Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Missoula, Montana - Transplanted from Anchorage Alaska
Am I On Right Track? - Normal?
After watching and reading even more videos about fearful horses, I filled my coat pocket with some pellets and headed down to the barn to see Argy. It seems like we have spent way too much time just standing there looking at each other and neither one of us knowing what to do next. I decided to bring out the DREADED BRUSH! The first time, a few weeks ago, I only showed it to him and he would not come near me for the rest of that day and part of the next. I stood in the barn with him with the brush strap just hanging on my left hand and a treat pellet in the other. It took him about 5 min to even come enough to get the treat and then he snorted and bolted off. I kept standing there and soon he came back for another. We did this for about 20 more min until he would finally just stand there and get treats without running off. Then I slowly moved the brush closer until he eventually would take the treat with the brush right next to it. Finally, we started to play game where he would only get the treat if he TOUCHED the brush with his nose. This took about another 30 minutes until he finally got the concept: "touch brush = get treat". Then I spent another 30 minutes convincing him to let me very quickly and very lightly brush the very tip of his nose. This would award him another treat.
So basically, it took me over an HOUR for him to let me touch the tip of his nose with a brush! Now don't get me wrong, I'm okay with this if this sounds reasonable to everyone here. I just want to know if I'm not being pushy enough. I was very proud that I got him to do that, but just wonder if this is typical of an abused horse and should I do be anything more than this for now?
Darla & Argy