I’ve Got a Bag of Tricks for YOU

02Apr13

Today, I’m headed off to see my brother’s family for a couple of days. Eric is going to hold down the farm while I’m gone.

This morning, Eric tested Summit to see how he’d do while I’m still here. Summit decided to try his bag of tricks on Eric. He bit his halter and Eric couldn’t put it on. Eric called me from his cell phone. I brought him out a couple of toothpicks.

When I got there, Summit wasn’t in the right frame of mind to put his halter on. His ears were back and he was being confrontational. We started by driving him away from us until he calmed down. Once he was calmer, we tried again to put it on. He bit it so I poked him lightly with the toopick and he stopped. The halter went on easier.

I handed the lead back to Eric. He walked him out holding the carrot stick (a stick with a rope on one end) in one hand and the lead in the other. Eric had the carrot stick up as if to protect himself. I told him to put it into neutral. When you have it up, you’re asking him to do something. When you have it down, you are not asking anything.

As Eric walked Summit to the gate, Summit followed closely. I told him to make him back up so wouldn’t invade his space. Summit decided to rear. I took back the lead and drove him back with higher intensity. Summit stopped. I handed the lead back to Eric. I told him in order for him to stop, he’ll needed to match his intesity with a little higher intensity until he stops bracing. Summit’s just trying his bag of tricks on Eric. When he finds out they don’t work, he’ll stop.

Eric lead Summit out to the pasture. Every time Summit would move his head toward Eric, I had him drive his nose away by firmly tapping the carrot stick on his halter until he was looking back toward where they were going. 

When they got out to the pasture, Eric went to unhook Summit’s lead. As Summit’s head came down to bite,  Eric took his carrot stick to drive his nose away. He was able to unhook his lead.

I believe the key to working with Summit has been to keep the emotions in check. Getting mad just means you’ve lost control. Being firm and consistent gains respect. Trust is the other key. He will need us to trust him so he can trust us. That means seeing what he’s going to do instead of predicting he will do wrong before he acts. With all this, I’ve seen some big improvements since we brought him here in January. It’s only been 3 months. Just think how far he will come in 3 more months!

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2 Responses to “I’ve Got a Bag of Tricks for YOU”

  1. 1 Mom

    If I were to take care of Summit I would leave the stall and barn door open and let him come and go to food as he wished. No one gets hurt that way.

  2. 2 lavI

    Lol silly summit .hope he is good to Eric while u r gone


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