We have had absolutely fabulous weather here the past few days! That is supposed to change tonite...bad storms coming in tonite and tomorrow. Oklahoma already got whammied and we are in the path of it. I hope the tornadoes stay away!
Tonite I got home at a decent hour and worked with both boys. I spent most of the daylight hour with Vegas. He really looks to me to keep him safe, but he is going to have to learn how to deal with the stressors in his life. He is such a reactor! We have a ball that is now deflated that the other horses played with. I will throw it in the air with the jolly ball and let them land around the boys. Wyoming will move, but he is not all crazy about it. He will jump, look at it, then go check it out. Vegas will jump, then run, snorting the whole time, then he will turn around and he can care less what it is - he is not going there!
So tonite I put the halter on him, and I walked him around behind me while I threw the ball in the air and caught it several times. I do that with all scary stuff in the beginning...I hold it myself and walk away, that way they are chasing the scary thing and it isn't chasing them. No pictures of that...I was flying solo tonite. I could feel him hesitate every time that thing went in the air, and I just kept walking and tossing, walking and tossing, changed directions and walked and tossed some more. When I felt him quit reacting, I did it a couple more times to make sure it was not a fluke, then I decided to touch him with it. SNORT!!!!!! I finally did get to rub him all the way to his rump with it on both sides, and I put it on top of his head and over his neck. He doesn't like it, but he tolerated it. As jumpy as he is, I was proud of him! Once he learns how to handle stress, he will be GREAT!
Tonite was a huge test for him! I introduced several things to him, and in addition to that, we had the turkeys flying up to the top of the corral panels, then flying back to the ground, and the wind blowing the big tarp that is over the chicken pen so that was making horrible noises! He had a lot to think about.
Oh yeah, forgive the cut off noses in the pictures...I tried to get further back but he kept following me. :-)
Then I decided that the pad that he and Wyoming have been playing with will be another good thing to mess with. Not too noisy, but still scary enough to make him think about things. I grabbed it off the fence and SNORT!!!!!! I walked away leading him behind me. I flapped it around in front of me - no big deal. Then I let him sniff it...hmmmm, smells like horse. Now this could have gone a couple different ways. 1. Hmmm, smells like horse...not so bad.... or 2. Hmmm, smells like horse...WHAT ATE THE HORSE???? Thankfully it was #1.
When I went to touch him with it, he leaned way back, but let me in his space. I rubbed him, pulled it away, rubbed him more, and pulled it away, walked a bit, then turned and touched him and pulled it away. I changed it up a little bit and eventually just threw it on his back and pulled it back off. Did that several times until he did not even flinch! Yay!
I ran out of daylight so I put him in the 'holding pen' and brought Wyoming out.
I knew I didn't have much time, but I had to do something with him. He is getting more curious every day, and he has it figured out...stay 2 ft away from me and he doesn't have to do anything except move. I took my light cotton lunge line out there and threw it over his back and let him move around with it. All in all, I am pleased with his response! He went around the pen a few times and we changed directions, but he did not totally freak out. When I would back away, he would reach around and try to pull it off, then I would step forward and it got his attention enough to forget about that rope. This is really a crappy picture, but you get the idea.
Once I get my hands on this guy, I think he is going to be great to work with. He is nosey as heck and not near as reactive as Vegas.
Once Vegas is more confident with himself, I think he will be great to work with too. Just waiting for that break thru...and it will come when he is ready. When he got stressed too much tonite, I concentrated on him dropping his head, and he did so good. He would let out the biggest sigh...and when he did that, I did it too. :-)
I have decided I need to set up lights out there, but I don't want glaring ones. Something to give me enough light to see...kind of like the moon last night. It was a huge moon and lit up everything!
That is it for now.....
Until later...Karen and Tripp