Session #1 - around 9:30 a.m.
I stuck my head out the door and called Little Man once before I started getting my things together, to give him time to come up. Then I fed the rabbit, and when I looked up he was standing not too far from the fence, waiting for me. I gave him fresh water, then walked out to him. I sprayed the rag, set the bottle down, and walked to him. He had flies on him, and I think he is understanding that the wipe helps them go away.
I wiped his face, neck, chest, shoulders, and even part of his back and sides! I had to click pretty often when I was wiping his sides, but he let me. He was very calm, probably because I didn't take the hula hoop out. He wouldn't let me wipe his left ear, though.
When I was done, I put the rag on the bottle and walked back to him. I petted him for a few minutes. He let me gently rub his left ear, and rub behind both ears. He even lifted his muzzle to my face! I kissed his nose, and laid my face against his. He stood very still, and when I moved my head away he lifted his muzzle again.
Session #2 - around 7:30 p.m.
AGain, I called Little Man once before I got my things. When I looked up from tending the birds and rabbit, he was standing at the gate waiting for me! We went through our usual routine of wiping marigold spray on his face, neck, and chest. He was pretty steady while I wiped his shoulders, but did some backing when I moved towards his back and sides. I talked to him and went slowly, and was able to get wipe part way down his back and on his sides! He still wouldn't let me wipe his left ear, though.
I put the rag down and got the halter. He targeted it, then I slipped it over his muzzle. I rubbed it on his neck and up close to his ears. I slipped it over his muzzle, and held the end up on the left side of his face. He did fine with that, but started to pull his head back when I tried to move the halter up the right side of his face. All in good time; he's getting there!
I wiped him a bit more. Then I showed him how the sprayer worked, clicking when the liquid spurted out. He watched it a couple of times, but when I held it close to him he sidestepped. He is really good at sidestepping! He moved a couple of yards! I put the bottle down, and spent some time just petting him. I rubbed his forehead and ears, and he kept lifting his muzzle up towards my face and working his lips. I was able to rest my forehead against his, and my cheek against the side of his face.
While I was petting him, my husband walked out. Little Man started to back up, but I put my hand on his neck and said, "Whoooa". I had my husband hold out his fist, and Little Man targeted it. After three times, my husband reached up and rubbed Little Man's forehead then left. I petted him a little more, then left. He followed me up to the gate, and I stroked his face then laid my hand on his muzzle.
Teaching a Horse to Talk
6 years ago