Like humans, when an animal starts to gain confidence they often try to test their boundary lines or try to stretch that elastic band just a little bit too far! and this is exactly what our brave Lauder Lass tried last night!
Upon unloading some hay, at a different time of day to normal, which is generally through the day, but on this occasion it was in the evening, around the time when all our animals would be coming in for the evening. Our faithful Mare a.k.a. as ‘Wise one’ in Lauder Lass’s Book, was waiting at the gate. Now under normal circumstances Lauder Lass would, since the last telling off 3 months ago, wait at the other side of her stream, but for some reason she felt this hay milarky was all just taking too long.
Across the stream she came, stood on her ramp, ( her hoof filing ramp) and clearly felt that she should have been in long before now. She stomped the ground a couple of times, started to pace towards the gate, where Wise One was standing patiently, and offered to be absolutely horrible to Wise One, who is the eldest of our herd. (It has been clear for a wee while now that she wishes to take over from Wise One or wants to step in to her shoes – but this behaviour, to date any way, Wise One has managed to keep under control.
Growling squeals and I was out there like a shot, changed my tone of voice altogether, a tone that said ‘ get out of that and don’t you dare’ at the first word ‘get’ she about turned and immediately realised this behaviour was not acceptable.
All our horses come in when our body language invites them or when their body language asks to come in, we don’t have to use ‘bribery and corruption’ (a treat or a bucket of feed) or indeed a halter. Now, under normal circumstances, she would generally come in third, but because of her behaviour, our body language, which was more astute than normal, standing straighter with a less relaxed swagger to our walk, instructed her to come in last. . . she was extremely sheepy in her look, knowing dash fine that she should not have even thought about what she had done.
This was enough to make her a complete and utter sap. Filled with guilt she apologised by nudging so very gently and resting her head on my shoulder with slow blinking sleepy eyes.
The lesson from this – a change of voice is enough to reprimand anyone or any animal, there is no need for abuse of any sort, PLEASE TRY IT – it truly works and will gain respect immediately and not initiate a fear of the reprimand.
From her pattern to date, this has been only the second time she has had to be corrected, and each time she has learnt and from their on acts according to a similar situation.
It also goes to show you that change of routine can show ‘uncertainty or a reason to question’ in animals as well as humans.
Had she not listened to the change of tone or her change in order of coming in, the next stage would have been to NOT have had HER hay net waiting for her . . . . . so, if your child does something like this, try changing your tone first, but not to the one that they regularly hear – – – if they don’t listen to that then go on strike for ten minutes, do not lay their food on the table, or do not do as you would normally do for them for ten minutes or so . . . . or at least until they wonder why you are or have not done it. Other things that could work, ban their favourite toy/video/c.d. T.V. for a short period!
Thank you for reading this little post and we hope it will help someone or some animal so that bolshi behaviour can be brought in to check straight away by utilising a ‘self learning method’, Nip it in the bud but more importantly be consistent! You can’t bake a good cake without the ingredients being a good consistency !
If you are having trouble with an animal or human please feel free to contact us.