Thursday, March 5, 2009

The Beast Without

When I fed the horses tonight I discovered that Titan had relocated Tonka's tub to the other end of the paddock. Raven was already eating in her stall when I went to fetch it, carrying Tonka's feed right past him in a small bucket. The poor, starving horse concluded that he was not getting fed and pitched a panicked fit (food is the only thing that brings out his dark side) that rapidly spread to Miss Thing.

When Raven panics in her stall I normally just stand back, open the gate and let her go. She gets a glazed look in her eyes that tells me she's beyond clear communication, and I don't need to be in a confined space with her under those circumstances. Tonight, however, I was able to talk her down for the first time ever. It helped that Tonka settled once he got his feed, but I just spoke quietly to her from outside the stall until she stopped and put her head over the gait. Then I put a halter on her (I always have one hanging nearby), took her into the paddock of some yielding exercises, and put her back to the stall to finish her dinner. Afterwards she strolled out like nothing had happened, and I feel like this was a breakthrough for both of us.


5 comments:

Grey Horse Matters said...

That's great, it sounds like she is coming around and learning to trust and listen to you. I love those moments when it goes better than expected.

EvenSong said...

Let's hear it for Ravens and Penguins! Good job, both of you!It IS significant that she overcame her panic, and was even able to do a bit of work after.

borsob --a nasty old man with nothing interesting to say

oregonsunshine said...

Yay! Good Girl, Raven!


gotchio- the Italian way of saying "gotcha"

Jean said...

Those first time indicators of trust under stress are magical, aren't they? Way to go, Raven!

I did laugh at poor, starving Tonka pitching a fit at the thought of missed dinner. I have dogs that do that if I dare to put the dishes down in the wrong order. Of course, I've been known to panic at the thought of missed dinner myself.....

Black Jack's Carol said...

Yeah, Jean. I agree with you. The thought of a missed dinner isn't funny at all. I don't think dp properly appreciated Tonka's cause for concern. As for Titan. What was he thinking? Very glad, though, that the end result was a breakthrough in communication between Raven and dp.