Today is Beau's birthday! He is 11 years old and going strong! Due to my pregnancy I am unable to ride right now, but that certainly won't stop me from doing groundwork and bonding with him! I took some carrots and bought a bag of apples and went out to the barn to see him. He had a previous problem with running away from me in the field as soon as he saw me coming; I chalk this mostly up to the fact that lately I haven't really been able to get out to see him as often as I'd like and so every time I went, I would jump on and just ride him. Of course now that I am forced to do groundwork with him, I figured, what a perfect time to fix this issue! And also a great excuse to work on groundwork anyway since that's never a bad thing
I was able to walk right up to him in the field today and halter him after doing some work with him two days ago. I gave him a carrot only after the halter was on - trying to teach him that he will be rewarded for accepting the halter. I brought him out, fed him a few more carrots and an apple, brushed him, massaged his back and did some stretches with him that I found after reading this
thread by Skyseternalangel! He loooooved the massages and I actually found two huge knots in his back, one on either side, that I was able to massage out for him. Lots and lots of stretching his head downwards and licking and chewing and yawning. Happy boy n_n
Then I turned him back out in the field and sat down to read a book with him :) Whenever I wanted to 'catch' him, I whistled at him and called his name, then approached with a carrot or apple in hand. I always made him walk the last few feet towards me, occasionally slipped the halter over his head, gave him a treat, took the halter off and walked away from him. By the time I left the barn, I had him coming up to me about 75% of the time when I called him!
All in all it was a great day and I hope to have many more like it ^_^
Took my dog Kiche with me too.. she had a blast running around with the barn dog Hunter and she got chased by the two Percherons xD I've never seen such a O___O look on her face before! It was priceless.