Tuesday, June 3, 2014

So Very Much, Part I

I swore I was going to keep a daily journal.  But I lied to myself.  I have the first few days in a notebook and that's it.  Kind of like my kids' baby books.

I had to go back and read my last post, it's been so long. Yikes.

In the almost two weeks since I've posted, Miss Skeeter Bang has gotten some more "outside" time.  She learned to be brave about the the cow feeder and the trailer that is out in the big pen .

A mouthful of food always makes a horse braver.
We spent some time working on leading on a loose lead, we worked on "whoa" (verbal command first, then a correction), and on "stand".  I've got some video I need to edit of our work before I post it, but she did really, really well.

After working, I took off her halter and let her be free in the big pen.  She doesn't get to live out there permanently yet, but the time's getting closer.  It must have been hard learning so much, because after only about twenty minutes she was ready to be caught and put back in her room.  We're working on the command, "go to your room".  We'll see if it sticks. :)

A couple of days later, because she did so well, I decided she could have a half hour or so out to graze.  Joke was on me.  I guess because she spent a half hour out on her own without getting eaten, she thought it was safe and she didn't need to go back to her room.

Is this what Uncle Ranger was eating?

Look!  I have Uncle Ranger's ears.

A-ha!  If I hide back here where Mom thinks snakes are, she won't come get me.
So ... two hours after I turned her out, it was getting dark and I stooped to bribing her with one of Ranger's favorite candy bars.  I walked up to her with a piece in my hand and let her eat it, then turned and walked ten feet or so.  She quickly figured out the only way she was going to get more of the yumminess was to follow me.  I felt like Alec bribing The Black as I doled out treats on our way back to her room.

I had decided early on not to hand feed treats because, well, she's four, and four year olds are lippy.  I was a bad mommy, because what I *should* have done was walk her down - keep after her until I caught her, no matter how long it took, but I just didn't have the heart.  She had been living in 400 square feet for almost three weeks, she needed some time to be out.  *I* didn't plan the evening accordingly.  I should have just set aside an hour or two to just let her be, then I bet catching her wouldn't have been a problem at all.

Just like parenting, the best laid plans sometimes go awry. To avoid hand-feeding her in the future, I make sure to put her "go to your room" treats in her food bowl.  Since she only gets hay, she's learning that the sound of stuff in her food bowl is a reward for something.


Shirley said...

She is coming along nicely- I like this part of training, getting their trust and establishing a good foundation.

TjandMark/AKA PearlandHawkeye said...

I used a clicker when my mustang came and touched my outstretched fist with his nose. Then I gave him his treat from my other hand. It is still the way I catch him. I whistle, put our my fist and wait for him to touch it. It turns his mind from I'm a wild horse, to let's play.

loving the memories these posts bring.

Once Upon an Equine said...

Wow! Skeeter is beautiful!

Momma Fargo said...

So happy you are having such a grand time with Skeeter! You two go together like road and apples...or was it peas and carrots? I forget. LOL