My birthday is in July and I made mention to Jay that I wanted horse stuff. You know, "grown-up" clothes (nylon halter, not her training rope halter), horse toys (OMG, that horse is so destructive when she's bored!), things like that. For the first time, I could actually come up with a birthday list.
Speaking of destructive due to boredom, when Mom and Bill went to work her the other day, they noticed the trailer door was open and thought I'd done it. When Jay and I got out there to drop off the hay that night, I noticed the trailer door was open and thought they'd opened it. Nope. Miss Skeeter had figured out how to open the latch and swung the door open. And then she proceeded to eat the padding from the divider. She made it more than halfway up the divider, which means she had to have self-loaded at least the front half of her body into the trailer.
I was pleasantly surprised yesterday when Jay handed me a bag from his mom. I honestly thought she was sending me food (his mom is an excellent cook), but when I opened the bag, I found a beautiful new halter and lead rope.
So, of course, we had to put it on immediately.
It is a much fancier halter than any I've owned before. I've never had one with the hook on the throat latch. Because she's used to me flipping the strap up over her poll, I undid the buckle and put the halter on the "normal" way. The throat latch is backward because that's the way it came from the store and I was too excited to get her new halter on to fix it.
She wasn't quite sure of the halter, I'm sure because it feels different and with the brass clasp on the lead rope, it's much heavier than her training halter.
I undid the throat latch and slipped it off over her head. Little Missy wasn't so sure about that, but handled it okay. When I offered to put the halter back on, though, she wasn't interested. Since we'd already worked on a few things, I didn't push the issue. Instead, I planned on working with her today.
This evening, after our crazy evening thunderstorm had passed, Jay and I went over armed with pieces of apple. I took the lead rope off and put the halter on the "normal" way, by flopping the headpiece over her poll, and adjusted it to fit her properly. Then, I undid the throat latch and slipped it off over her head just like I did last night. She had time to think about it since last night, and since it hadn't killed her, decided it would be okay if I tried to put it on the "weird" way.
Once I got Jay to stop wandering around (she has to know where both of us are at all times, or she can't focus), she allowed me to slip the halter back on over her head, tuck her ears into it, and latch the throat latch, for which she was rewarded with an apple piece. I hate bribery, but whatever works. Off and on, off and on, off and on.
The funny thing is, because it's heavier than her rope halter, she thought that she was "attached" to me by the halter and did some great at liberty work. Who was I to tell her she wasn't attached?
Not only is the halter a great early birthday present, but it's a great training tool, too. By the end of this evening, we'd already laid the groundwork for getting her to accept the bridle.