Lacey, Fabio and Me: The Neverending Story - Page 3

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Lacey, Fabio and Me: The Neverending Story

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    07-02-2012, 11:14 PM
Green Broke
Nice! Any improvement is great improvement! Haha I just Love Lacey and Lady is in very good hands/hooves haha
Can't wait to here about yalls first trail together!
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    07-03-2012, 01:15 AM
Super Moderator
Me too, Christine!! I'm so so so glad that someone mentioned to me about getting a foster! I hadn't even considered it before that, then I did and BAM! I mean, I don't want to get ahead of myself, or jinx it, but it's kind of eery how this has all worked out so far...

Also, I forgot to mention in today's post that, just for funnsies, I laid my hoodie over Lady's back, after the girls had been fed, while we were walking back up to the upper pasture. That REALLY changed her attitude. She wasn't scared of the hoodie (made sure of that before I put it on her back) but she was SO careful about it being on her back.
How she was reminded me of Lacey when Lacey has a scared kid on her back and she's trying her hardest to be a "good, not scary, girl". It was VERY interesting....

I think it would be so funny to find out in a few months that Lady is like super broke, or something, and her previous owners just MASSIVELY lied to the rescue. And she's just been messing with us all because she's a smarty.
I could kind of really see it happening because really? A horse that "perfect pony"-ish being left to just sit who majikally discovers how to lead well in one session, "discovers" that my space IS my space after 1 free lunging sesh?
I really kinda feel like Lady is pulling a MASSIVE con on all the humans she's been involved with for the last couple of years...or something.

But then again, I always feel like Lacey could really just start speaking English at any time and she just hasn't yet... Maybe I'm the insane one....
    07-03-2012, 02:33 PM
I wouldn't be surprised if she knows a lot more than we think she does. Not that I know anything about her story, but it is rather strange.

The lady I got Thelma from told me that she couldn't be fly sprayed or bathed. Indeed, when I tried to do so, she put up a big fuss, but it was obvious that she was not "scared! No like!" but more like, "I know this game. I put up a fight and then you get scared/annoyed and then leave me alone". Once I layed down the law and let her know that she didn't scare me and I had LOTS of patience, she quickly settled down and acted like a normal horse in only a session or two.

She knew what she was supposed to do, but who ever worked with her before me, had allowed her poor behavior. Be a strong leader and she'll come around. :)
    07-05-2012, 08:40 PM
Super Moderator
So I haven't posted anything in a few days because Lady has been driving me NUTS.

I'm sure it's a case of "the second weeks", where she's over the "first week best behaviors" and on to being a lil tester.

Anyway, yeah, she was doing great with ponying in the field so yesterday I decided "What the heck! We're going on a trail ride!"
Hah, yeah.

To make a long story short, Lacey loves trotting/cantering on trails and Lady apparently plants her feet and refuses to move when she doesn't want to go. Where did Lady not want to go? Oh yeah, THE TRAILS.
So Lacey was getting more and more frustrated because I was asking her to be really patient and she hadn't gotten to run in over a week and Lady is just standing behind us like a statue.

Anyway, it was overall really really frustrating for everyone involved.

So today we kinda addressed that. I thought that perhaps Lady's quick-catch halter would maybe help. It's basically 2 loops of rope that go around her throatlatch and nose that'll tighten up more and more the more she resists coming along. Then it'll loosen up dramatically as soon as she takes a step forward - I felt like since yesterday went SO badly in a normal rope halter, I needed to make the wrong thing REALLY unpleasant and the right thing REALLY rewarding.

So I started out in the field and both girls did well. I even got them both trotting next to each other for a time. Lacey loved it, Lady was like "stoppppp making me work so hard!!" (I think her work ethic is lacking from 10 years of laziness because seriously? Being bested by a 27 year old=pathetic).

Then, I decided that instead of going all the way down to the trials and having to drag Lady along, I'd just work with them both on the gravel road right outside the pasture.
Pretty immediately Lady planted her feet and refused to come along. I tried to stay on Lacey and just haul Lady along but Lacey was wanting to walk so fast and Lady was going 0mph so I ended up getting off and hauling on Lady. She DID NOT like being forced to do anything but after probably 5 minutes of me just solidly pulling her off to the side (I figured pulling her off to the side was a better bet to get her moving) she finally took a step. Handily, the halter loosened up immediately, faster than I could have, so she was immediately rewarded. The next step, she OBVIOUSLY couldn't give in (too easy, right!), she planted her feet again but this time it only took maybe 30 seconds to get her moving. Then she tried it one more time but gave in pretty much immediately.
Then I hopped on Lacey and Lady came along all the way up the road and back again but once we got to the gate, fight time!
This time I just pulled on her really hard from Lacey's back and she came along after a minute or two so I immediately stopped Lacey and rubbed Lady's face.
Then I just walked them both up and down the road a few more times. Lady dug her feet in a feeewwww more times but they were all pretty easily solved so hopefully something "clicked" in her mind.
I think I'll just repeat what we did today, tomorrow and hopefully we'll be able to go on a good trail ride on Friday or Monday. And I think I'll keep using the quick-catch halter on her for ponying until I know she'll come along.
I feel kinda mean doing that to her (since I'm basically coercing her with pain) but really, she knows she's bigger than me and I cannot let her just not do stuff she doesn't like. I'm refusing to play silly games with her and that's really what she needs so yknow... :/

