Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Day 35

Session #1 - around 1:00 p.m.

Things are brief today, as we are busily preparing for an imminent tropical storm/possible hurricane. But I saw Little Man up getting a drink, so I grabbed my things (which I prepare the night before, with wormer, feed, and treats) and went out. I walked in the pen with him, moving around the fenceline so he could get out if he wanted. He did. I went over and petted the goats for a minute, but he didn't come back in. So I went out to meet him. I had him target the halter, to the side, low, high. He shied away a little when it was high, but he did touch it.

Then we played "peek-a-boo". I draped the halter over my head, so it hung down in front of my face, then I moved it so he could see me. He was very interested in what I was doing, and kept pushing his muzzle out as though he wanted to touch the halter while it was on my head. Then I laid it up in front of his face. The first time he snorted and shied away. Then he slowly turned and came back to play some more. I managed to lay it on his muzzle, and clicked. Then I worked my way up, laying it gently against his muzzle and sliding it up, a bit more each time. Before each try I put it on my own face several times, then moved it so I could "peek-a-boo".

Then I worked on touching the nose piece of the halter to his muzzle. Then I switched to the soft lead rope, and just looped it. I did manage to get the loop most of the way around his muzzle. The last time he pulled away with the loop still on him, but he stopped. I clicked and slipped the loop off, and gave him a cookie bite. He moved away, and I stood and talked to him. He walked back and I petted him a minute, then gave him a peppermint treat.

In between times, I stroked his face, neck, and shoulder, and patted his neck.

He seemed to enjoy "peek-a-boo", at least when I was the one "peeking". When I had the halter over my face, his ears were pricked forward. Usually when we are working, his ears are back - not flattened, just back some. I'm not sure why I thought to do that. I just thought that he might feel better about it if he saw the halter draped over my face first.

Session #2 - 7:15 p.m.

I went out to tie the water buckets to the fence, and bring the feed bucket and hanging strap in. Little Man came up, and he seemed to want to interact. He followed me over to the gate, and stood there waiting for me to come back out. I just took the brush. I brushed both sides of his neck, his shoulders, and his back from his withers about halfway down his back. I ran the brush up from between his eyes towards his forelock, but he didn't like that much. I clicked as soon as I started moving the brush. He just moved his head, he didn't break contact, and he was rewarded with a cookie bite.

I finished up by running my hand from his neck to his crest, then rubbing his crest a couple of times. He got cookie bites for that. The last time I ran my hand from his forehead up to between his ears, and rubbed his crest. Then he got a peppermint treat.

Tomorrow we probably will not work at all. If the storm is not too bad, I will try to get out and at least give him his wormer. But if it is bad, it shouldn't hurt him to miss one day.

No comments: