Nasty Tasting Treats

Dharma Gita was a purebred Arabian colt (a son of the stallion Kobyashi, whom I Dressaged), orphaned at birth and raised by humans. This has its advantages and disadvantages. Little Gita did not know that he was a horse for several months of his early development. He rode around in the back, open area of my VW bus (I had 2 buses and one was not a camper, so it worked well for tiny colt transport).

8-15-2008 45233 PM

As he grew and became strong, he would test out normal colt stuff – like biting – on any available human. It was a challenge to educate him without brutalizing him. Another colt would have bitten him back, but my elderly Appaloosa (who became his equine companion) just put up with it!

One night I made herbal treats for the horses, combining things they needed as they faced the coming winter and storms. I mixed peppermint and garlic and anise seed and kelp and echinacea and all manner of therapeutic plants without considering how the combination would taste. I worked for hours and had 3 gallon jars full of them!

The next day was a disappointment. The horses hated the treats, especially Gita!

looking at you

When I offered a nasty tasting treat to him, he would take it, flemen (curl his lip up) then spit over and over dramatically. It took a couple of days for me to realize what a tool I had created. Gita was always “mugging” people for treats and being pushy with us… so, I had anyone handling him carry the nasty tasting treats. When he would mug or push or get nippy, we would just push a NTT into his mouth.

I swear, the NTT’s cured him! It was an immediate “correction” or behaviour modification, when he did the inappropriate behaviour. It was brilliant.

Swiping at him never helped (we were not fast enough to “hit” him correctly and it was like a game to him), it would have made him head shy. By the time the 3 gallons of little treats were used up, Mr. Gita was a new “man”. And, he got some healthy herbs into his mouth.

Darj and Katharine

Dharma Gita, too big to ride in the bus anymore

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Categories: Saving Horses | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

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