Teddi has been working on relaxing and gentling with Horsemanship Volunteer Phoebe. We have seen wonderful changes in Teddi over the last few months as she develops more of a bond with Phoebe.
We want to take a quick moment to acknowledge and thank Phoebe for her dedication and help with this sensitive mare. This work is truly at the heart of SAFE’s mission. Even after Teddi’s diagnosis of ring bone, Phoebe has been devoted to helping her learn to be more relaxed and trusting around people. Just because she may not be able to become a riding horse doesn’t mean the horsemanship work stops. Normal day to day interactions with people are just important as being able to sit on a horse and ride. It may not be the most exciting part of working with horses but helping them discover trust in people is essential to their adoptability. People don’t want to open their homes to ill mannered horses. Furthermore, an ungentle horse is more likely to be mistreated or abused. People label them as naughty or troubled when in fact they are most likely afraid and confused. We know that Teddi is a wonderful mare but we also realize that when she came into SAFE she was frightened, reactionary and at times even unsafe or unpredictable to be around. In order for her to find a home she has to have a good relationship with people. She needs to accept simple things like having her feel picked up and getting fly sprayed. This takes a lot of time and patience, especially since her previous encounters with people left her confused and afraid. The work Phoebe is doing with Teddi is not only setting her up for a successful adoption, it is literally helping save her life.
Here is what Phoebe has to say about her recent work with Teddi:
Teddi was almost happy to be worked! Only one flinch from the flag, tense for the spray but lowered her head when asked and relaxed. Took her in the round corral – I haven’t been in there with her because of her ring bone, but I wanted to get her to hook on, building on what had previously been done. After 3 laps each direction at her own pace (some was galloping/bucking), she hooked on. I then put the rope to her opposite side, brought it around her rump, and asked her to turn around with me in her blind spot. She thought about scooting but decided not to, and ended up doing great both sides.