Session #1 - around noon
Again I called once before going out, and again Little Man was waiting close to the fence for me. I was holding the spray bottle, so he wouldn't come up to me, but when I sprayed the rag and set the bottle down, he let me walk up to him. I wiped his face, neck, and chest, and he was fine. I had to talk to him a bit in order to get his shoulders, back, and sides, but we did it together! When I was stroking the rag along his withers and down his side, his head was bobbing up and down. I'm not sure what that meant, but at least he didn't run off.
We worked with the rope very briefly. I had him target it, then I rubbed it on his neck and up by his ears. I'm just going to keep doing that until he doesn't pay much attention to it any more, then I'l move on to doing something else with it.
Before I left, I kissed his nose, and laid my cheek against his. He was very still, and let me!
Session #2 - around 7:00 p.m.
I called Little Man before I went out, and by the time I tended the birds he was waiting in the pen for me. As I walked towards the gate he walked over to meet me. I wiped him down, as usual. He was much steadier when I wiped his back and sides. I can't get too far back, but I am so pleased that I can get any of his back and sides!
Then we "played" with the rope. I rubbed his neck and behind his ears with it, then I draped it over his crest, clicked, pulled it off, and treated. Then I left it there, and as soon as I treated him I started barely moving the rope, clicked and treated again. I did this several times, and when he started getting antsy I clicked and pulled it off before treating. Then I slipped the loop over his muzzle, clicked, pulled it off, and treated. Then I left the loop on and repeated the above procedure.
Unfortunately, he turned and started pulling away. I wasn't able to get the loop off, and didn't want to pull, so as he turned completely away from me and started walking off I just dropped the end of the rope. The loop fell off his muzzle, and he stopped and nuzzled it a bit. I left it on the ground, and started talking to him.
Then I moved back a bit so he had plenty of space, and as I talked to him he turned around and came over to me.
I petted him a bit, rubbed his ears, and put my face to his. Then I went over and got the rope, slipped the loop over his muzzle one more time, clicked and treated. He followed me to the gate, and we stood there almost ten minutes. I petted him, and when I would stop he would push his muzzle out to me. When I was scratching behind his ears he was lipping my sleeve.
Again, I never worry that he will bite me, so I'm guessing that was his way of saying "You scratch my ears, I'll scratch your arm!" Or something to that effect.
Teaching a Horse to Talk
5 years ago