the naughty horse and they would go after it, never letting it go back to the herd and keeping it moving (and fast) constantly.

                                    The only place that was "safe" for the horse was standing by me...imagine that? Funny how quickly they major offender decided they would rather be at my side....

                                    However, now that my smart, good dogs have passed, and all I have left is an over-achievier of a heeler and a rather retarded pit bull (he ALWAYS goes after the wrong horse!), I am left to do the leg work myself.

                                    But it still works. And this is in a 5+ acre pasture; and me with a bad hip and worse knee.

                                    You just keep 'em moving and keep 'em from the rest of the herd. Longest it ever took me was 20 mins. but usually it's more like 5 mins.

                                    Funny how the rest of the herd figures out almost immediately that they aren't the ones in trouble...so they just stand around eating and shooting looks at the offender like, "oh, man, you've really done it now!"

                                    I guess it's like when the wolves pick out one victim from the herd...the rest of the horses are just thinking, "hey, don't look at me -- you're on your own now, buddy...."

                                    Comment

                                    • Original Poster

                                      #19
                                      Ok so this is why I get freaked. Putting time limits on horses who have not read the book or listen to CD's. For all the humor injected, she did none of that.

                                      I was quick to separate her from the pack because that behavoir is a no no. My other 2 did know what was going on and stood watching and munching. That part took 25 mins alone. Guess what, she didn't give a crap. And at one stage she headed off to the bottom of my 6 acre field and was content to graze on her own. No other horses anywhere near her. It was at that stage I brought the other 2 in from the field. I figured she since she knew the horses were there she was happy enough. Really had zero effect. She came up to see if there was any food left and back down to graze. I had already tried the bribery of mints, she was having none of it.

                                      So now an hour has elapsed. Much of it has been, walking, separating, and thinking as I go. I know the body language cues and mine know me too. Now here's where I think the problem is. She has learned that if the herd goes away, they will be back eventually and she does not give a hoot when because she is content. That is slightly not normal. And something that would never ever happen in the wild. You all can tell me I'm wrong but this was a little abnormal. I could not have done this with any of my other ones because as you say it usually only takes 5 mins. And for a yearling to be that independent is a bit strange. But I am a one person show so everyone has to learn patience when coming and going.

                                      So yeah after an hour I regrouped, went to the shop to get more mints and some food for me. Headed back out and did a repeat. She was more inclined to stay at the top of the field this time. Then all of the sudden it was over. I crinkled another mint packet just on the off chance and wah la she stopped, dropped the head, and on went the head collar. It was like nothing ever happened.

                                      So I get sometimes frustrated with this business, I mean this nicely, of people assuming you have done something wrong in the process. I understand the process of these things and it's why up until now I have had zero problem in catching or thinking one out. She just added a few more chapters. This one is quite clever and my being pleased that I had a well adjusted baby who was independent isn't actually all that great.

                                      Yesterday morning was first day of boot camp. I caught her as normal in the field and brought her for walks around the place. Over things ect. Unwanted her to have an interest and to enjoy things. She listened to me and knows whoa already. We got a little hose off and finished with a treat before she went back out with her buddies. This was the filly that last year when I was teaching her about having a head collar on and off, would stand in a corner in defiance. She would not move. At a week old you could take mom out of the box and she still wouldn't move. In the evening when she came in I used to leave it on her for a few hours. Something I've never had to do with a baby before. And teaching to lead with a head collar, very much the same. Please note I was not pulling and dragging. Used the cradle method and butt rope. Then after a week, she just walked out with me like she'd been doing it all her life. She is not a stupid filly. Quite the opposite. So really I knew I was in a little trouble the other night because I know her reserves and I know that she is just a little different.

                                      Terri
                                      COTH, keeping popcorn growers in business for years.

                                      "I need your grace to remind me to find my own." Snow Patrol-Chasing Cars. This line reminds me why I have horses.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Sorry Terri, but I'm sighing with pleasure to know that my own obstinate bunch of 2y.olds are as normal as...well, yours.

                                        Your filly sounds as self assured and independent as ours who seemingly couldn’t give a rat’s patootie if she never saw the herd again. Sort’a. No bribery or separation trick works on her. It’s the mere presence of the Big Horse-beater-upper Stick, fierce body language and a stern voice that holds sway with her and fortunately (for both of us) it’s really quick and once she gets it, she remembers, but we tend to have to do these types of Mexican stand-offs for anything knowledge worthy.

                                        Secretly, I enjoy those moments with April. She most definitely is a thinker and will question things but is also brave and fearless, very, very quick to learn and super affectionate so that the sum of all the parts is extremely pleasing.

                                        My husband and I were talking yesterday about all this and agreed that a horse of any age is like a human 2 year old: Into everything, funny, sweet, challenging, affectionate, and only smart enough to get into trouble..!
                                        GreenGate Stables
                                        http://ggstables.webs.com/

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