Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Sometimes You've Just Got to Get Your Feet Wet

I pulled off my usual Bozo No-No today and flooded the horse paddock. I put the hose in the water trough and walked away, instantly forgetting about the running water. I think it was an hour later when I heard the pipes moaning and raced outside to shut it off. With my neighbors being as nosy as they are, you'd think that just once they might help me out by coming to my door to let me know that I left the water running, but no -- they just stand around and stare.

I decided to use the water puddle as a training device. I've been working on teaching my horses to come when I whistle. Of course, the first step is to have treats in your hand when you whistle, so that they want to come. That's an easy enough trick, but this time they had to cross a deep puddle of water to get to their treats.

At 21 years of age, Lostine is way past being worried about getting her feet wet. She came right over. Then Gabbrielle braved the little pond...

...and wouldn't go away. Bombay just skirted the edge of the water for a while watching the mares eat...

...and eat. They are pigs for peppermints.

They forgot all about where their feet were.

Splish splosh.

Eventually, Bombay came with a lot of encouragement and got his share of treats. Then the fights over the food broke out and I had to call it a day.

8 comments:

Farm Girl said...

My 20 year old gelding Solomon, is crazy for peppermints too. He will come from anywhere if he can hear the crackle of a candy wrapper!

Love your horse stories and photos!

Alex said...

an old trainer of mine used to intentionally "flood" her round pen to to work babies in! A controlled exposure to puddles when they were young hopefully banked in their memories for later on! same trainer also used to put a sprinkler on very low in the middle of the round pen and leave horses in it (supervised of course) they could slowly investigate the water as it splashed around/on them and it always made introducing bath time that much easier!

fernvalley01 said...

Way to put a positive spin on an oops!

Katharine Swan said...

I give Panama that same brand of treats! We're on peppermint right now, but he likes apple too. :o) I love them because they are SMALL, meaning you can give them MORE!

Lulu said...

That is quite the puddle you created! I would sure be in trouble if I left our water run for an hour; we rely on well water and I would hate to run the well down.

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Alex - I sometimes "lunge" my horses in the round pen while spraying the ground with a hose. The rule is that they have to either go through or jump over the water, but they can't turn away from it.

Lulu - We are also on a well. My husband can't get mad at me for forgetting the water, because he does it all the time too. The trick is setting the oven timer to 8 minutes if we have to go into the house, but sometimes we forget about the water before we reach the kitchen on the other side of the house. Well problems are the worst. It can cost tens of thousands of dollars to have your well dug deeper, so I am very big on water conservation.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Good for you using the flooding to help train your horses. You're always so creative that way...and a super multi-tasker, too.

That last picture cracked me up. They looks like a couple a kids. hehe!

My mare is weird about treats. She will not eat peppermint anything. She will put it in her mouth sometimes and then spit it right back out. haha!

Apples are only permitted in slices and carrots must be in bite size chunks (like baby carrot sized). Silly mare!

~Lisa

Andrea said...

Just look at those faces in that last picture!!! I have never seen those two look like that!! LOL!!

The way to a horse's heart is through their stomachs!! So true, so true. I wonder if my horses would like peppermints.