Friday, 5 December 2014

OCD Pony

My farrier has (half jokingly) decided Ginger is OCD partly because Ginger has a preference for the order in which you pick up her feet. She picks them up and holds them for you, and I guess has trained me to just follow along since I never really noticed that there is a particular order and always just thought she was just being silly if she got funny about it. She actually only gets confused and upset if she has to pick up a foot again that is already 'done' or is out of the order she prefers. Farrier figured that out in about one session, where I was just clueless. Heaven forbid you look at a front foot and don't proceed to the rear foot on the same side, poor Ginger's mind is blown! I love her farrier though, since she always just laughs and starts at foot #1, tells her what a genius pony she is and continues on til she's at the foot she actually wants to look at.

Random Ginger pics to break up the wall of text


When I start thinking bigger picture I realize there are a lot of things she's equally funny about. I know the vast majority of horses thrive on routine, but Ginger's a bit excessive about it really.
Save me from myself!

Our rides are best if they are structured the same way. She prefers to have only one rider. She would ideally like only one handler. She dislikes new coaches. She dislikes it if you do anything on the 'wrong' side. This includes mane trimming and even posting diagonals. She gets super uptight if she doesn't know the other horses in the ring. On our trail rides, she's fine with normal vehicles. Vehicles with trailers are death though. She hates new barns. She dislikes meeting new horses. The list goes on, and on, and on. I make a point of being slightly unpredictable so it's not like she's never been blanketed from her off side. She's moved barns plenty. She's had other people ride her and I've had a few different coaches. I certainly mess up my diagonals now and then. I don't always use the same halter or fly spray. As a result, her panic response is pretty much gone, but she's still quite happy to let you know she's not impressed with such deviations from the 'right' or usual way.  If you had have asked me a few months ago whether I make any concessions, I would have said no, but now that I have easy going Bridget I notice all the little things I do without thinking, in an attempt to keep the peace I guess. In recent months, Ginger has reminded me that I must always unbuckle my reins rather than tossing them over her head, I usually groom starting on the near side. I always use a step stool, but not a chair, to trim her bridle path (again on the near side apparently). I use Cowboy Magic Detangler. The other stuff smells weird and is not acceptable. I always catch her by putting the lead rope around her neck first. If you just leave it hanging off the halter while walking towards her it's scary. She thinks she is supposed to stop moving while I play with my phone. And apparently I always pick her hooves in the same order. All stuff I honest to goodness would have never noticed I did until I changed it slightly and Ginger called me out on it.

She knows me better than I know myself, obviously. And I'd like to think she still likes me in spite of it all :)

Also, from yesterdays photo shoot, I came across evidence  that like me, she does not appreciate Bridget's tendency to photo bomb.



10 comments:

  1. That's too funny! I've had horses train me before, but I've always been lucky to ride a variety of horses at any time so they all sort of untrain one another's persnickiti-ness. Is that a word? I guess it is now.

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    1. She totally trained me, you're right with the multiple horse thing - it took having a second horse for me to even notice there was anything...odd about our relationship :)

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  2. Ha, it is amazing what patterns emerge. I know when I trim feet or finish them (if shod) I go in a certain order. The one time I changed, ended up completely missing a foot. My farrier had to point out the forgotten one. Each of my horses have their different likes. Winston always wants his blankets to go over his head and will actually put it on if you hold it up.

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    1. These ponies are so smart! It's crazy how observant they are and how entrenched our own patterns can be without us realizing.

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  3. Hehehe, this is great. Hey, people are like that too right? Why not ponies?

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    1. LOL It never occurred to me until the farrier mentioned it and then I was like "why not?" If any horse has it, it's her!

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  4. this is too funny. i personally really thrive on routine too - so i totally get it... but it's hilarious that she calls you out every time! i personally kind of hate it when a horse starts trying to anticipate what i'll ask for next while riding... but i guess i'm predictable too lol

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  5. Too funny, she is one smart cookie

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  6. That's funny! I agree with Aoife, she's a smart cookie :)

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