Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Ten foot Arm

This is day 10 with our Mustang. I don't like the drag rope and halter on all the time, and I don't like not being able to get to a horse to doctor it, trim its feet, and groom. And, since Beautiful Girl is quite comfortable and has been since she moved in, I figured its time to step it up. Another blogger and Mustang owner, Nikki, suggested that I use a 10 foot pvc pipe with a sock attached and basically extend my arm so that it could touch her safely anywhere in the turnout. What a great suggestion. Here is how it worked for me. Yesterday I introduced the pvc and sock for the first time. Beautiful Girl did not like it. She kicked it, ran from it, and never really settled in to let me pet her with it. Also, I'd pulled the sock on tight, so there was no droopy part--this caused her to hit against the pipe a few times--which, though it didn't hurt her, may have contributed to her fear. I took the smallest sign of acceptance and called it quits for that day. Then today, I went out to do it again. The sock had become droopy. Beautiful Girl was again quite scared of it and didn't like it touching her. There was a lot of kicking it and running around--maybe 10 minutes max (not caught on tape)--then she stopped. It came seemingly out of nowhere, but she stopped and let me pet her with the pvc for about a minute or two. This may have been because I had started to touch her with the soft, drooping part of the sock rather than the hard PVC (something to remember if you're trying this for the first time). I quit and then fed her from my hand.

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