Thanks a bunch, paintsrule! I'm still getting used to it - every time I look in a mirror, I'm all "WAIT. Who IS that??!" But I really like it a lot! It's super fun.
Haha, for sure, Caroline! One of these days I just need to start. Bummed or not! Haha :) The bookstores of the world need "Sassypants" on their shelves!!
It was another day of doing AM/PM feedings in the dark. It's SUPER weird to not see-see Lacey/the G's but be around them. I have little battery-powered lamps I use but the shed doesn't have electricity so illumination beyond "oh there's a goat-shape, there's Lacey's shape" doesn't really happen.
I try to think about it being good 'feel' practice since I'm intensely visual and often end up relying on my eyes a litttttle tooooo much.
I've also noticed that the deer are REALLY 'tame' when it's dark out. This evening I was able to walk through [ok, ok, bumble through - I didn't see them until I was in the middle] a 'herd' of 5 deer...and the deer could have cared less. They were grazing all around me, as I walked through the middle of them with poor Hazel glued to my hip ["SAVE ME, MOM!!"]. It was really neat.
I love those deer. They know me. When I bring guests, they are 'suddenly' oh so wild again and will run at the slightest provocation...but they're, for the most part [there are a few skittish individuals, mostly the older ladies], really relaxed when it's just me. Maybe they're influenced by how they see the goats+Lacey react to me on a daily basis...
So that was cool.
And no one worry, I have no plans of petting a deer or doing anything "dumb". I'm perrrrfectly happy giving them their space. It's just nice that they are so relaxed even when I do my accident-ridden bumbling thing - I hate it when an animal is afraid or hurt by something I was involved in.
Oh! Yesterday the ladies, Lacey and Hazel, got their hooves done. They're both feeling a lot better now!
Last night I also decided to work a little with Lacey on her groundwork skilllllz. We just did a little yielding back and forth, her shoulders then her rear. I absolutely never do anything like that with her, so she was looking at me like I had grown a new head.
She really did pretty well though, actually WAY better than any of those horses at that therapy barn ever did...and they were asked to do those things regularly! I was really quite impressed with her.
I can genuinely say that, in the 5 years I've had her, I've never asked her to yield her shoulders to me...until last night. And who immediately gave her shoulders as soon as I asked? LACEY!
She is too good. :)
Her right, mostly-if not 100% blind, side was understandably MUCH harder to move around than her left side. She was quite willing on her left side which is the side she can see more out on. I need to come up with a method for her right side...on her left side, it was pretty obvious that she was using visual cues to move [I was touching her shoulder with one hand and had the other hand up by her eye, while clucking].
In terms of motivation, she is first movement/visually oriented, then sound, and THEN touch. Touch, aside from grooming, is not her favorite. Touch in the context of training seems to mean, to her, quite negative things. So a touch-cue is not something she's immediately comfy with. I do use some touch cues with her but everything is vocal first, then touch as a back up.
Hilariously, she is SO word-oriented, I discovered that she has associated "excuse me" with yeilding her hindquarters. Why? Becuase every morning, as I clean her stall, she eats with her head in the corner feeder and I move her butt back and forth while I clean, each time saying "excuse me" and touching her with a finger in the direction I want her to go. She is too good.
Anyway, maybe tomorrow we'll work on sticking that forehand yielding to a word. Because while it's not necessary, it WOULD be nice to have. A horse can never be trained toooo well, right? Haha
Random. Yesterday I pulled out this old board game I used to play with my grandma [it is literally the funnest..and the most unfortunately named! Haha] and Booth, my kitty, "wanted" to play. He actually ended up being pretty good! The goal is to pull out as many pegs as possible without making the spring move and once he figured out that those pegs would come out if he pulled on them with his teeth..oh boy, there was no stopping him.
All my animals are crazy.
Sunset this evening.
Harry Potter-inspired, the snake's patronus is a pig.