Tuesday, February 17, 2009


Okay, so plastic bags are scary when they are above you. Spent awhile last night after work with a plastic bag on the end of my stick, after we had a nice grooming session where he just stood there and relaxed. He was also really good about his feet.

I'm not sure if I am missing a piece here, but is there something I could be doing to get him used to things in general, rather than trying to desensitize him to everything I can think of? It seems to be things that make rustling noises that he's not fond of, like plastic or paper. Things like rope or a saddle pad were never really a big deal. Does anyone have any insight on that?

On a good note, he likes his toy! Yay, was hoping it wouldn't be one of those cases where he just completely ignores it.

I was also wondering opinions on making a 5-foot high pen and using my 6-foot high panels (plus a few more) to make a round pen where we could have a bit more room to work. They have some 64" high powder coated Behlen "utility" panels on sale at Del's this week which got me to thinking about doing this.


Reddunappy said...

I have experience with the Belen utility panels, if they are the light gage ones, they will bend bad it a horse runs into them, it is worth the extra for the heaver gage metal, we seen a horse get wrapped up in one of the Belen light wt panels at our fair too, not pretty, one of the kids was able to bend it out to get her out.
just fyi, you have mustangs and if they arent real tame it would be a bad thing these lt panels. I wish they would quit selling the lt wt panels. I worked at feed stores for 8 years and sold belen, the hvy gage is better, but I know a lot more money.
sorry to be a wet blanket.

froglander said...

Hmm, I'll have to go take a look at them. A friend of mine has some of the Behlen utility panels and she has been happy with them. Was trying to figure a way to have both his pen and a round pen without spending a fortune that I don't have. He's never really challenged the panels that I have (the heavy duty Behlen ones) and I thought those would be safer for a round pen. I'll have to think hard and fast, the sale ends on Thursday!

Reddunappy said...

The story behind the horse that got wraped up in the lt panel. (sorry it was late last night when I posted.)Our county tore out all the old stalls at our fairgrounds and decided to replace them all with the 10' lt panels, although they were told by the feed store that sold them, the hvy ones would be better. the kids have a 4-H horse camp about a month before the fair and the fairboard had not had time to put all the plywood on the stalls before the camp. well this horse all she did was kick at a horse next to her, and got her leg caught in the panel, and she sat on it and it just formed to her body, thank god we had a veterinarian mom there who helped and they got her free, she was bruised up but not hurt to badly, thanks to quick action by all involved.
so just a little more info, putting plywood panels on them helps, but by the time you buy all the plywood you might as well have bough the heavy ones.
good luck, I hope you find the ones you want!

Tracey said...

Reddunappy, that sounds pretty scary.

Frog, heavy is better...always. And I remember the name of my lighter round pen now...High Qual. It has little rubber pieces that attach the panels to each other, which is what was breaking apart when Jet went through it last year.

I'd save the pennies and add one panel at a time, just like the ones you've got now. It's amazing what a horse can do in a small pen. If they can work in a small space, they can work in a large one...but it doesn't necessarily hold true the other way around :)

Kara said...

I have also seen the light duty panels bend very easily...a mare kicking at another (once a mare almost ruined her leg kicking at another horse and getting it all tangled in bendy panels), I've seen them crumple under the weight of a 1.5 year old colt trying to breed a mare on the other side. I agree that heavy duty is better.

About desensitizing...I think that there is no way that you can expose them to EVERYTHING. All you can do it teach them how to react and trust you when confronted with something new. To do that, you just need to routinely confront them with new things and teach the appropriate response (expose them to it until they stand still, then remove the new thing). At least that is what has worked well with mine. And you can never (nor do you want to) completely desensitize them. You want them to be concerned for their safety...and if they trust you, they'll wait to hear what you have to say about the scary object before deciding they need to run! The awesome thing about mustangs is that most of them have a very good head on their shoulders. They are aware, but aren't going to over react if they don't have too...that wastes precious energy that a wild horse has learned he needs to conserve. I love mustangs.