Truuue story Megan! I'm trying not to let her get away with anything that could turn into something worse eventually but it's hard to see what those things are exactly, sometimes! Haha
And thanks! :)
Maggie, that's also super true. Miss Lady is basically dying to learn as much as she can. Her mind is like a little sponge, wanting to see everything, and she's not real snotty about much.
Today, Lacey really needed a bath (she gets really itchy if she goes too long between baths) so I figured that today was probably as good a time as any to walk them both down to my house and get Lady a little out of the pasture exposure, especially given that Lady is leading really well inside the pasture.
First, I groomed them both all up and used my long lunge whip to touch Lady all over. I'm still not totally confident that she really cares as little about being touched all over as she acts like she does (something about the look on her face/her energy, I dunno, switches..). Anyway, I figure that even if she is totally fine, there's really no harm in working with her more on it.
I managed to touch her all over and even got the lunge whip under her tail (not all the way to the dock yet but about 6 inches away) without much incident. I did find out that right before she kicks, she swishes her tail - that could be a helpful tell (she did not like the lunge whip between her back legs, even low down...but now she's ok with it. Hahaha) to remember.
Anyway, she stood tied for quite a while while I brushed Lacey out and she did really well with that. She seemed much more relaxed about being tied than she has before. She actually stood there instead of constantly moving around. I also practiced with her about picking her front feet up. She's still pretty uncomfortable with that but at least today she didn't pull them out of my hands at all.
And here, I have to mention that Lacey is being an absolute gem. She's being very responsive to me. Today I even needed her to walk off so I could discombobulate Lady (while I was leading both of them) so I just dropped her lead rope, poked her in the direction I wanted her to go and clucked. She walked about 10ft away, then stopped and turned towards us, just waiting for us to be ready.
And, no matter how bratty Lady is to her (Lady is kinda trying to take advantage of her dominant over Lacey status), if I'm working with Lacey, her mind is with me. Today while I was leading them together, Lady thought about kicking Lacey but instead of acting out, Lacey just stopped walking and let me correct Lady for her (Lady also isn't allowed to start/participate in tiffs while she's being worked with, no matter the circumstances, but Lady obviously doesn't understand that rule quite yet, haha!). I'm so glad I have my Lacey girl to help me "manage" this Lady horse. If I had two unreliable horses...I'd probably go nuts.
Anyway, so after they were both all groomed, we walked down to my house. Lady was overall really great about walking through the neighborhood. She was scared of the manhole covers in the road but over the next couple of months I think they'll probably cease to be scary. She listened pretty well to my direction too. Not great, but fantastic for a horse that only learned what "stop" meant 2 days ago!
We get down to my house, Lacey's in her spot "tied" to the RV (I loop her lead rope to the ladder), and I tied Lady to a tree that's in the middle of the driveway so she can watch Lacey not react to getting a bath (lol). I'm pleased to say that Lady did great. She was a little antsy about being tied but I'd be antsy too if I were a horse tied to some weird thing and in a place I had never seen before, she stood there though so I really can't complain.
After I gave Lacey her bath, Lady seemed interested enough that I untied her and brought the hose over to her so she could look at the water. Interestingly, she dunked her face straight in it and started playing around with her lips and the water. Silly pony! I ended up hosing her front end off a little just to see what she did. And while it wasn't her favorite, she wasn't overly scared - just "why is this happening?".
After that we walked back "home" which went even less eventfully than walking to my house. We also ended up stopping at one of my neighbor's houses because they wanted to know all about where this "other" horse had come from. Both girls were a little antsy to get home at that point but they handled themselves well so I'm not complaining.
We got home and I tied them both up again to braid Lacey's mane and brush out her tail. I did both of those things then decided to brush and braid Lady's mane too because her mane is really thick and I feel bad for her poor overly hot neck under there. She did really really well with that. I was expecting more "Gosh darn it! I wanna be DONE!!" from her but she just put her head down and was very patient (I think she was tired after everything she had seen and experienced).
Then I fed them both and let them go. Lady's a bit of a brat about her food (rushes for it, etc) so I have to be a bit tough on her at feeding time. I'm hoping though that she'll catch on soon and start being a bit more respectful on her own volition.
Lady really doesn't have any concept of "punishment" which I'm not really sure how to deal with. A slap means nothing, "ah-ah" means nothing, a pop with the crop means nothing...the lunge whip initially got a reaction but now it's not concerning either... Huh. Well, she's very aware of some kinds of pressure and release (like if she steps into my bubble, instead of waving the end of the lead rope at her like I'd do with another horse, poking her repeatedly in the chest until she backs up is more effective). It's all very strange to me. WHAT happened to that horse? Lol
And then, I took a picture of her with her cute braids. This is her "Really??" face.
Thanks for reading all that! :)