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Saddlebag 10-22-2012 09:15 PM

Horse Play
No, not horses playing. Me and my horse. I love spending time with the one horse, the unique one, as he is constantly teaching me. He seems to be as interested in teaching me as I him. We are both students. It amazes me how by helping him overcome fear of one thing that it goes far beyond that. He had a big fear problem of walking between an obstacle and the rail, even a low tire. Just had to charge thro. We've been working on this and he's now calmly walking thro even while I stand on a two step stool. His reward is my removing the halter and walking away for a few minutes. That was yesterday. Today he was relaxed for the trimmerer even with the clanking tools and someone walking behind him. Who'd have guessed. The guy always approaches his neck and puts his hand in the horse's blind spot on his neck which brings out the fear. I've mentioned the hand placement as tactfully as possible but I fell off the turnip truck.....................

lilruffian 10-23-2012 12:58 PM

Changes like this happen all the time when you start to build a horse's confidence, because if you can get them over a fear without forcing them to accept it, then it also builds their conficens in YOU.
Good job ;)
Also, your reward was good, but i dont think you necessarily had to take the halter off and leave ;) just letting him stand quietly on the rope for a minute and then taking him away and doing something completely different or even just brushing would be good as well. Always end it on a good note and dont push for better as soon as he starts getting it.
The "unique" ones always teach us the most.

Saddlebag 10-23-2012 06:36 PM

Ruffian, I used to just drop the lead and walk away but with him it's a very strong mental connection to me. When it's removed, he'll relax. What I have since learned when I walk away is that in order to beckon him to come to me I have only to stand facing him, extend one arm out sideways a bit and wiggle my hand, while he's at liberty. He won't move if ground tied. I'd tried every which way I could think of to beckon him and met with failure. My sleeve was binding my armpit and when I extended my arm to the side to try to shake it loose, he approached. Yesterday when the farrier arrived I did the same movement and he came and stood good as gold for haltering. Lately I've been feeling lots of yahoos.

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