Monday, September 8, 2008

Hunter -- 09/07/08 #3

For Hunter's third and last training of the day, I got him out of the field. He is fascinated with me and apparently humans in general. I hesitate to even say 'catch'.

I rigged what I call a 'come along' to get him to walk properly positioned beside me instead of lagging behind forcing me to pull him. This consists of a strap or rope in a figure 8 ( I used 2" nylon strap) tied on top of his withers where the two loops cross. One loop drops down his rump and just above his hocks on his gaskins; the other encircles his chest. A 'tail' is left tied at his shoulder in such a way as I hold it and tug, thus putting pressure on his gaskins and he 'comes along'. This is a great way to teach babies to lead, especially when you have no help. I have not had this method fail yet. As you walk, hold the lead in your left hand and the come along strap in your right. Walk normally and if the horse lags behind, give short firm tugs..not get him where he belongs. It is important you do not change your pace or turn your body toward him as you do this or he will start to get the wrong idea. Hunter responded well to the method, but he wasn't perfect. Perfection can wait for another day.

Evening was approaching and Hunter started showing an interest in joining the little herd. He had not shown the slightest interest all day. This lack of interest will benefit him in his likely future as a singe guy in a child's yard. Speaking of children, I started with the poke and prod training. Little fingers always seem to end up noses, in ears, etc. So we gently started with that. Hunter probably thought I was crazy.

We handled the feet again and he was flawless. I tried to give him apple slices to reward him but he spit them out. And these were good apples. I will have to find something else to give the little epicurean.


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