Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Beautiful Gets Haltered
As you can see from the picture, I finally got the halter on Beautiful Girl. It wasn't easy for her. She was required to give up a lot of control in the last three days.
Today I went out every couple of hours and worked about an hour each time--giving her time to rest and think about the lesson in between.
This morning, I used the pole to put the rope over her back and work it up around her head. I controlled her movement away from me with the rope. I made a mistake during this process of continuing to put pressure on the rope until she gave. I should have been pull/releasing until she gave, and then released immediately. Because of my error, she fought the rope harder and ended up rearing.
Still, even though I made mistakes, she learned to give to the pressure. I worked her mainly on her good side--knowing that I have a huge hole in the training with the other side. I thought it was more important to get the halter on then to worry about the other side just yet. My goal is to keep her as quiet as possible--less movement on those hooves.
So, at about 4:30, I was out there again, and I worked mainly around her face from the front of her head. I wanted her to look at me, smell my hand, and let me rub her face. She wasn't good at that, but we made progress. Eventually, I ended up on her side where we were yesterday--hands on both sides--rope halter rubbing all over her cheeks, under her jaw, etc.
At some point during that she completely gave me her head. It went somewhat limp and relaxed. Her eyes closed a little bit. I rubbed her head and cradled it under my arm, easily slipped the rope halter on, and continued to rub her face. And, it was over.
There is no drag rope this time. Since I can approach her, there is no need for one. She's learning the principles of pressure during our training. And, I'm not going to use the lead rope anymore since it's so short. Instead, I'm going to use my lunge line. But that will be tomorrow.
For tonight, she has just been eating and getting petted. And, I'm aiming for Friday as a trim day.