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I love my yard at home. Although we are only there for the Summer while I’m still at University, it is a great experience for both of us. I am lucky that me and Scottie get to come back to my friends private yard. There is 24/7 turnout, a nice ménage, a field with jumps, plenty of great hacking and lots of shows in hacking distance. So I really am spoilt! However, I did not do this post to boast about my yard. What I really wanted to talk about is the fact that this yard is very dog and child friendly. I know that to many, this could be a stressful nightmare with visions of children running around and dogs between the horses legs. And frankly, this is exactly what happens at my yard. All these things make it a very interesting yard!
Although I worry about Scottie standing on someone, all the parents and dog owners are very much “If [dog/child] does [action] near the horse, it’s their own fault.” This makes my life much less stressful! But also, it helps ‘bombproof’ the horses there.
Yesterday was very windy, so Scottie was very on his toes for him when I got him in from the field. (He is normally a dope on a rope!) This was also a day where a friends children decided to run around shouting and have ‘umbrella wars’. Scottie isn’t scared of children, but I can tell he doesn’t quite understand them. Normally he is happy to just ignore them, or occasionally look over. However, the wind and umbrellas were too much – even for our interesting yard!
They started playing ‘umbrella wars’ just as I gave him his dinner, tied up on the yard. Umbrella wars is basically a sword fight with closed umbrellas, and then opening them for a shield… Scottie didn’t like this! However, he didn’t take off, just spook and take a few steps back each time. Therefore I untied him and stood with him, letting him spook and slowly get over it.
As soon as the parents saw it they stopped the children do it. I know if I had said to the children it was scaring the horses, they would stop. However, while Scottie is being fairly good about it all, it’s something I would like to experience. By the time the parents ended the games, Scottie’s reaction had downsized to a flinch or turning to keep an eye of the monster umbrellas.
My point being that I think it is good to expose horses to these sorts of things if you can. As what are the chances you came across something like this while hacking? I am just lucky that Scottie is ‘brave’ enough to not take off and trusts me enough to stand there with me.
What are your opinions on spook proofing your horses? Do any of you have an interesting yard with some great bombproofing children?