Wednesday was a short day at work for me, and Mom just happened to be in town, so I thought it was a good day to introduce Skeeter to the halter. I had put the lead over her neck and the noseband over her nose, but hadn't actually tied the halter on.
I took Ranger over to Estes' pen (I think I'll always call it that!) to graze, so Skeeter could focus on us. The joke was on me - she had buddied up a bit too much to Ranger and spent fifteen minutes pacing and calling for him. It was a good thing he went home yesterday - she was getting far too buddy sour.
Once she calmed down a bit, we started working with the halter. I put it on and took it off three times, going through the process the same way each time. That wasn't really intentional, to do it the same way each time, but it was muscle memory. I didn't realize that I had a haltering routine, not really, until I started paying attention with her.
Luckily, it's the same routine everyone in my family uses. The rope over the neck lets them know they're "caught". Okay, it lets Ranger know he's caught. Skeeter doesn't know "caught" yet.
In fact, she doesn't really enjoy pressure on the halter at all, so we'll be working on that. I'd love to get her out of her pen and work her, but I can't until she can lead properly.
This afternoon, we tried giving to pressure and she'll give by turning her head right or left. She got that figured out pretty quickly. However, if I try to move her forward with pressure (or as Bill says, "dragging her by her face"), she immediately braces up and starts back pedaling like she did in the video.
Yeah. Gotta get past that.
She also doesn't really appreciate the halter for more than just a few seconds at a time. She did a great job on Wednesday, but she figures that her job is to stand there and look pretty for a few seconds and then we'll take the halter off. Fair enough, that's what we did on Wednesday.
So tonight, she gets to sleep with her halter on. Guess who has four hooves and is not excited about that? I gave some thought to leaving a short lead rope on, but got a little overprotective when I saw her step through a loop. All I could imagine were catastrophes. Good Lord, I wasn't this over protective with my two-legged kids.