Another Day With Our "Crazy" Thoroughbreds

Yesterday's tornadic storms have passed and revealed a beautiful sunny day PERFECT for bomb proofing some of our Spring class! Intern, Irene Kaar, volunteer Catherine Flowers and former intern Erin O'Keefe who stopped in for a visit, spent the morning testing the flightiness of Thoroughbreds.

Irene worked with the 3 year old filly, Victoria. Catherine buddied up with 3 year old gelding Duke, and Erin partnered with 5 year old Moon. The teams started with Natural Horsemanship games and before long horses' heads dropped, ears relaxed, and hind legs cocked. Horses moved off the "leg", yielded shoulders, backed up, came forth, and followed willingly.

Horses now calm, the girls moved on to more exciting challenges: The gnashing pink umbrella, the snakelike fluttering flags were pulled from the "terrifying toy bucket. Reactions varied from mild surprise to complete disinterest! So the next game was the obstacle course which included a small cross rail set between two brush jumps and a wooden bridge which wonderful Tony Yanek, MMSC farm manager, had finished making yesterday. The jump was not a challenge, so the girls moved on to a tougher obstacle: the eight foot long 10 inch high bridge. Victoria was scared at first, shaking, snorting and testing the wooden floor with her nose and one tentative hoof. With a modicum of coaxing, however, this willing little mare faced her fears and followed Irene across the bridge.
Moon, however, previously unflappable to the other challenges, refused the newest adventure. Only by switching to "Horse Time" meaning "it takes the time it takes" and using team work (i.e. Susanna's assistance) did Moon, one foot at a time (a very long time) placed each foot on the bridge and then stood there completely unfazed and, indeed, reluctant to get down.

Duke was a little foot sore, so he was retired early and Catherine soaked his foot in Epsom and packed his hoof. (Note to ourselves: Dukey needs front shoes!). A perfect patient, standing in a tub of hot water, he watched Victoria's every move with calm and keen interest.

Once again these three MMSC horses disproved the myth of crazy Thoroughbreds!