Batman’s Last Day at the Farm

I sent Batman back to his breeder. Owning this horse has been quite an experience. I went from “I have such a friendly horse” to “uh oh, I don’t feel safe on this horse”. What happened? This is how Batman looked when I first met him. He grew taller and wider at our farm.  I rode him once at the breeder’s place. There were two other horses with me. He seemed ok. At that time my biggest concern was that his mane looked chopped off at the top.

When I first met Batman
When I first met Batman

This is the 2nd time I got thrown off Batman. He spooked! I figured he needed more groundwork. So I dug in and did a lot of groundwork.

he spooked on the "flag", a sack hanging on a bamboo pole
he spooked on a sack hanging on a bamboo pole

I was pretty happy with Batman’s groundwork!

lunging for respect
lunging for respect

The riding portion, not so much. At one point, I thought we had a riding breakthrough in the arena. He was responding nicely to my cues and moving well. But the next time I rode him I sensed that something was off. On my birthday weekend and he threw me off and stepped on my foot. The following weekend, he bit me hard on the arm. It was like he figured out what I wanted him to do and decided to do the opposite. I realized that Batman was not the right horse for me.

Do I look tense?
Do I look tense?

Loading a horse into a trailer is serious business! After one botched attempt, here we are doing things properly. It was great to watch Darwin work with Batman. The key is to make the horse think that being outside the trailer is hard work and being inside the trailer is where you rest and relax.

Step 1 Bring in Darwin to load Batman into the trailer
Step 1 Bring in Darwin to load Batman into the trailer

It takes time, patience, and horse handling skills!

resting
resting

Takoy, calmly having his hooves trimmed while watching the trailer loading proceedings.

Takoy
Takoy

Soon Batman was ready to enter the trailer!

drenched in sweat now
drenched in sweat now

Now Batman is safely back at his breeder’s farm. He’s with people who are much more qualified to deal with him. My confidence in my horse handling skills is shaken, but I’m thankful that I had the sense to recognize the limits of my horse skills and get out of the situation with just a few bruises. Next week I’ll be starting a Horsemanship 101 training program for my caretakers, just in case there was something they were doing that contributed to Batman’s becoming so hard-headed.

Goodbye Batman.  I wish you well!

9 thoughts on “Batman’s Last Day at the Farm”

  1. Hi Sylvs, So sorry to hear you had to return Batman. Don’t mean to pry but will you get a refund from Marco L or a replacement? Oh man if you had difficulty with Batman, my chances to get my dream horse starting to look pretty hazy…..My husband, Jon freaked out when I told him how many times you were thrown off despite all the work you put in to train Batman. I might have to settle for a Great Dane….awwww

    1. Hi Ross, he’s buying the horse back, which is the best case scenario. I wanted to make sure Batman ended up in good hands. Dogs are a lot easier than horses! Hahaha! Also, read the comment below yours!

  2. Ross Harper, not all horses are bad 🙂 batman was also really, really young. Also, depends on what kind of riding you want to do 🙂 Marco’s horses are from pretty good stock, but that doesn’t mean every horse is compatible to every rider. Also, no matter your discipline, get ready to fall 🙂 it happens, but the severity of it is up to you 🙂

    1. I know not all horses are bad. Same goes with Rottweilers & Pit Bulls despite the bad raps they often get. I think you misunderstood my comment but thanks anyway.

  3. Oh Sylvs—I KNOW you did all you could. I totally get that sometimes it is best for all to make this kind of decision.

    I did that with my cat and she is such a happy princess in her new life!

    1. This whole horses thing makes me think “be careful what you wish for!” I don’t feel sad, more like relief!
      You gave your cat a GREAT 2nd home! Wow, that was a very sweet deal for your cat!

      1. Hahah—yes, I totally understand the feeling of relief too! My cat won the powerball (so to speak) with her new home!

    1. I stopped riding him because I was focusing on Batman. But now I’m riding him again. He’s so nice and easy to ride. I wish I had two of him. I let my kids and even Kenny’s kids ride him. He’s the one who improved with all my groundwork!

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