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