In Chains

Once again, Rodney takes years to master what other horses handle as a matter of course.

You may have missed the important part of this picture [Trailer Training]. Or perhaps you were wondering about the 2-rope system. Until now, we have not been able to put a chain over Rodney’s nose. He would get hysterical, making the situation worse instead of better.

Then, I noticed when he was misbehaving about the trailer recently [ibid], he was being pushy rather than upset. Hmm. Time to try a chain again? It took some convincing to get it on the first time: alarm, head tossing, running about. I moved slowly and finally got it on and wrapped around the halter. FWIW, I like to run the chain up the side of the halter rather than just over the nose. That way the halter isn’t pulled into the off-side eye when you tug – ever so gently – on the leadshank. Rodney did not like the rattling sound, but he lived. I guess 7 years have built up some trust.

The second line is plain rope with a snap, used – in essence – as a snaffle lead, with the leather-and-chain as the curb lead. Sigh.

I wished we lived in a unFallen world wherein we could direct horses with the power of love alone. We don’t. When 1/2-ton of horse has a hissy fit about cows next to the show ring, the only thing that keeps the kite on the ground is control of the snoot. I’ve noticed that the first thing the warm, fuzzy horse gurus do is put a chain/rope over the nose, or sell you a special halter that does essentially the same thing

One year, we had just arrived at Nationals. I took Alvin for a walk to stretch his legs after the trailer ride. All we had were chain shanks. I dislike holding the bare chain, so I put it over his nose, even though I didn’t need it. This was Alvin. How bad could he be? HA. I barely kept control even with the chain. Old man was ready to party!

So, we are one step closer to taking Rodney places. I had been reluctant to step out into the world without emergency brakes. Will this lead to anything? Will he ever become my awesome show horse? Who knows. At least it’s progress.

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott

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