Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Desert from Hell, CA.
Thank you, everyone, for your advice.
Again, I have had plenty of animals over the years, and let's face it: despite protestation, there are a LOT of similarities in animal handling. That being said, I have never attempted to tame down something so feral (for lack of better word). Feral dumpster kittens are one thing: untouched terrified pony, something else.
I will try the bamboo pole. It sounds like a very viable tool. I know as well that care, such as cleaning her udders, has likely never been done in her ten years of life, and the pole will help me get there (and to her feet) without significant injury to myself, or the pony.
As for the halter: I "insisted" on the halter yesterday for the sake of the video, but I will be taking it slow. She was so frightened of it, she bumped her ass into the waterer while running away backwards, and started breathing audibly hard. SHE WILL SNIFF THE HALTER however, which means that I will probably not have a hard time of it if I start at a slower pace, sniff, rub treats, that kind of thing.
I do not wish to work her outside with her herdmate, and here is why: I also own her weanling colt, who I am working with. He follows mom's lead, and she is frightened. I do not want to reinforce fear of people on him. Right now, he is comfortable with me, but will not approach me in the field because mom runs...however he twitches his ears, stands still and looks "conflicted" for lack of better terminology. What I can do is work with her in the arena, where there is plenty of free space, and horses in their stalls all around. And honestly, once I get her desensitized to the harness, the act of leading her even a short way should help.
I can try to brush her more gently. I am a heavy handed person, and my other horse has never minded my brushing for dirt cleaning efficiency...I do however see that in order to perhaps make it more "enjoyable" for her in the long run, maybe I need to take it slower. She does seem to calm when I sing to her, so maybe that is something else I can do more often when grooming.
This clicker training with a target sounds interesting. I will PM you, PunksTank. I've long since learned that many horse people are set in their ways and unwilling to check out the possibilities of other methods. I do not give a spit about any of that, and I will use whatever methods work to achieve my goals. ;)
@Saddlebag, I know she's feeling rushed, and she does have my sympathy, but though I can and should be more patient with her because of that understanding....I don't want to get stuck in the trap of treating her as anything other than just another horse. Not sure if that makes sense? I know darn well I can't let her get one up on me.
Originally Posted by Jareth, the Goblin King
I move the stars for no one.
RIP Pumpkin: 2012-8/26/13