Dancing Again… this time with video!


November 28

So Andy and I went out with the goal to repeat the dance and get it on video so we could share our success.  The only goal of what I was doing with him is to get him to stay with me… stay connected.  You will see I kind of lost him toward the end, but overall he stayed with me.  (By the way, you’ll also hear the commentary from Andy as he tried to video with FanciPants [our other youngin’] as “director”)

I’m also posting videos of some of the other work we did yesterday… we played the friendly game again and he’s given us almost 100% permission to be in his Zone 2 – his neck area.  He still prefers his right side to his left side (this is mainly due to the fact that when he was beaten [by former owners] it always came from the left.  So naturally he doesn’t like people being on his left side.  That’s ok…. we will work up to that.

The friendly game – this is basically a game we play with the horse to get him used to the stuff we’re carrying, like the lead rope, the halter and the  carrot stick string, almost as if they are just extensions of ourselves…. they mean nothing at this point.  It is kind of a desensitization thing for the horse.  Today I was able to swing the string in front of me and still have him come to me.  He wanted to be with me more than going away… it doesn’t seem like much to most, but this takes A LOT of effort on his part so this is real progress…

I think Jen is going to be pleased with our progress with she is here again on Tuesday!  I am excited to show her what we’ve been doing and to learn what direction we need to go in next.

Our First Dance


November 27

I was determined that today I would have time / make time to work with my horse.  After shopping the Black Friday sales and going to get another hay roll for the horses, we were finally home and I went out to see if Astar would spend time with me.

Even with a brand new hay roll, he was still interested!  As soon as I walked in the gate, he lifted his nose out of the fresh hay roll and looked at me, he asked me the question — do you want to hang out?  I said, of course! and walked over to join up with him.  We then walked into the round pen together… WOW! That was easy!

So as of today, it has been 2 consistent weeks that he has decided within less than 10 minutes he wants to spend time with us rather than doing whatever he was doing at the time…. that is awesome!  We’re getting back to where we were a year ago and he’s starting to remember the good times we’ve had.

With all of that said, my favorite part of today’s time with Astar is that I danced with my horse!  It was so wonderful and I could almost feel him smiling as much as I was.  He was totally with me!  What do I mean by dancing?  Well, I was walking in tight circles like a figure eight and then moving back and forth… and he was coming right along with me….It was so magical that I’m going to see if I can video it!!

I love Astar… then again, I always have!

Pouring Rain / Thanksgiving


November 24-26

It POURED rain for 2 days straight!  So other than feeding in the round corral and walking him in and out of there, not much training really took place and not much time was spent with Astar.

Then it was Thanksgiving and we were on the road traveling all day… so another day off, except for feeding times…. though we’re still making progress.  Andy was able to put the rope over his nose on Thanksgiving night without Astar making a fuss!

Relieved that we ARE making progress


November 23, 2009

Andy and I have continued to work with Astar at every meal and every other chance we get.  I even bought some horse cookies over the weekend for training…. and he loves them!   Although we have been working with him, I was really unsure about exactly how much progress we had actually made over the course of the week.  I figured I’d let Jen be the judge of our progress with Astar.

She got here at 10 and we chatted about the week and how it went.  I told her I was anxious to hear from her how she thinks we have done so far… I wasn’t sure.  So then she asked me to go on out and see about getting him interested in spending time with me and get him into the round corral.

She went and found a seat, probably thinking it was going to be awhile…. judging from how last week went.  I walked in, Astar saw me and picked his head up out the hay and remained curious.  Within less than 5 minutes, he was walking over towards me and we walked together into the round corral.  Jen was pleasantly amazed and said that what we have done has been GREAT!  She reminded me how long it had taken us only a week before!

I was relieved!

Connection is happening


November 21, 2009

Round Corral moving day.  Our first task of the day was to move the round corral into the pasture with Astar, Fanci and Nualla so that we can establish a working / play area that is smaller than the giant field… more of a focused area for all of us.  Andy made it look easy picking up one whole panel by himself, while Kaite and I had to both carry one at a time together!

This also meant that we had to put the boys (Irish and Munch) in the yard and open the gate between Astar’s field and the middle field.  All of a sudden all of the horses were running around at top speed – I wish I had my camera because they were beautiful!  Kaite went to go get hers and by the time she picked it up they had all stopped…of course.

We finally got it moved and assembled and I love where it is now.  I am actually excited about going out to work in the field and the fact that I don’t have to get a halter on Astar to work with him (since he won’t let me) isn’t keeping me from working with him.

Since Jen’s suggestion was to start feeding him in the round pen, we started that night.  Before we let him out, we played a game with him and the goal was to get him to WANT to spend time with us and connect before we walked out the gate — it happened in less than 10 minutes.  We walked around the pen a couple of times and then calmly out of the gate.

The connection is happening!

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