Hopefully she'll soon figure out that "work" can actually be fun because this lack of work ethic on her part will get old really soon. She's in the midst of a major life change though so I don't really blame her for being a little bleep-y about things.

In other news, she's doing better with personal space. She's doing fantastic with yielding her hindquarters as well. Not as good as Lacey yet, but Lacey pretty much reads my mind about stuff I want her to do so I'm the tiniest bit spoiled.
I also introduced her to a spray bottle filled with water today. She was nervous at first but after I rubbed her with the bottle, let her sniff the bottle, and the sprayed the air next to her a few times (while sporadically feeding her carrot pieces for exemplary non-reactions) she allowed me to spray her all over with the bottle. She'll still need some work with that, of course, but she did really amazing for a first time.

She's really put on A LOT of weight too. The hollows behind her shoulders are nearly gone, her back bone is only protruding a bit, and her butt is starting to look less like a famine victim's patootie.

I REALLY think that once she realizes that work feel good (I know she has tons of pent up energy), she'll come around pretty fast. It almost seems to me like something happened to her in the past that left a terrible taste in her mouth about any sort of work. Or, of course, maybe she's just a brat and she doesn't want to so she won't!
I'm still housesitting but once I'm finished with that (Saturday!) I'm hoping to go free lunge the girls in the evening again. I tried yesterday during the day but I think it was just a little warm for them because they really were not happy about running.

And I hope everybody had a great 4th of July!

Also, because Lacey is adorable, here's a picture a neighbor of mine took the other day. The neighbor's granddaughter (3yo) LOVES talking to Lacey through the fence and that day they caught me right as I was walking back from riding Lacey. The little girl was really excited about being close to Lacey but was understandably nervous. I offered that she could help me lead Lacey so "we" decided that I'd hold on to Lacey close to Lacey's face and she'd hold on to the end of Lacey's reins where she felt safe.
It was adorable. She helped me untack and feed Lacey. She was SO proud of herself. It was the cutest!

HollyLolly likes this.
    07-05-2012, 08:59 PM
That is a really cute picture :)
    07-06-2012, 07:20 PM
Super Moderator
I thought so too! That little girl was the cutest. I called her a "Champion of Horses" and, according to her grandma, playing "Horse Champion" is her new favorite game. Kids!

I've lost track of what day it "is"... I think day 11? Lol

We'll pretend that's what it is...

Day 11!

Today I decided to just focus on Lacey. Lacey's like my best friend and Lady is like having a third wheel around ALL THE TIME when we hang out. That makes Lacey and I sound super cliquish but it's one of those things where Lady is going to fit in perfectly once we know her better and get used to the whole situation but right now it's kinda awkward.
Anyway, I decided that possibly the best fix for my current Lady frustration (since it's all basically unwarranted, just me hating change, lol!) is to ignore her for a day and focus on my bestie.

So, oh my word, Lacey and I had the best ride.
Lady was basically freaking out (first real separation since she got here) so she did some serious running around. The little old people who own the pasture got all worried because I forgot to tell them that I was separating the girls for my ride and I felt really bad. :/ I filled them in when I got back but I still felt bad.

Anyway, back to my ride. Lacey was excited to begin with but she soon settled down. I was really proud of her though, she only neighed at Lady when Lady neighed first and once we got out of hearing range, she didn't neigh at all. She neighed once about halfway through our ride but is was extremely halfhearted. It was like she was neighing out of duty and not so much actually necessity.

She seemed to enjoy being without "the kid" for a bit. She didn't even try to rush home. She almost seemed to be walking slower going home than away from home.
I had even put her in her pelham, with a curb rein and snaffle rein, in anticipation of bolting or other silliness but I didn't engage the curb once! She just went along like "Cool story bro, us "humans" are hangin' out!"

Anyway, maybe I'll try to make that be a "thing"- one ride a week without Lady.
It'll be good for Lacey and me, and it'll be good for Lady to discover that people+horses leave and also magically return.

It was really nice. I like my Lacey girl. :)

Also, I'm done house-sitting tomorrow! I'm excited. It was cool for the first couple of days but now I miss my house+my cat+seeing the horses multiple times a day.
    07-06-2012, 08:11 PM
Originally Posted by Wallaby    
Anyway, maybe I'll try to make that be a "thing"- one ride a week without Lady.
It'll be good for Lacey and me, and it'll be good for Lady to discover that people+horses leave and also magically return.

