I couldn't decide if I wanted to go to my sister's today - I could just work at home, and then maybe I could work with three horses. But there have been a few things that have been bugging me, and I figured I sure could use another set of eyes and ideas.
The first thing she suggested was using treats. He's been tense, watchful, and kinda introverted. He would be okay with something one day and then we'd have to start over again the next, because he wasn't really okay at all - he was just surviving.
The treats turned his brain back on and got him interested and engaged. He was seeking a dialog instead of just letting things happen. I'm totally not against using treats, as long as you're not rewarding bad behavior. I just haven't had any treats, and I rarely remember to stick some carrots in my pocket.
One of the things, maybe the biggest thing, he's had trouble with is switching eyes. He didn't like me reaching over him, although he would tolerate it and even look at my hand on the other side, and he couldn't stand still for me to walk behind him. That was just too damn terrifying.
He's not sure he likes this game at all.
I just kinda like this picture.
Here he says he just can't stand still and let me walk around his butt.
Oh my gosh, would you look at this!
I did successfully walk behind him from both directions. He would still have to move, but not until after I'd switched sides, and it wasn't a scoot and bolt, just a turning around to face me. At the end, he didn't even do that. We broke it up with some other stuff so it didn't get too intense.
I mentioned to my sister that he wasn't comfortable yet with me being above him, and she insisted I work him from the fence. This isn't something I do. It's really uncomfortable! But it was sure a good thing to do today.
Once he got to where he understood where I wanted him, I'd lean over and give him a treat from the other side. So he's not hiding away behind half-closed lids and then shocked when he actually sees me on that other side, he's actively searching for my hand.
Good boy :)
Not sure about this.
Maybe this is okay.
Yes, this is about as comfortable as it looks. Which is not very.
He's cute. My posture sucks. But one day I'll be sitting on his back, not behind it.
Check him out! Interest, not fear.
What a good boy.
I even put my weight on his back. He thought that was weird, I thought it was uncomfortable.
When I got home Bella helped me learn that I have a little PTSD from Tonka's accident. I heard a big metallic bang, and I couldn't see her, so I hauled butt out to the grain bins with a halter & lead in my hand. I figured I could use it to find a way to MAKE her get up if she was cast. But what if she had a broken leg? What if I had to have her put down inside the grain bin? How would I get her body out? I was all business and ready to tackle whatever the problem was, but all sorts of thoughts were going through my head.
This is what I found - Bella's tail knotted around some gate hardware, and her shaking like a leaf, pulling on it.
And I was thinking about riding her, just a little. She got this award today:
And I really want to work on Level 2!