Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Good Horse

Aeolae was a most excellent horse today. She actually let me put the rope halter on her with a minimum of fuss - didn't have to catch her or anything. She wasn't thrilled about it and by the end of the session was really trying to ditch it (didn't help that it was a little large for her Arabian head) but for being as high strung, normally stand offish and untutored in manners as she is, she was great. She likes to play hard to get and for the last few days I've been trying to get Aeolae jealous of the attention I've been showing Samwise; basically trying to give her the idea that wearing a halter and allowing herself to be led around/worked with means getting more attention. Not that I've been ignoring her - we've been playing the friendly game with the lead rope and halter so that she doesn't think they're evil and I've been giving her scratches just to keep her interested. Not that I can blame her for not liking halters since one was left on her long enough to cause scars. I am sorry that they are so attention starved that this works so well but I'll take any edge I can get at this point.

Mark took Sam and I took Aeolae today and she really worked well with me which is really cool as she does prefer men. We didn't do much except with walk with them, teaching them to give us appropriate space, not run through us (which Aeolae is really bad about), back up, turn and other apparently basic things which look easy until you try to get a 1000 lb critter with an attitude and a communication problem to do them. Separating them has been something that has been concerning us, especially when we thought we were only getting Aeolae, but we were able to get them as much as 100 yds apart today without them getting too edgy. It was neat to see their joy though when we did cross paths again.

The one exciting and not so pleasant thing was Aeolae getting spooked when I tried to lead her past our 2 yo over exuberant husky that we had tied outside the pasture. All Daphne wants to do is PLAY but all the horses see is PREDATOR!!! sigh. Anyway, Aeolae pulled the rope out of my hands . . . I'm just glad she didn't run over me when she bolted. I'm also very glad that I was using the type of lead rope used for natural horsemanship and wasn't holding it in a loop as I have a bad habit of doing. I've got a little bit of rope burn but nothing like I would if I had been using a lead rope one can find in any old feed store. She didn't go far though and she came back towards Mark and I, just within Mark's reach, trembling all over like she was going to be punished; needless to say she wasn't other than some stern words. It's amazing to me that in less than 2 weeks, working with them no more than an hour and a half a day, we've gotten their trust and they are following commands so well. All in all, a really great training day.

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