Earlier this month the phone rang and when I answered, the woman apologized for calling so early, but she was too excited to wait longer. It was almost 8:30 a.m. and I had been up for 3 hours so that wasn’t a problem.
She told me she had recently returned from living in Germany and while preparing to move back to the states, she had researched horses in rescues. She found one in Tucson and even though they had taken him off the list of adoptable horses because no one could deal with him, she had decided that was the horse for her and had adopted him a week prior to the phone call.
In an effort to find out more about him, she typed in his name and horse rescue in the Google search and BAM! my blog post (read here first) popped up. She had not said his name yet but there’s only one horse that fits that bill on my blog. The tears welled up in my eyes as I squeaked out, “You have Tobi?” I was so choked up I could hardly continue and I’m practically blind right now writing this from the same condition.
She asked if I would come out and work with the two of them and we made arrangements to meet where he’s now stabled a few days later.
He was out in a corral with some other horses and burros and walked right up to me when we entered the corral. He still was extremely difficult to halter due to his past and doesn’t want his head touched behind his ears, or his ears, or his neck from about two feet back of his ears. But, I worked with him gaining his trust to touch his upper neck and behind the ear area. Asked him to give to his head laterally and vertically but only with my hands. I had not put a rope on him yet. I wanted him to at least start to put his head in a good place for haltering. Then, we moved on to working on-line and he was surprisingly not too bad. I spent a good bit of time letting him know that I was going to be touching him and doing things on the side that he didn’t have an eye.
I then spent some time teaching Angie, his new person, what I was doing and how to help him. I explained that he would need lots of work touching his head while on the fence. Then, came the moment to walk to the fence and see what happened.
It’s been 2 years since that one hour Curbside Service demonstration at the Queen Creek Horse Expo. I hadn’t seen him since.
I purposely walked him up to the fence, and then backed him up as I didn’t want him to Curbside until I spent some time working with his head. After I spent a good bit of time with his head, I just started to ask if he remembered how to Curbside and…
He immediately snapped into position before I could even get my stick up. Well, I couldn’t help it, I just started crying.
Folks, this is not by any stretch the first time this has happened to me with the Curbside Service, but it was just so huge and wonderful that with all Tobi’s troubles and such and two years go by and SNAP!
I tell people all the time that the Curbside Service is wonderful for training anything to any horse because it’s the one exercise that incorporates everything you want to do with your horse. BUT, the sub-title of the book “Change the Way You and Your Horse Think About Each Other” is the most important point.