Session #1 - around 10:30 a.m.
Little Man was way out in t he back of the pasture when I went out. By the time I finished tending the rabbit and birds, he had walked almost up to the fence. I went out and met him. It has been raining for several days, and we have mosquitoes again. So I pulled out the washcloth (which I had not sprayed) and touched it to various parts of the front part of his body: head, ears, neck, chest, shoulder. This afternoon I will spray either marigold spray or lavender on it, and hopefully that will chase away some of those "skeeters".
A funny thing happened while we were working. I large insect was buzzing around my head. It wouldn't go away, and I finally backed away from Little Man so I wouldn't startle him. I was shaking my head and trying to get that insect away from me. Little Man pricked his ears forward and looked at me as though he couldn't figure out what in the world I was doing! It was really funny to see the expression on his face.
Today we worked on the same things as yesterday, mainly targeting a shaking, coiled rope and touching it to his neck and around his ears. He shied and pie eyed a bit as it contacted his ears, but when I stopped moving it and said, "Whoooa", he steadied, though he still kept an eye on it. I petted him for a few minutes. He turned with his tail to me. As he was turning, I was moving. I am wondering if perhaps he wanted me to scratch his rump, but I don't trust him enough to walk up behind him and try to touch him, especially when I reached towards his hips yesterday and he ran. I then walked a few yards and asked him to target the rope. He walked right up to it.
He followed me to the gate. I hung the rope on the gate and petted him and talked to him. He kept bumping the rope and lipping it. I think he wanted to "play" some more. But I just kept talking to him and petting him. He finally turned and started grazing.
I had to go out in the front and retrieve two chickens that had "escaped" from the back yard. Little Man had gone over to get a drink, and was now standing broadside to the fence. I walked out, talking to him. The ground is uneven, and I hit a hump with my foot. Just as I lurched, a chicken made an unusual noise. Little Man snorted, whirled, and ran off several yards. He then turned around and looked at me accusingly. Eventually he will get used to the fact that I am not graceful. I'm certainly giving him lots of opportunity to observe that fact!
Session #2 - around 7:00 p.m.
Little Man was towards the back of the pasture when I walked out. I had heard Kong braying earlier in the day, and noticed that he was in a pasture that is adjacent to the other end of our pasture. So I went out to call him. I don't know where he was, but he eventually came trotting up to the fence! I went out to say hello, and Little Man walked out to me. As I was trying to pet Kong without having his teeth connect with me, I felt a bump on my arm. Little Man was nudging me.
I walked away from the fence, but Little Man seemed content to stay with Kong. I did walk a few steps and hold out the rope and ask him to target it, and every time he would do so. I rubbed it on his neck a few times, as well. He didn't seem to be too focused on work, and turned away to graze after only a couple of minutes. So I told him goodbye, and left him to visit with Kong.
The mosquitoes were very bad, so I will need to remember to spray the rag tomorrow and take it out to wipe on Little Man.
Teaching a Horse to Talk
6 years ago