Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Ask Tuffy: Training a human to groom

It has been awhile since I have answered mail, so I thought I'd post an inquiry here:

Dear Tuffy,

I simply don't know what to do. My human cannot seem to get grooming down. She brushes way too hard and it makes my skin sore. I know she doesn't mean too, but she simply puts too much pressure and I shiver the whole time. What can I do to make her lighten up?

Signed Shivering and Sad.

Dear Shivering,

I sympathize, truly I do. Being brushed by a stiff hard brush is torture. Training your human to lighten her pressure will be difficult. Some humans never realize our skin is so sensitive. Try moving away from the brush, tossing your head and perhaps nipping at her. When she brushes you with the right pressure relax and lean in a bit, to show her it pleases you. If she continues to abuse your hide make it difficult for her to catch you. I suggest trotting off right as she comes up and then letting her get close several times before running off again. This type of behavior will teach her that her presence is annoying and she must change her ways.
Another thing you can do is grab the harsh brushes out of the grooming kit and shred them, or drop them where the barn hound will get them. They make great chew toys.
There is not reason for a horse to be brushed without care for his delicate skin. Even mud and dirt don't merit harsh treatment. Perhaps you can nudge her into a wall or doorway and she will get the hint. Sadly, sometimes we horses must use aversion therapy to get our humans to behave.



Brother & Palamino said...

HA HA! Thank you Tuffy, this is brother, Mr Palamino thinks he is so smart just because he is "cowy" ;) Tell this fella hopefully his mom is as nice as ours and she will learn. I have to admit my mom had a little trouble with this but it was easily cured, I gave her "my look" it is eyes wide to show the white part, then I flare my nostrils, once in awhile a foot stomp to punctuate my point. She is a quick learner as she has figured out this to be my ticked off look. She has only had me for about 3 months. I picked her because she was a good friend of my ex human, she would come and hug me and walk me around and bring me carrots so when I decided to trade in my other human as I liked this one much better.

Keep up the great blog....ugh I think I hear palamino coming.

Tuffy Horse said...


How nice of you to stop by! Obviously you're palomino sibling doesn't know everything does he?
I'm so glad you were able to train your human to be gentle. Sometimes a few crushed toes is all it takes to get the point across!

Silly Filly in MD said...

Looks like horses are getting more handy (hoofy) with technology.
Perhaps we should all password our computers before they start downloading horse centerfolds!