Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Personality Disorder??

Buddy seems to have a personality disorder.  Now if he was human I could probably make a fairly accurate DSM-IV (the psyciatric diagnosis bible) diagnosis.  However he is of the equine species and this makes using my psychology background somewhat more challenging.  

I can currently split his personality into pre and post training.  Pre- training he was the spawn of the devil, always into mischief and pestering and bullying all the other animals without rest.  Post-training he's calm, stands around and coexists peacefully with his pen mates.  Except last night he reverted back to his former behaviours.  He tried to pull Whiskey's bucket through the fence, eat the chain holding the bucket to said fence, chase Roxy around (she tried to kick the snot out him for daring), chase the calves, pull a piece of tin off the shelter.  All in all he was his wild busy self.

So tonight you would think he'd remain his busy wild eyed self - but he was back to freakishly quiet Buddy.  I let him with nothing but a rope around his neck!!! From his isolation pen (worried he'd hurt a calf so he didn't get to stay with them) to the corral I work with the horses in.  Turned him loose.... and nothing.  No bucking, snorting, blowing.  Nothing!  After leaving him for a while I decide to work with him.  The goal was to get him to face up and follow me.  Do you predict a long or short work?

The first time took for what seemed like forever.  Tonight it was almost immediate.  I'm talking I got him moving, he loped around no more than 8 laps, then slowed to a trot then a walk, and boom looked at me.  I casually began to walk around (all in the neutral body position), and he pivoted to watch.  I backed up a few steps and he walked right up to me.  A few scratches and I once again walk away, with him following!  We did serpentines and changed directions successfully.  So I quit.

Seriously, I really do think he has some personality confusion.  Tonight we worked during thunder and you'd think this would make him a bit more spunky.  Last night was a beautiful clear and warm evening and he's wild.  I really don't understand but I'd sure like to figure it out.  What is causing him to display two polar personality types?

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