Daryl is a new horse for the ranch rescue and needs a bit of work (and a bit more fat on his bones). He’s a Peruvian Paso which is an amazing little breed from Peru. The Paso’s are basically the quarter horse of South America and were used by Peruvian cowboys on their large cattle ranches. Paso’s are neat because they move in a special way called a gait which makes them very smooth even when they’re going fast. And yes, Daryl is named after Daryl Dixon from the Walking Dead.
Daryl the horse is not quite a zombie killer yet. As a matter of fact, if he saw a zombie he would probably faint. Daryl is a bit of a chicken.
I’ve been working with Daryl about not freaking out over everything. He’s a very good horse and so comfortable to ride, but he has a lot of anxiety. The good news is that he’s very quickly overcoming it and learning to not only calm down, but to stand still if he’s afraid instead of running away from it (a good life lesson, huh?).
The way you accomplish this is by doing something scary such as shaking a plastic bag until the horse realizes that it isn’t a monster that is going to eat him. Eventually he will stand still and relax. That’s when you stop shaking the bag.
I’ve been working with Daryl on this for the past week and he lets me do all sorts of things to him now. At first I couldn’t even walk up to him to put the halter on without him freaking out and now I can swing a rope over his head and hit the ground with a whip and jump around like a crazy person and he just stands there.
But the funny thing is that he seems to forget that it’s not scary. I’ll stop doing the scary thing for a minute and do it again and he totally freaks out. OH MY GOSH!!! THAT’S A MONSTER!!!! I’M GONNA DIE!!! Oh wait a minute, he then says. That’s what you were doing before, huh? And then he sighs and stands there. Silly horse. Another week or two and he’ll be able to go out hunting those zombies.
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