I hope you are having great day.
You are probably wondering why this post is titled ‘Meet Vanilla………’ since most of you will be familiar with a Vanilla bean. But this time I am not talking about a delicious flavouring, I am talking about my new 3 year old Filly Foal 🙂
She is 1/4 Arabian 1/4 Thoroughbred and 1/2 Welsh filly though she is nearly a mare. She is so cute and friendly, already halter-broken by the time I got her. Being halter-broken means her training has already begun and she has accepted a halter/head collar and lead rope and to be lead around.
Recently I have written up a training program for her so I can continue her training. Last week I was working to get her to accept a Hackamore (a bit-less bridle) by leading her to the fence, tying her up and smothering the Hackamore with the scent of a titbit (an apple or carrot). Then I guided the Hackamore over her head. Once it was on and Vanilla was not consistently tossing her head around, I gave her the tidbit and then lead her around our yard with the Hackamore. This I did every day until she was used to it and then on Sunday (yesterday) I decided to she how she would react to the English bitted bridle. That didn’t go as well as the Hackamore.
So I had her tied up at the fence as usual and smothered the bitted bridle with the scent of apple. Then I guided the bit into her mouth and the fastening straps over her head. She stood still for a moment, mouthing the bit and then when I attempted to lead her forward at a walk she trotted ahead of me. I pulled in on the reins a little (of course I was still leading her) and the pull on the bit in her mouth must have surprised her because she reared up suddenly. I let go of the reins and moved away from her so as not to get kicked.
When she came down again I slowly approached her singing softly, of course she could not understand what I was saying but horses are experts at the tone of your voice. I grabbed hold of her reins and held her tightly, still singing. Unfortunately, there was another horse being trained to accept the bitted bridle by my sister and her horse was going crazy, obviously hating the bit. Her horse kicked out at Vanilla (accidentally I think) and Vanilla galloped off like crazy.
Finally, she slowed down and I walked over to her speaking softly, but firmly. I grabbed her reins, just at that moment Iluka’s crazy horse ran past kicking Vanilla again. The scene I just described got replayed. After I had grabbed Vanilla’s reins Iluka took her horse away and I led Vanilla in a circle singing softly to calm myself down as much as Vanilla!
Afterwards I removed her bridle and took her back to her stall to give her a grooming. I also gave her an apple to calm her down.
I am going to try and put the bridle on her and lead her around this afternoon so wish me luck!!