Monday, September 28, 2009

There's a wind coming in from the east that's full of smoke and dust. Anchor isn't too fond of wind, but he's not a total basketcase by any means. Just sometimes it makes his work with me a little harder for him. He contains himself well, but not quite as well as usual.

Anchor made a lot of good progress today. No leg work, I decided to concentrate on the halter. I visualized how I put a halter on and thought of the steps I need to take to make that okay for him. I don't know how I'll ever get it over his nose. Not that I'm even anywhere near trying that yet. I rubbed him with the bunched up halter on both sides and then let it out to flop around on his neck and chest while I scratched him. I got as far forward as I could. It kind of flicked him between his jawbones underneath and boy did he not like that! I scratched there with just my hand instead. Same thing on the side of his jaw. The halter rope near his eye made him skittish.

Then I hung the halter in my left hand as I do when about to put on the halter, scratched under his neck, and ran my right hand up over his neck and scratched there. I can't press my body too close to him, so my two hands couldn't meet on the other side, but I think the almost hug that we did do is awesome progress. And he really wasn't nervous about it at all. I was surprised.

The thing that bothered him the most today: brushing. I decided to try brushing him. He's kinda grody. Flaky skin and dirt. He didn't like the weird rhythmic pressure and brushing motion. It only took a few minutes though before I saw signs that he actually liked it. Cool.

Oh, and another thing, he's getting one-sided again. Most of my work has been on his left, because of the halter stuff. I need to fix that.

After working with Anchor I moved Scout in with the old horses. He's such a sweetheart. He's like my puppy, happy to follow. He's been hanging out at the gate wanting something to do. When things settle down around here I think I'll start ponying him.


froglander said...

You are doing a marvelous job with Anchor! I bet his owner won't recognize him when they get him back :)

Anonymous said...

I love how you break things down into very small steps - I try to follow your example when working with Dawn.

arlene said...

The steps you are taking with Anchor's halter training are the same as I did with Wildairo..bunching the halter up and rubbing it on him..touching the top of his head to get him used to it. With Echo it's totally different and I'm starting to wonder if he'll ever get over his spooky behavior. Brad seems to think he'll settle down.

Tracey said...

Hang in there, Andrea! You've made great strides already in a short time. I like the rubbing the halter all over to help him relate it to a good feeling process.