I have a good girlfriend with two very rambunctious teenage boys. I often ask her how she can stand watching them do the dangerous things that they do without having a heart attack. Her response, "I don't look". So far the hardest part of raising my own filly has been letting her learn to look after herself. Sometimes that means "I don't look". I believe in setting a horse up for success by taking baby steps through new situations... But, it just isn't possible to baby step through every learning curve. Some of them you have to run through with breath held and fingers crossed. It is tempting to avoid those situations but I cant keep Hola bubble wrapped forever. She has to learn stay away from the boss horse or she will spend her life standing alone in a paddock. She has to learn that having a meltdown along the fence line isn't going to get herself turned-in any sooner or she will be the horse that runs through a fence when you take her buddy away. She has to learn to learn that hauling isn't always slow back roads on sunny days, being passed by a semi on a highway in the rain sucks, (for her and for me) but we will survive, hopefully. She has to learn that pulling back wont get her anywhere or she will be that horse that wont tie. It is really hard to not look. To not help. To not avoid the scary situation. And I don't expect her to come away unscathed. She has fallen down while running the fence line. She has got herself snubbed up while tied and panicked and pulled back. The knot held, thank god, and she only pulled for a second, thank god, and then she remembered to come off of pressure, thank god, and she stepped forward, thank god.
Raising'em up yourself isn't for patsies. What I've learned more than anything else is...
The tremendous value of a horse that is already dead broke, solid minded and been-there-done-that. There is a whole shit load of "thank god" moments that lead to that creation of that horse. A whole lot of hard work and a little luck too.
Hola Practicing her Big Fast and Small Slow Circles