Friday, December 17, 2010

Steady As She Goes

Although I haven’t been writing blog entries, I have been working with the horses; primarily the boys. I have also added working with our newest horse, *GMC Andrea’s Ankti (Andi) by lifting her feet and doing some filing. I’ve handled her feet since birth, but not really asked her to hold them up too long, so this is a new task. She’s getting pretty good at it, considering that I am new to filing.

I did take *Walker out for a walk a day or two ago. We investigate the arena, walked through snow, found some turkeys. I also played a bit of Circling Game with her, but we are still being easy with her as she was ill this past spring and summer. And no official diagnosis either, but she seems to have come round with the fall. We’re very glad for that, as she is quite the light of our eyes.

And lately, with *Jack I have added trotting in hand. He’s getting very good at reading my body language, so I’m thrilled with his sensitivity.

The other night, though, I did add something fun, inadvertently. During the week I do evening chores by myself…chopping ice, watering, haying, and then feeding their grain to them. It takes an hour and a half to two hours, depending on how slow I want to be. The last group that I usually feed are *Glory, Silken, and *Love. After setting their buckets down, I decided to sit down. Apparently, I had never done that around *Love! Suddenly, I was even with her head as she ate, and this caused her to snort and pause in her eating. Both Silken and *Glory took this in stride, so she decided it was okay to go on eating. Silken is always done first, and when she finished she looked at me. I asked her forward, she took a step, and I gave her a treat. She then moved to help *Love with her bucket, as she always tries, and I made a “eeehhhhh” sound, as always as well, and she backed off. I still had not moved! Then I asked her forward again, and she took a step and I gave her a second treat. *Glory then asked for one, but she was concerned with stepping into Silk’s space. I pointed at Silken and said, “Back” and she took a step backward. (By this point I was pretty impressed with myself, I must say.) *Glory then stepped closer to get her treats. Finally *Love was done and looked at me. I said, “Come on *Love, it’s okay.” And she gingerly took a step toward me. She snuffled my foot, my leg, and finally thought it might be okay to take the treat. Once she had her two treats, I asked her back then got up. I call this “Training From Laziness”. It might not really count for RAC points, but it was fun nevertheless!