Thursday, March 13, 2008

Dakota, Part 2

So Dakota was here and I had connected the training pen to the lean-to temporarily until the fence for the paddock and pasture were finished. I had gotten all the things I needed. The 100 gallon water trough, feed dishes, feed and cleared out a space in the garage and layed down some pallets and ordered my hay. I believe it was about September of 2000 when Dakota moved in. I can't remember exactly, may have been October.

I set up the training pen and starting lunging Dakota on my off days as Jess had taught me. That is until Winter set in and I was limited to just spending time with him feeding and watering and he eventually got better with Huck the farrier. I sucked in every piece of advice I could. Bought the books on training, veterinary, horse care and all I could. Many a call to Jess for advice and silly worries. Started his worming schedule. He had is Autumn care done at Jess's.

Winter watering was difficult because dumb me had managed to freeze the hose and outdoor water spigot. I've figured that one out since. So daily buckets of water out there for him and in February, when on my way to work, I went out to feed him and he pushed me and knocked the food out of my hand. I popped him in the nose and yelled. He turned around and threw out a rear hoof and snapped my hand. Steve happened to be visiting from England at that time. My arm was casted for 10 weeks. Jess, I do remember this part and you begged me to sell him and find something more suitable. But obstinate me, kept on with him. Jess helped me find a trainer to send him to over the summer of 2001 and that went well. I liked Dennis. I'm sure he had others work with Dakota and once again, Dakota proved to be an "ass" over there as well. He reared in the barn and busted a light. But when I went there to work with Dennis and Dakota, it was with Dennis and he taught me a lot. What I needed to do was put time on him in the saddle at home, but the horse intimidated me and it didn't get done like it needed to. I did lunge him and ride in the training pen, but not enough. It was always a fight to put a bridle on.

He was the only horse here, until my sister bought Clorox, the little white Shetland pony and Dakota finally had company by Autumn of 2001.

I liked Dakota's quirky personality. Jeremiah once described him as the class clown. He was funny. Anytime I fixed a fence or was out in the paddock cleaning or watering, he often would steal my hair ties, poke me in the shoulder, clearly not knowing his boundaries and clearly me not setting them. Another lesson now learned. I now say, I could probably write a book on what not to do when keeping horses.

I could ride Dakota in the training pen after a decent lunging session and a fight with the bridle, inspite of all bridling advice and books read. Dakota had my number from the beginning and did the entire time I owned him. And yes I had his teeth checked and floated. He just knew he could get away with his behavior because I didn't set the boundaries in the beginning.

To be continued.....................................


Grey Horse Matters said...

I think we all do the same things and make the same mistakes with our first horses. Reading about what to do is easy but putting it into practice can be a harder lesson to learn. I have been stepped on, pinned to the wall in a stall, cow-kicked,even bitten by a horse that wasn't mine. It's a long learning process on what not to do, but eventually I think we start to "get it". Even so there is always something new to learn.

BarnGoddess said...

Dakota sounds like a smart horse..also a fun horse.

Horses are like kids, they do not have a I often WISH they did!


Callie said...

Arlene, I did learn a lot, mostly what not to do, and as I have preached before, there is always something more to learn and each horse is an individual. I was as stubborn as he....LOL

BG, He was a very smart horse, too smart for me and knew how to push my buttons and get back on my good side, even when he had pissed me off.

Rising Rainbow said...

Yes, I agree they are just like children and children without boundaries can make life really miserable.

Anonymous said...

That's was a hell of a learning curve for you. Well done. Not may people up to that kind of challenge.

Callie said...

I think in the end, he was meant to be a man's horse. Didn't really show any women respect.