House Calls with Mike

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Mike contacted us to come out and help him with his big paint mare. He explained that the saddle had fallen under her and she had a major wreck running into the fence. She now is terrified of both the saddle blanket and saddle.

This video shows how we helped Mike in the first session, and gave him some exercises to get started on. Stay tuned for updates from Mike as he keeps us posted with his progress.

Week 1:

Dave: Any progress with your mare?
Mike: No, I have been busy and unable to work with her

Week 2

Dave: Any progress with your mare?
Mike: Worked with her and can now get the blanket on her without a problem

Week 3

Dave: Sounds like your making progress. How did this week go
Mike: I am making good progress. I tried the saddle and can’t get near her
Dave: Don’t get discouraged
Mike: OK sounds good, I’m not getting discouraged cause I can see the progress and can see in her eyes that she is trying

Week 4

Dave: How did this week go?
Mike: My brother-in-law and sister-in-law were here for the past week and they are both horse trainers and we were never able to get her saddled.  We all actually spent 5 hours yesterday trying to get her saddled.  She fought us the entire time. They have both trained many horses over their time and both came to the conclusion that Dee Dee just does not think like other horses.  They used many methods on her so we came to the conclusion she just is so afraid of the saddle she just won’t let it happen.  We could tranquilize her and saddle her many times, but we don’t want think that’s what we want to do.  I think I am going to sell her to someone that just wants a pet.  I very much appreciate your time, and it was a real pleasure meeting you.

Summary

On our first and only visit with Mike and his horse Dee Dee, it was obvious that this was not going to be a quick fix.  I laid out a sequence of baby steps for Mike, and he was making progress.  After just a couple of weeks he was able to get the blanket on.  Then it appears that his brother- and sister-in-law used their methods during the week they stayed with Mike and were unsuccessful.  Now Mike is discouraged and is giving up on her.

The main takeaways from this House Call are as follows:

  1. This horse had a bad experience and is truly scared.  The only way to fix the problem is to work on gaining her trust and gradually build her confidence back up.  It can take a long time to do that.
  2. Like most things these days, we want a quick fix.  With horses, a lot of times that is not possible.  It is unfortunate that Mike has given up, and hopefully he can find his horse a good home.

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