Last year when I started to train Zum, the first thing I taught him was to touch the orange cone with his nose. He still loves to do this. When I cannot get him to do anything, I can always get him to touch the orange cone. I reward him for any little thing that he does right and keep building on Zum doing things right.
I want to teach Zum to be completely relaxed from the inside out. I don’t want him to just look relaxed. I can feel his inner tension. If Zum is not entirely relaxed, he is headed for trouble. Buried tension in a horse makes a horse unsafe to ride. This calls for trying to teach Zum to calm his mind and his body. My first lesson is to teach Zum to walk when I walk.
Zum had another bad experience yesterday. The vet that came to take his wolf teeth out didn’t take the time to make friends with Zum. She just approached him quickly and jabbed his neck with a sharp needle. He reared up. She yelled. She called him names. She almost left. I tried to explain to the vet that Zum has a better attitude when a person tries to be friendly with him. She scratched him on the head. Zum immediately tried to make friends with her. She was able to give him oral sedative. In an hour, he was out. The vet removed both his wolf teeth, floated his teeth and gave him an all-in-one inoculation. He is very unhappy today. He hasn’t eaten since the wolf teeth were taken out. His gums and teeth must be very sore. And his bloodstream is full of toxic poison from the shots. My poor Zum!
I was recently asked by a vegan if horses should be ridden? The vegan said she heard that horses prefer to be free and that it is detrimental to horses to be ridden. Who made this up? I told her that horses love to be ridden! They love to be out in nature. They love exercise. They love to move their bodies, see new things and explore new places. And horses attach themselves to their person. What could be better for a person and her horse than an adventure in the wild on horseback? There is nothing more sacred than the bond between a woman and her horse as they gallop through the desert.
I met a racehorse trainer and I told him how my colt has been cranky and irritable with me for the last month. He put his hand inside Zum’s mouth and found sharp wolf teeth. He explained that the two sharp wolf teeth coming out on each side of the back of Zum’s mouth could be why he is so unhappy. I called my horse dentist and he came over to look at Zum’s teeth. He felt the teeth in the back of Zum’s mouth and agreed with the racehorse trainer. So now Zum needs to have his wolf teeth extracted. In a way, it is a relief to know that Zum is not angry with me at all. He is teething and his mouth hurts!
I told my ferrier the story about my neighbor. He responded to my story by saying that horses never forget when they are abused and he refuses to work for people that hit their horses. He told me to baby Zum now and, in time, I will win Zum’s heart and trust back. I feel like Zum is already starting to trust me more. I asked him to stand on tarp. He did!