July 16, 2015

June 9, 2015 -- Bouncing Around

After our little adventure the other day, I headed out to the farm today with a plan to work on tying. Unfortunately it was not to be. Electric tape has been put up to extend the area where the boys can graze, and it's too close to the safest tying spots. I decided that trying to tie there anyways was just asking for a wreck, so I changed my plan.

We did a brief bit of work on picking up and picking out her feet. She was good for her right fore, but with her left she started fighting me. With nowhere to tie her safely there was very little I could do about it, so I stopped rather than reinforce the fact that she could get her foot away from me by being bad. I ended that lesson by picking up the "good" foot one more time, holding it for a few moments, putting it back down, and praising her.

Considering that I suspect that something sparked the incident the other day, I decided to work on de-spooking instead. That plan evolved into roughly 45 minutes of me acting like an idiot, slowly moving closer to her. I started small, flopping her halter around (not with her wearing it, of course) so that the hardware thudded against the wood fence and made a racket. That was initially scary, but lost its wow factor fairly quickly with repetition. Excellent. Then I started jumping. And big arm circles. And jumping jacks. THAT was exciting for Gossip! Her best buddy was unconcerned to the point of coming over to check me out. I got thoroughly sniffed... I assume he was trying to figure out what the heck was wrong with me lol. That gave Gossip a bit more courage, and along with lots of praise whenever she stood still and just looked at me I actually ended up doing my antics closer to her than I'd expected to on the first day. But the fact remains that we have a lot of work to do. I guess I know what I'll be up to for the next little while....

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