She’s pretty, that’s for sure. She’s also often a huge pain in the backside.
She does not load or tie, she often dislikes grooming, knows her name, but does not come to see you at the gate.
People call Appaloosas stubborn, and we appaloosa people try to defend our breed, but the others are usually right. Appaloosas do not give things away for free. Their trust must be earned, their friendship must be earned, and if you try to force them, they loose all respect for you. -of course, this basically applies to most horses, and other animals, but Appaloosas have taken it to a donkey level. Don’t get on an Appy’s bad side.
I often get frustrated with Lacey. I try to be kind and nice to her, ask don’t demand, but she doesn’t give an inch. So I sometimes feel I need to up the pressure just enough to say “Hey, can you please do this me for a short time and you can go straight back out?” I have rarely spoiled my horse, because she doesn’t care for it. Her most appreciated reward is simply to go back outside and eat grass in peace (even with horses, she tends to be a bit independent- forming close bonds with only a couple horses over her lifetime).
Clicker training has been a good tool. It allows her to choose and, now when I go into her paddock, she will leave the bale and come to me (usually I must be fairly close, though). She will follow me most of the way to the gate, then I must be really insistent. She doesn’t like coming into the barn, likely because if there are horses in the stalls, they try to bite her. So now, I can barely groom her or tack her because she is trying to leave the barn. This is something we’re working on.
We are working on trailer loading, because she will need surgery to remove her bad eye. I want to make sure she can safely and reliably load before I take her to the clinic. We have made progress, but we’ve still a long way to go.
Now, Lacey has had a few traumatic injuries, so maybe riding is uncomfortable for her. She doesn’t “appear” lame to anyone, I get her massages and chiro when I can, and she is getting a Hyaluronic acid supplement. Still, maybe it’s enough. Or she’s just an appaloosa and she just doesn’t want to.
Some days I wish I had another horse, but I also could never give her away. Besides, we tried to move barns twice, and it failed both times. So Lacey will live forever where she is and when the time comes, she will be buried on the property.
Her stubbornness is probably why she’s still around. Her stubbornness is probably why blindness doesn’t keep her from having races with her pony friend.
Appaloosas ARE stubborn. They’re also very smart.
Champions on one of those rare days where Lacey cooperates.