Monday, September 14, 2015

Picking your battles.

Yes, I'm alive. I currently work 48 hours at my full time job, help turnout horses 6 days a week at Digby's barn and pick up pet sitting jobs occasionally. I eat, sleep and work. Oh and there's been some beer drinking and TV watching cause football is back! Whoo!

One of the yearlings I groom. Doesn't actually stand this close up front hahhaha!
Yearling season is in full swing. This means I'm personally prepping 6 yearlings for the sale in November. We have almost 30 in total but I'm only in charge of 6. I have 3 fillies and 3 colts this year. We get the yearlings in at the middle or end of August and they are basically never worked with before. They can't lead and definitely can't be groomed. We've really only messed with them to give them shots, dewormer and get their feet done. This does not mean they can pick up their feet though. They definitely can't.

Not my yearling but she's a witch. I promise, she only looks sweet.
I've been avoiding being kicked, run over, struck, stepped on, otherwise injured and I'm trying to break my yearlings. So far I've been successful! I try to take it day by day with the horses, especially the fillies. The females, I'm sure no one will be surprised, are a bit more sensitive and moody. Even as yearlings, they can come into heat. Even if they aren't in heat, they can be a bit touch and go. Anyway, I was working with one of my colts the other day and for whatever reason, he was all kinds of wound up. He was spooky coming out of his stall, didn't want to walk into the grooming stall, fussed on the cross ties. The yearlings have been in for several weeks so they're pretty good about most of the things I ask of them. I get to focus on really GROOMING now instead of trying to make things simple and make sure the yearlings are calm and understand what I'm asking. He was fussing and just being kind of a dick. I was a bit flustered. It was SO hot out, I was frustrated, it was my last horse and I was pretty mentally done. I very much wanted to yell at him. I needed to pick his feet and he was convinced I had never brushed his legs and definitely never cleaned his face and how dare I ask him stand still on the cross ties because I've never asked him to do that before! I took a step back and realized, you should really pick your battles here. He's obviously having a rough day so don't even try to pick his feet. It would just start a fight and you're tired, he's tired, it wouldn't be worth it. I decided I'd work on brushing, to hell with feet picking. To hell with standing stock still on the cross ties.

"Should I get up? I'm not sure. What do I do?! OMG"
So I didn't pick his feet. I settled on standing sort of still on the cross ties and that his legs were brushed. The next day he was much better. He stood still. I brushed him all over. He picked up all 4 feet, zero drama. Success. I could of refused to leave until he had done everything I asked. I really could of. I'm glad I didn't. This really applies to life, on a whole. I've been thinking a lot lately and realized that it's just not possible to win every battle. Make sure the ones you pick are worth fighting.


  1. I definitely had to chose my battles when my two were yearlings... They had such a short attention span. My filly was much more cooperative than my colt though - sounds like you're having the opposite experience!

    Glad to hear that you're alive - hope you get some time off soon :)

  2. i'm a big believer in not turning every little thing into a huge production. good for you for recognizing what was really the important detail, and what would probably smooth itself over without a big fuss