Monday, October 20, 2008

Round pen session - Catlow

This is a video clip from Catlow's first round pen session. In contrast to Chico's, this starts with the beginning of working Catlow (this is how my mom chose to edit the video when she was burning it onto a DVD with other things...she thought watching horses go round and round was boring, so she shortened them). Todd begins working with her, and you can see how reluctant he is to touch Catlow with the whip, instead he pops it to move her around the pen. Catlow starts out looking relaxed, but then starts to get confused and doesn't know what to do...her answer is escape, but she can't. She does face up with Todd's mom a couple of times, but is too scared to let her approach. We ended up stopping to remove her leadrope (not on video), but she slipped out of the panel and got away from us, so we worked with her more in the round pen, then tried again later and were successful. I don't believe we were able to touch her unless she was restrained that day, but she did get better over time. When I took over her training, I changed my tactics with her (much slower) and she really responded well.

Interestingly, when I was working Catlow this spring, she was very one-sided. Her left side was much more resistant and self-protective (tossing a rope around on that side caused a high head and wrinkle under the eye...even to this day), but the other side (right side), was soft and more relaxed from the beginning (no wrinkle, accepted things with a lower head). She is most relaxed when she can see me with both eyes. I noticed that we worked her in the round pen primarily counter clockwise (her left side). I wonder if it is just coincidence, or if it has something to do with how we worked with her (that her left side is more resistant, and that's the side she experienced the round pen session from).


Linda Reznicek said...

Very interesting, and that's how I would have done it had I not had the blog and met other Mustang people. I believe it was Nikki who gave me the idea to do the bamboo pole training method of Kitty Lauman, and then I got my hands on those videos!! Wow!! Have you ever seen them? From Wild to Willing is the name of the series. I had NEVER seen anything like it--and though I never could find a 10' bamboo pole, Nikki recommended PVC with a sock on the end. Worked good for me. But I was on a one week time limit for gentling due to the crappy feet I inherited (I didn't do it in one week, btw)--which I now know was a man-made problem.

spottedmules said...

Yeah, I have seen from Wild to Willing, but I saw it about 2 years too late. Now I know I would work with them differently than we did. They turned out okay, but after the initial "gentling", they still didn't really want anything to do with us. They might have lost fear, but now they just thought we were annoying and made them do things that weren't fun. It wasn't until later, I changed how I was working with them, and then they really started to come around (and so did I!).