Saturday, May 24, 2008

The Way to the Heart Is Through the Stomach?

First of all, yes, I'm going out today to clean up the manure piles in BG's turnout. That's embarassing--but what a great shot of her! The good news is that she's starting to do her business outside of the stall--as you can see. This is great because it keeps her stall cleaner.

I just want to get in there and groom her! But not yet.

Today we had a trail ride with our horses and when we brought the trailer around to pick them up, Beautiful Girl looked genuinely frightened. Every time I walked by her stall she jumped back. Hmmm...did she think I was coming to get her to take her away?

When we got back from the ride, she seemed lonely and came up to me in the outside stall without food. Then, I went and got some alfalfa and went into her run and fed her from my hand until it was all gone. I can't deny it--Beautiful Girl likes me better when I bring food.

I really want the halter and lead rope off of her. And, I'm wondering when I should take the lead rope up and start restraining her so that I can get close enough to touch. I could have done it several times, but I always stop myself because I don't want to lose her trust. I'm going to go read other blogs and see what other people have done.

update: I went out and stood with her and picked up her lead rope. She did fine until she decided to walk away and found that it was caught on my hand. Then she went a little wild, but I let her go peacefully. She came back in and ate out of my hand for about ten minutes and looked just fine.

The picture is of her today when we got back with the other horses. She was at high alert watching the horses unload.

1 comment:

  1. Hello,

    I just read your post and thought I would leave a comment and let you know what worked for me.

    I got my two mustangs as 6 month olds and started with the hand feeding and sitting with them. A month later the halters they had on were getting too small since they were growing so I ended up calling a wild horse mentor in my area to get help trying to gentle them or get a squeeze shoot so that I could get the halters off. The mentor spoke with me and suggested the bamboo pole method and said he'd call me back.

    He never called.

    Well it was worth a shot to try the bamboo pole method so I went to homedepot and bought a 10ft white PVC pipe and I taped a few old socks on the end.

    I worked with Shoni first since her halter was the more concerning one and I put her in a smaller pen. One that was big enough that she could get "away" from me but small enough that I could touch her with a 10ft pole at all times :).

    I reached the pole out and put the sock on her withers so that it could sit there. She ran in a circle around me trying to get away and when she realized the pole wasn't eating her she stopped. I rubbed the pole back and forth on her withers which reminds them of grooming each other.

    As she started to relax with that I worked my way up the pole. Eventually I worked my way up enough where I was able to substitute the pole for my hand.

    Of course what you do on one side you have to do to the other. I've also noticed it was harder to work with them on the right side. Possibly because of the brand...?

    I hope that this helps. Let me know if you have any questions or if I didn't make any sense! :)


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