well, i've been out to the barn a few times since I last updated this log and have some small progresses to share :)
Loki now will pick up all four feet! We are still a bit 'unsure' on that left front, but she isn't attempting to bow at all now when I hold it up. Yesterday we got both front feet cleaned out without any trouble at all. Good girl Loki! She is grossly overdue for a trim, so the sooner I get her comfortable with all four feet the better. It is a bit difficult with a horse that is not yet tie trained, and me working by myself, but we are making better progress than I thought, what with limited barn time and most of our work being on weekends up til now (daylight savings time, yay! More evening barn time!).
We've been taking walks in the arena, i've been doing all sorts of strange things! (well, at least Loki thinks so, lol). I have a couple milk crates out there, so I set them up in random places in the arena, walk Loki up next to them and then I step up so i'm taller and more above her than beside her. We worked on standing calmly while I lean on her back a bit. This is training ahead of time for her to stand still at a mounting block in my mind. At the same time, we are getting well used to the arena so it isn't a new place once the snow and ice is all gone and we can get down to some real work in there.
Catching and haltering haven't been an issue at all - yesterday Loki was laying down when I went to catch her and she let me stand beside her for a moment before deciding to get up. I'm happy she is comfortable in with the other mares to nap near them now, even within half a dozen feet of one mare that was quite nasty towards her in the beginning. From what i've seen horses always seem to sort themselves out pretty good and quick as far as pecking order. Loki has one small old bite on her hip. Just by watching her with the others, she seems to be about middle of the herd now, which is good.
We are now 'sending' through gates without issue, and I always ask for the horse to turn their hip away from me as soon as they are through the gate. Loki is catching on to this quite well, I will say 'turn' coupled with just a bit of lead pressure and she'll start moving her bum away. Good girl Loki!
My kiddo has come out to the barn with me a time or two lately, just for a quick hello in the evenings to check on Loki and Eddie when the weather was quite cold last week. Loki absolutely adores my daughter - hanging her head over the fence for cheek rubs and affection from her :)
Yesterday was supposed to be a sacking out day and potentially an introduction to saddle day, but shortly after I got Loki out of pasture, the wind picked up and it got downright gross out, so I thought it would be better to have flapping blanket monsters happen on a bit more calm day for safety and a better training session. I know it sounds like i'm letting the weather give me excuses to not do certain training aspects, but with the ground still pretty icy all over, I don't want to risk injury to either myself or Loki. Once all this darn snow is gone I will use the wind to my advantage to desensitize her to all sorts of stuff!
Another thing we started on yesterday was her tie training. Stood her in front of a stout fence post in one of the few small ice free areas in the yard and wrapped the lead around once and just stood there and let her figure out that tension in the lead means move forward a bit and that tension disappears. She caught on pretty quick. Even with pine tree branches waving frantically in the wind right in front of her on the other side of the fence.
Today is supposed to be nice out, with not much wind from what I can see. Glad I booked the day off work! And I realized I haven't been enough of a photo-bug, lol, so I will get some more Loki shots for y'all today. Been so busy getting to know this sweet lil mare that I haven't thought to whip my phone out. The round pen may be melted enough by the time I go barning later that we might be able to go work in there too. Ah, the joys of an all outdoor facility in the wee days of springtime! Lol.