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Thursday, February 9, 2012

Horses and Jobs

  So I been thinking lately about the jobs we make our horses do.  I have heard many times if a horse is well suited for its job it will love them and if it doesn't like its job it won't enjoy itself.  Well I got thinking about the other horses I have owned and this didn't seem to matter so much. 
   With my first horse Henry, he was happy indoors, outdoors, chasing cows, following trails, following wagons, running barrels, teaching kids, anything I asked of him he was happy to do it.  But he was a cheerful horse and loved people and maybe that was his job was to make people happy.
   Then I got Bailey and she was ridden inside and outside and she was really good either place after a while (it took a while for her to believe everything I asked her was a good idea)  But I notice the less I ride her she doesn't really enjoy being inside and really leans towards the gate whenever we are inside.
   Then I will skip Gypsy and Princess and Dinero cause I never really had them long enough to really know.  They all seemed happy to do whatever I wanted but I never pushed them to do something.
   And Razz, she is really good inside and outside, she is willing to do what I ask of her as long as its not going super slow at any gait.  I know she likes working cows, but she also likes trail riding and ranch work, so no real specific job there either.
   Then I got Kali and ever since I got her she leaned towards the door, never really thought much of it just worked her through it and she got better, but was always kinda lazy inside.  Then last summer I took her outside and she was so different!  Not afraid of cows even when the kick up their heels at us and walked all around her when she was tied to the trailer.  No hesitation when I asked her to lope and almost like she didn't want to slow down.  I shoulda clued in, but until Doug said something about it and I mentioned all I knew he said she needs to do something else.  I don't know what that something else is yet, but she is quiet enough for a trail horse and will be a good kids horse in the future.
   Then Jessie.  She is the absolute opposite of Kali. She is so calm and relaxed and nice to be around.  When I rode her outside for the week, she was good at a walk, but she didn't want to do anything else.  Kinda like she was not sure why we were out there for.  But when I take her to the arena she is pretty happy and really happy to trot or lope for as long as I ask.  But always looking to the gate (not trying to go to it just looking) and then when the cows come in the arena, she just watches them and I can feel her heart beat.  She just can hardly wait till its her turn to work. 
    It is so much fun to work with a horse that enjoys her job, and not just enjoys it, but really can't wait to do it.  It sure makes it more enjoyable for me more than I thought. I thought my other horses liked their jobs until I got Jessie.  Some of it I am sure is her breeding, but it makes me think that the training and showing she has had must have a big part of that too.

2 comments:

Cheyenne said...

I thought about this. Gracie is 11 years old, a mare and has been with me since she was 3.
She was started as a trail horse, and after a couple of years she was great at that, brave, strong, positive, and loves going long distances at the walk or lope.
But put her in an arena? And WOW! She loses the plot! She isnt happy being inside at all.
My other horse Sunny, is rising 3, but has been brought up with both environments. She rides in the arena and outside.
She isnt bothered! So what causes it? Perhaps its what we unconsciously do? Maybe we, prefer outside to inside and vice versa. Maybe the horse picks it up from us?

Shirley said...

I think when you say that a horse likes it's job it refers to horses that have a specific job, like cutting, or roping, or working a feedlot, or pulling a carriage, as compared to horses that are used for general work, and have a variety of things to do. I had a horse that seemed content to do all the different things I asked of him, but when we started to team rope- heeling- he really came to life. He literally waited at the gait, stuck his head in the halter, and loaded in the trailer like he couldn't wait to get there.
I wonder how Kali would do as a 4H horse.