Thursday, April 15, 2010

A Spider Moment

I've mentioned Spider's abnormal jealous behavior before. It doesn't really affect his dressage training so much, so I usually just brush it off. Every horse has a quirk or two. But this evening he really made a nuisance of himself.

Spider's hock was still a bit tender, so I gave him the day off. He still got groomed, like he does every morning during breakfast along with the others. When I do their daily grooming, I only take out the little soft curry and give them a once over. It gives me a chance to check for bug-bites and boo-boos and I think it makes them feel special, too. During this morning's grooming session, I noticed Matilda could use a little extra attention to get her winter coat off. So, this evening when I had some time, I went to get her out to give her a good shedding. And then all Hell broke loose.

As soon as Spider saw me headed for the pasture gate with Matilda, he charged. Not at me, but at poor little Matilda. I told him to get back, and he did....but as soon as I had Matilda out the gate he started banging on the gate. Then he started neighing frantically. Then the running started. He ran all around the pasture, screaming his head off. It was such a commotion that my husband came running out of the house, convinced that something terrible had happened. All because I had taken Matilda out and not Spider. It was really quite embarrassing. But, I ignored him (which was very difficult) and he eventually calmed down, after a half hour or so. I waited until he had stopped throwing a fit before I put Matilda back. I also ignored him when I went into the pasture to turn Matilda back out. No need to reward his Drama Queen antics.

Matilda, much to her credit, was completely unaffected by the histrionics. She enjoyed her grooming session immensely. I think I pulled enough hair off of her to coat another pony, it must feel good to be rid of that.

This odd little quirk of Spider's continues to puzzle me. It's not herd sourness, he could care less if he's out without the others. He only acts this way when I take one of the other horses out. It seems to be jealousy, but it's not as though he doesn't get more than his fair share of attention. Maybe that's the problem, he gets too much attention. I do tend to indulge him.

I think it's safe to say that his hock probably isn't bothering him that much, considering all the running he did this evening. He'll be back to work tomorrow. I'll be taking Matilda out to groom again, too. I might even take Vinny out, if I have time, just to annoy Spider.

Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to have a normal horse. But then what would I have to blog about? *LOL*

Related Posts:
It's All About Spider


  1. Some horses do get jealous - and it can be pretty pronounced!

  2. I admire your good horse-sense to ignore his Prima Donna' behaviour.

    He might not be jealousy, but perhaps possessiveness. If he does not care about the others being around him or not, he might be the self-confident dominant horse. You took somebody away from HIS herd. How dare you! LOL.

    IMO it looks more like a stallion behaviour, you tok away his female perhaps to another male ???

    I bet Matilda enjoyed the grooming any new photo of her with less hair ? ;-)

  3. Silly boy.

    My TB mare used to be very miffed when I started riding other horses in addition to her. She was much better if I came and petted her and gave her a treat. Then I could ride everyone in whatever order I wanted.

    Still, her "miffed" was just refusing to look at me and walking away when I came to get her. Spider is definitely his own special case.


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