Now that the halter is off, I hope it is okay if I keep posting our progress. I'm just so excited that I love to share. And I appreciate your insight, too!
Session #1 - around 11:00 a.m.
Little Man was on the "other" side of the pasture, away from the nice neighbor with the 2 pet goats, and towards the "other" neighbor with the big herd of meat goats. I talked to him as I walked up to him, let him touch my hand, and clicked. He spooked at the click, whirled and ran several feet, then turned to look at me reproachfully. I went up to him and petted him a couple of times, clicking and treating, then he moved off.
So I went out to see Kong who was running up and down the fence to make sure I noticed him. Kong really grabs, so I worked with him on not grabbing when I put my hand on his face. He doesn't really know how to take treats from a hand very well, so we're working on that too.
I'm having to remember to lean down so he's not reaching up, but he still tries to grab my whole hand.
Little Man came up, and this morning we worked on resting my hand on his neck, and up on the top of his neck behind his ears. If he thinks I'm going to reach over him he shies away. He got better though, and when he moved I just moved with him then clicked and took my hand down.
I alternated between Kong and Little Man. Kong pawed the ground several times, wanting me to come back.
When I left, Kong called after me. It was a cross between a bray, a wheeze, and an I'm-choking-and-can't-get-any-air sound. Little Man flattened his ears and put his muzzle out towards Kong. I couldn't see exactly what was going on, but he was obviously displeased with something. I saw Kong putting his muzzle through the fence, too. They finally moved apart and Little Man went to work "cleaning" (dropped feed!). No wonder he doesn't follow me back much anymore!
Session #2 - around 5:00 p.m.
Little Man was out towards the middle of the pasture, so I walked out to him. I clicked when he took a step towards me, then went up to him and treated him. We continued to work on laying my hand on his neck, sometimes moving from his forehead and sometimes from his neck. He pie eyed me a few times, and moved away from me fairly often, but only moved where I couldn't touch him once. I rubbed/ruffled his mane a few times, wanting him to get used to my hand moving as well as being still.
He did well. In between "lessons", I rubbed his forehead, stroked his face and neck, and rubbed under his jaw. As I was leaving I heard Kong braying piteously, from a ways off, but I didn't see him at the fence.
I walked out to see, and saw that the rancher must have come out, because Kong has been rotated to another pasture, where he cannot access the fence. :-( Poor Kong. I know he'll miss his daily attention and treats. But at least Little Man won't have his buddy close by, so maybe he'll start spending more time up by the back yard looking for attention from me!
Teaching a Horse to Talk
6 years ago