Tessa does not like the wash rack. For a princess, she sure hates getting cleaned. I have avoided even pushing the issue, but she has a mild case of scratches on one front leg and I wanted to hose it off clean and get a look at it. So after our ride, when she was tired and sweaty, I put her in the wash rack. She danced around a bit but settled down pretty nicely. I ended up giving her an almost full bath. I didn't scrub her hindquarters, but I washed her front feet and sort of washed her back feet. I also did her girth area, mane and tail. The only challenge we had was when she saw something scary (twice) and she decided to push me into the wall. Her little brain turned off and she pushed into me. The more I pushed back, the more she pushed into me. Like a nervous kid looking for it's mommy.
I gave her a shove and an elbow and finally a kick with my boot. She moved over, but her attention was still on the outside and what was going on.
So, for those of you who do groundwork and believe that the key to attention is to get the feet moving, what do you do when you're in an enclosed space (wash rack, trailer, etc.) and your horse is cross tied? How do you regain their attention and get their mind back if, physically, it's not possible for their feet to move much? When she ran over me, I just ended up needing to make myself scarier and bigger than what was on the outside. I didn't do the worst job, but I don't think I got my message across. Mainly because I'm afraid of disciplining horses who are tied. I'm always afraid that if I get after them and they pull back, I will have created a horse who pulls back. And I definitely don't want that!
So, how do you help your horse calm down when movement isn't the best option?