Session #1 - a little before 6:00 p.m.
We were running errands today, so I didn't get out until late afternoon/early evening. Little Man was grazing near the fence, but walked off when I went out. So I just walked to the side fence and began petting the neighbor's goats, which ran up joyously to meet me. Little Man was behind me within half a minute. But he stopped several yards away and grazed. So I went up to him and petted him, then held the brush out and asked him to "touch it". He did, immediately, and our game began.
He was quite willing to touch it most places I put it, though he tossed his head a bit when I held it low. I held it a little to each side, a lot to each side, back about halfway to his shoulders, up, up and to the side - he touched it. In between times, I rubbed his neck and face and he seemed to really enjoy it. He seemed much less nervous at my touching him. Hopefully it is beginning to be pleasant to him and he's not wondering what my ulterior motive is.
Towards the end of the session, when we finished his wormer, I turned the brush over so he could start touching the bristles instead. And he got a bit of feed for his treat. Finally, at the very end, I took the brush and stroked down the front of his face, then gave him a bit of cookie for a treat. It went so well I decided to press matters a bit, and I stroked the brush down his face TWICE! He stood there and let me! And, of course, he got another bite of cookie for that one. Plus I told him what a smart, good boy he is.
I rubbed his face and neck, then patted his neck gently (with NO flinching on his part!), and walked off. He made no move to follow me, but dropped his head to graze.
This will actually probably be our only session today, as my children have swim lessons this evening, and I don't want to have a second session too close to this one. But I am so pleased at how well it went!
Teaching a Horse to Talk
6 years ago