Saturday, February 7, 2015
I think by now everyone knows about Beka's blog hop. This week she asked: Self-Actualized.
Assuming that your horse has absolutely everything he needs (food, bedding, a warm stall, plenty of blankets, and a pasture mate he neither humps, maims nor gets abused by), what does your horse need to be the best version of himself?
Since Chrome has all of the things he needs (although no guarantee he doesn't get humped by his pasture mates lol), I think there are two things he needs to be the best he can be. One is attention and two is motivation (sounds a lot like me actually)!
If I get busy and don't spend time with him (other than feeding him and cleaning out the barn) he stands at the pasture gate and stares at the house. I thought it was just him wanting me to feed him, but he does it even after he eats and he watches me the whole way to the house until the door closes before he goes to his hay. Every time I walk out of the house and when I drive up in my car he nickers at me. It's so awesome to be greeted by him every time I go outside. :D He thrives on attention. He loves his donkey and goat buddies, but he really is a pocket pony who seeks human attention over that of other horses (and yes he was this way when Faran was here, so it's not because he has no horse companions).
The second thing is motivation. If he is bored or doesn't understand the point of something he gets frustrated. He tries really hard and gets upset if he can't find the right answer. That's one reason I love clicker training with him. It makes it so easy to communicate with him what exactly I want. He loves it because he's working for a reward (heck I wouldn't work my job if I weren't getting a paycheck, so why should he?). Food isn't the only motivation though. He likes play, praise and exploring new trails too. :)
So I honestly think even though he has all the food, hay, shelter, blankets, toys, pasture mates, etc. he would still not be happy without his human interaction (petting, grooming, riding, training, etc.) and I know with his training he would progress a lot faster if he had the right motivation.