Sunday, October 12, 2014

I'm Having SO Much Fun!

Isn't he just absolutely handsome?
Pay no attention to the fact that I'm just pitching his poop to the other side of the fence.  Truth is, I'm afraid to take the wheelbarrow in there.  He'd play with it and probably get a leg caught in it or something.

I just love my handmade coffee cup given to me years ago by a wonderful woman who also made it possible for me to bring my real horse home.  I am forever deeply grateful.

I'm not sure how I'm going to get a halter on him again.  He is lightning fast at sucking it into his mouth.

I tend to forget that not everyone knows that a BLM mustang is untouched, unhandled, unhaltered, except by force in a squeeze chute.  This guy did accept pets on his face before I brought him home, but that isn't the norm.  You can't just halter them up and lead them around.  You can't even necessarily expect them to keep it together when you enter their pen.  Every little thing is a huge accomplishment.  I LOVE this part of the training. 

To begin with, all I could do was touch his face.  Then he allowed body rubs with the training stick, then he allowed my hand but only when starting with the training stick, then he allowed my hand but only on one side while he was eating.  Now I can scratch him all over both sides from face to hip, put my arm over or under and scratch the other side of his neck, and even rub his tail head on one side.  I had one hand on his shoulder and my body against him when I rubbed his tail, which is a HUGE step.  Not just two hands, fully body contact! 

I'm being cautious about his hind end because I don't have control over his front end.  He has only offered to kick a couple times, but I admit I pushed too hard those couple times, and it wasn't about touch, it was about proximity and speed.  He does not want to be chased around.  I am respecting that right now, not because he kicked out at me, but because it made him uncomfortable enough to think about escape, mentally and physically.  I don't really enjoy chasing them around anyway.  I want them to want to be near me, not run from me.  Later, when he is ready, we will learn about movement, speed, etc.  We have all the time in the world.

Here he is uncomfortable. He decided it was okay for me to rub his poll, but he still has reservations.

Here he is checking me out while I rub him, which I like.  I'd rather have him interacting than have him standing and enduring.  Later on I even had him wiggling his lips in enjoyment of a good wither scratching.
I try to pay attention and move away before he does, and give him a lot of releases (walk away) even if he's not looking overly uncomfortable.  My being next to him is still a bit of a stress, and he deserves lots of breaks.

I pushed his mane over and had a clear view of his brand for the first time.  Not that I can read it with his winter coat coming in.  It almost roughly looks like it says "Unity."  But of course it is not made up of letters, it is a string of symbols representing numbers.

We made so very much progress today, and we both enjoyed it.  At one point he was looking very sleepy, and started licking and chewing, so I left.  He stuck his head through the fence and wanted to follow me.  Happy, happy day.


Kate said...

Great fun to read about your work with him!

Cindy D. said...

It is so nice to hear you so happy!

Keechy said...

That is a lovely soft eye he has there in the last pic. He is a kind boy.

Snipe said...

Looks like you got a good one.