Today I was reminded that 1) horses are prey animals, 2) if the horse isn't confident about something, don't just get by... FIX IT UP RIGHT! and 3) respect and honor the horse.
It was darn chilly this morning and I've been protecting the filly I board more lately as she's growing and has a tendency lately to drop weight easily. I want to keep her warm and fat and happy. So, I wanted to put a blanket on her - something I've been doing more with her. It protects her from the herd bites, too.
I've known she's not 100% confident about the blanket, but it's always felt like something we manage. Today, she called me a damned fool who should know better. I had it half on, she lost her confidence and started to move her feet. The more she moved, the more the blanket worried her. Next thing I knew, she was full speed ahead and the blanket was getting caught-up in her legs.
I stayed calm, hoping she'd come running to me - which she normally does. She was so worried though, that she was completely running on adrenalin. She would run for the herd, they would run the opposite direction as they wanted no part of her frenzy and couldn't figure out what was attacking her. It was interesting watching that part and seeing the Cowboy was the one who would turn and run back to her to figure out what on earth the deal was.
She ran to me a few times, asking for help, but wasn't calm enough to stop and get that help. Finally, after what seemed like 30 minutes but was probably more like 90 seconds, she stopped and waited for me. I put the halter and lead on her, took off the blanket (which was now complete confetti with pieces and part laying all over the place), and checked her out for injuries. She had a little skin scrape on her hip and another on her muzzle. Otherwise, she was a little tired and sweaty and starting to settle down.
I walked her around, calmed her down more, and put her into a stall and run for the rest of the morning. Now, I have to get her to understand that the blanket isn't going to eat her. We'll have to get past this slowly and right.