Does your horse get spooked by bad weather? Cookie doesn't care for rain, but when you add wind & a downpour she spooks at everything. Add darkness & she's following me around the paddock blowing & on high alert.
Before the bad weather hit, I made a window into her shelter so it wouldn't be quite so dark & she could look out of it & hear things better & I prayed she wouldn't be quite so spooked. Tonight we had some pretty strong storms come through. No lightning or thunder, but a lot of high winds & downpours. When I went out to feed her, I found her on the side of the house. That seems to be her normal spot now especially when it rains. There is a small awning over a window that she backs up into. It covers her hindquarters, but that's about it. I'm thinking at some point, maybe I need to figure out how to extend that awning. lol.
When we went back to her shelter, I situated her manger so that it was under her shelter & she could get in out of the rain to eat, plus the hay wouldn't get soaked in the rain. Not that it would be a bad thing if it did as she would have it eaten before it got moldy, but I didn't want to take any chances. I began filling her tub with hay to encourage her to come in out of the rain. She took a bite & bolted out. A gust of wind had come up & spooked her. I let her be, & just kept talking to her while filling her manger. After closing up the hay shelter & securing her manger, I took a piece of rope & draped it around her neck, led her into her shelter & made her stand there to eat. She would take a few bites & try to go back out into the rain. I led her back into the shelter & this time I wouldn't let her leave. She kept walking back & forth, taking a bite here & there. So I grabbed the ice chest I use to sit on sometimes & put it next to her manger, led her back into the shelter & sat there with a loose catch line while she ate. At first she would jump & try to run. After a while of me petting her & talking to her, she would only raise her head & look around. She would blow from time to time, sniffing the newly formed mud puddle then eat some more hay. About an hour later it was my turn for some dinner. I took the catch line off of her, picked up my seat & headed for the house with her in tow. I told her I appreciated the walk home, but it wasn't necessary. lol. I talked quietly to her while I was putting my stuff away & a gust had sent her snorting, blowing & running across the paddock. So I walked out to where she spooked & said see...it's just a bunch of noise. You'll be alright. I gave her some love & told her it'll be ok go finish your dinner then I came into the house. When I took my dog out so she could do her business, I checked on Cookie & she had gone back to eating.
I have thought several times about giving her a companion of some kind, but right now I just simply cannot afford it. My alternative is to spend as much time with her as I can, especially during bad weather. She hasn't quite made friends with the stray cats that live between me & my neighbor, though I'm hoping they'll become buddies at some point. I would also be a little concerned about the companion because Cookie gets aggressive over food. Her shelter is big enough for 2, but chances are one of them would be out in the rain eating. I'll continue to pray & see where God leads me with this issue. Perhaps, spending more time with Cookie during bad weather will help her to cope with scary things better so she won't bolt all the time. All of these things just give me more insight to how she would be if I were riding her & that gives me a head start on training her on how to react when things get scary.
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