That's a great idea! And it sounds like you both really needed that!
Wallaby likes this.
    07-07-2012, 10:12 PM
Super Moderator
Day 12!

So, I'm really really proud of Lady today - I think taking a day's break did some good for us both.
It seems that perhaps the issues with her getting in my space when I tried to teach her to lunge were mostly my fault. Today I really thought about what I was doing with MY body instead of what she was doing. It turns out that I was kinda expecting her to be like Lacey who'll basically lunge herself if she's on a line and there's a person attached to said line. Apparently Lady is much more focused on my body language than Lacey is (which makes TOTAL sense since Lacey really can't see precise body language, just vague shapes that she attempts to make conclusions about) and me trying to drive her away from me wasn't enough.
Today, when I focused on her hip and drove her out with the end of my rope, she lunged like a dream!! I only had her walk because I don't want to push her too hard yet but she did great! When I'd take a step forward and line up with her shoulder, she'd stop and walk towards me. If I moved back to her hip, she'd circle me, shoulder - walks to me, hip - circle, etc.

It was 100% fascinating! I've never been around a horse that was that absolutely tuned in to my body language (or maybe I have been and I was just totally oblivious...). The second I was doing it "wrong", she'd start doing it "wrong". When I did it "right", she did it "right"!

Anyway, it was cray-cray. She was still mildly nervous about what I was doing but by the end (I was having her do one circle, stop and get praise, then switch directions, one circle, praise, switch directions, etc) she seemed to really be pretty comfortable with walking a circle around me. She was stopping great (just stepping in front of her shoulder gets an immediate stop) and overall it was a really great session.
I'm hoping that she won't need me to be SO precise once she really gets lunging down but for now, I'm satisfied.

Then, I groomed her and we "played" with spray bottles. She was totally fine with flyspray and totally fine with spray detangler on her mane but my smallest size bottle provoked a pretty worried reaction. She was fine with it spraying her everywhere but her neck. That was apparently a "private" spot. Anyway, I worked with her on that and by the end she was still giving me "OMG eyes" but I think with one more little session, she'll be golden. I need to use a louder spray bottle next time just to get her used to that (the one's I've been using are the more "misty" types that are pretty quite, I have one that's pretty loud = challenge).

I also got a rope around one of her back legs to "practice" picking them up. I'm relatively nervous about them because she has shown a liking for kicking out when she doesn't like something on her belly. That really doesn't mean much but yknow, Nervous Nelly over here is still kinda concerned. I think I'll just keep working with her on that and bolstering my own confidence as she shows that she'll pick up those back legs fine. I also need to be braver about touching her backend. She hasn't shown any brattiness about it, I'm just concerned for no real reason.
I think I'm going to try messing with her tail tomorrow. That seems relatively innocuous inside my mind and maybe that'll help me realize that she's not going to annihilate me.
It's one of those fears that I logically KNOW is pretty silly but that logic isn't doing much to sooth my internal fear response. Haha Once I see someone else do it I'll be golden but for now, nerves.

On the picking up her front feet front (lol), she's doing great! I'm still picking them up, setting them down, praising her, then picking them back up, praising her, picking them out, and setting them down but she's doing fantastic! Today all I had to do to get her to lift her right foot was show her the pick, pet her shoulder, and start running my hand down her leg. Before I even got to her knee, she was holding her hoof up for me. What a good girl!!

Lacey joined us during this time. She just stood about 10ft away, "supervising". She's pretty cute. :)
Also, Lacey has apparently learned to go into her stall when I tell her "stall". Usually I say "stall" then guide her in at feeding time but today I decided to just say "stall" to see what happened. Pretty much as soon as I said "stall" she started assessing exactly where she was and she got herself into her stall and into her corner where I make her stand while waiting for her food (I have precise feeding organization that eliminates pushiness for food).
She's cute.

I have two cute girls. Whatever am I going to do!
    07-08-2012, 01:13 AM
Green Broke
You are going to do what you do best, spoil them, love them and provide us a photographic journey!!
Posted via Mobile Device
Wallaby likes this.
    07-08-2012, 04:16 PM
Super Moderator
Haha true story cakemom. ....make them FAT, just the usual.

So nothing really to report for today. Weather-wise it decided to be about a bazillion degrees (90+) so I'm basically hiding in my basement to stay cool.

However, I do have a picture for ya'll.

Last night I went up there just to sit with the girls because they're cute and all. Lacey apparently decided that it was time to be fed so she marched her little self over to the shed and just stood there, waving her head in the air, until I gave them each a cookie. That wasn't exactly what they wanted:

I call that one "Disapproval". If Lacey had hands, she'd surely be shaking her finger at me.
grayshell38 likes this.

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