Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Harley 09-27-10

I walked out after work, determined, but not forceful. I had the halter and lead rope in hand. I walked towards him, and he took off. I got almost caught up to him, and he ran off again.

*thinking thinking thinking* OK, let's loose the leadrope, and focus on just the halter. Where can I put the halter that it's not so scary and obvious to him.... hmmmmm.....

I had the halter tied across my waistband. A very new designer belt I'm going to market. :) "The horse catcher belt". Me and my new fashion statement walked across the pasture again. Harley trotted to the back, and I started to already feel defeated. Confident, I took a slow deep breath, and kept walking.

I walked up to him, he backed away a few steps. I took a few more slow steps towards him, and as long as he stayed still, I moved very slow.

I got to him, let him sniff my hand, offered just two of the tiny cookies I had, which he ate with nervous energy. I carefully untied the halterbelt (*grin*), and put it over his neck. I figured, "That's a start. If he backs away, I can grab him still I think." I gave him another cookie or two, and adjusted the halter so it was over his nose.

Caught! Carefully, and slowly, I held the bottom of the halter, and led Harley to the leadrope. I clipped the lead rope to his halter, and started walking again. Harley followed along, with a good six feet in between us. He wasn't comfortable in my space, and I felt a feeling of, "I'd rather not do this, Lady."

We got out of his pasture without incident, and over to the trailer. I held the leadrope in one hand, and brushed him with the other. Back legs highly sensitive, he didn't want to stand still. I got out the fly spray, and squirted a few times. He flinched. After about a dozen squirts, he quit fidgeting, only wiggling when I squirted back legs. I didn't even try to pick up hooves, as my place is 98% mud, no rocks in sight, especially in the pasture portion.

I led him around a little, worked on stop & go, all were great. Tried a few turns on the forehand (disengage the hindquarters), which went fairly well. I also made an attempt at turns on the haunches - those didn't go as well. Leg closest to me didn't cross in front, but kept crossing behind - his attempt at getting away from me, I'm sure.

I led him a little more, and only did a little backing up - not to get him "out of my space", as I stood very closeby when I did it. This also went very well. Crooked, but well.

Success! I was able to interact with Harley for about a half hour, without any major blow up or incident. He haltered, he didn't run away terrified. Of course, he also didn't hardly relax - I didn't see any serious signs of relaxing... Once or twice when I scratched his forehead just on the forelock, he lowered his head some. No lick & chew, no hind leg cocked, no heavy sighs, nothing.

I'll settle for accepted the work. We'll work on being buddies soon enough ...


Yankecwgrl said...

Give me a S! Give me a U! Give me a C! Give me a C! Give me a E! Give me a S! Give me a S!!!

What's that Spell?



GunDiva said...

Progress is progress - trust will soon follow. I love the new "halterbelt" :)

GunDiva said...

I'm a little behind on the blog - you've only had him since Saturday? You're doing great with him. Sounds like he's a timid little man and will just need some time to adjust; getting as far as you have in just a couple of days is great!

Jennifer said...

Thanks, ladies. It's really fun to work with him. I know he know some about a lot of things, just not a lot about any one thing.
So I get to "play" in a way, seeing what I can teach him, and knowing since he knows many things, he isn't going to explode at something "new".

Stephanie said...

Sounds like you and Harley are making some headway on a relationship. GOOD for you!! Must be quite enjoyable to have a project and see what you can achieve :)