Session #1 - around noon
Little Man was grazing fairly close to the fence, and when he saw me he walked up to me! I walked in the pen and he came in right behind me and walked right up to me. I reached out and touched his muzzle then clicked. We worked with the halter again today, and he do so great! I worked with holding it as though I were putting it on him, and several times even had it up on his muzzle several inches! I also worked with laying the rope over his face, as well as stroking it along his cheek. He's not ready for it to touch his neck, yet.
He was a little nervous I think, as he backed up periodically. We ended up 2 or 3 feet from where we started. I had to call to my children towards the end of the session, as they were catching the chicks to take them in during the storm, but we didn't need to do it yet. My daughter walked out to see what I was saying, and Little Man turned and walked off a bit, putting his rear to us. She left, and he turned around and walked back to me! We worked a couple more minutes.
As I have been doing, I rubbed and stroked and petted him in between times, including patting his neck gently, and I even rubbed behind his ears! I didn't actually touch his ears, but that is real progress. Towards the end he actually seemed to be enjoying it. I even moved my hand up his forehead and rubbed between his ears a couple of times. I ended the session by moving my hand from the side and placing my hand up on the crest of his neck and rubbing. He pie eyed me a little, and arched his neck away, but did not move out from under my hand. He got a peppermint treat for that one.
Session #2 - a little before 6:00 p.m.
Little Man was grazing about a third of the way out in the pasture. I called to him, and he started walking towards me. He stopped and started grazing about half way, so I walked into the pen and started petting the neighbor's goats. Little Man stopped outside the pen and watched for a moment, then walked on around the pen and came in. He walked up to me, and I petted him.
We continued to work with the halter. I held it various places for him to touch it. He even touched it when I held it down almost to the ground. He shied a bit when I held it up, but if I didn't hold it too far up he touched it. I worked with holding it and moving it up so it was around his muzzle. I laid the lead rope over his nose, and on the side of his face.
He did well, up until the time I touched his neck with the lead rope. He did not like that, and the second time I did it the end of the rope swung just a bit, and he shied away when it touched him. I clicked, and he came part way back, so I met him the rest of the way with his treat - a special treat. Then we went back to targeting the halter and rope, just bunched up in my hand. I gave him a couple more special treats. He seemed nervous, and seemed to be watching the yard, and he suddenly turned and dug his heels in and ran out of the pen. He didn't kick, he just ran out.
He stopped outside the pen and listened to me talk to him. I walked out with him and talked to him. He kept watching the yard, and wouldn't even look at me. I waited, and kept talking, and held out a bite of cookie. He finally turned and faced me, and moved forward so I could reach him. I gave him the cookie, and stroked and petted him. He stayed and let me pet him, but kept watching the yard.
Then I heard my son call me, so I knew what Little Man was watching. He ran out of the pen because of the rope bumping his neck, because my son told me Little Man was already out of the pen when my son walked out. I do know Little Man was hit with a halter in the past, so who knows what else happened to him. This time I didn't answer my son and kept talking to and petting Little Man. He let me rub behind his ears, and rolled his head in my hands when I was rubbing his face. He didn't move away from me, so I petted him a little more, then told him bye and walked off. He stayed where he was, and started grazing. Then I answered my son.
Teaching a Horse to Talk
6 years ago