Friday, July 25, 2008

Day 4

Only one session today. It was storming this morning, and I skipped the midday one because it never works for us anyway.

Little Man was out by the back fence, where Kong is. He glanced at me when I approached, but made no move to come towards me. Kong, on the other hand, ran up and down the fence, and brayed delightedly. (Good for the self esteem! LOL.) I went straight to Kong and petted him, and fed him some plants that he really enjoys. (Little Man doesn't like them.) Little Man rolled around in the dirt for a minute or two, then got up and made his way over. He walked up right behind me. I rubbed his forehead, then started working.

Today I decided to just go with the flow. Instead of touching his halter on the side, I just ran my hand down his face and laid my hand on his muzzle, over the nose band. As soon as I touched it, I clicked.
Little Man started looking for his treat. At first, whenever I touched him he jerked his head away. So, I started rubbing Kong's muzzle, and clicking and treating him! Then I alternated, Kong and Little Man. Little Man kept inching closer as I was paying attention to Kong.

As we progressed, he jerked his head less and less. I think it really helped that I was no longer touching the side of his face. Finally, I was able to rest my hand on his muzzle/nosepiece without his jerking away, and without sliding my hand down from his forehead first. I only left it there long enough for him to know it was there, then I clicked and treated. We went all the way through his daily wormer, and I had to dig into the feed so we could keep going. Finally, I decided we had been at it long enough (about 10 minutes), and decided to quit while we were ahead. I rested my hand on his muzzle one more time, a little longer than before, clicked, and gave him a peppermint treat! Then I rubbed Little Man's forehead, apologized profusely to Kong that I didn't have two peppermint treats, and walked off.

Little Man followed me a couple of yards, then stood and watched me leave.

I am very grateful for all the help and advice. I appreciate, too, your letting me report on our progress. :-)

Blessings on you,

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