Saturday, June 27, 2009

Kachina and Griffin - chair session 1

Last night, I decided to do a chair session with both Griffin and Kachina. I did it before I fed them their evening hay, and I used a bucket of pellets as an incentive to cause them to investigate me, rather than stand in the barn munching hay, wishing the annoying human would leave. This time I was armed with a horsey magazine and my camera. I worked with Kachina first. I set the bucket of oats a ways behind me first. She was agitated that I was there, and didn't know what to do. She figured she was safe if she stood directly behind me. She would come up behind me up and grab a couple of mouthfuls of pellets and then back away munching them. I could also hear her sniffing at me, but she was still pretty far away. Finally, I remembered that I could turn the fold out screen on my camera around and use it to spy on her without looking at her. Since she knew where the oats were, I decided to pull them closer to me and more to the side, rather than behind me. She wasn't too happy with that. That forced her to have to check me out a little more thoroughly to be able to enjoy the oats. She really wanted those oats, so she would walk around toward my front, and then get all worried and run back behind me. It was just too much to see me head on, even though most of the time I was looking down and ignoring her. Finally, she started to gain some courage and check me out, from behind, of course. She definitely knew the camera was there. She didn't like the noises it made when I took a picture, even though they were pretty quiet. Finally, she came around to my side to check me out. But it was still too much pressure, so retreated back behind me to sniff me again. Sniffing me was very stressful. She'd advance, but then back way up to get a better, safer look at me, then sneak up and sniff again. It was so funny to listen to her whiffle at the back of my head, and feel her breath in my hair. Finally, she got up the courage to snatch mouthfuls of pellets from my side. I let her eat for a while (very slowly and pensively), then I took the bucket and chair away (gotta leave her wanting me to come back!) Then I went straight to Griffin's pen. First, I let him check out the chair and made sure he knew that the bucket had pellets in it. Then I sat myself down and waited with my spy camera. At first, he really didn't know what to do, so he cat-walked to the barn where it was safe. He watched me from there for a bit, then decided to come back out and give those pellets a try. It didn't take him very long to advance and start eating the pellets. He did none of that sneaking up behind me to check me out. He wasn't about to check me out - he just wanted those oats - so I extended my hand to check his reaction. He took a step back and stretched his neck out to sniff at me. He is much less flighty than Kachina. The flash of the camera (which I didn't really mean to happen) didn't even bother him at all. He alternated between coming forward to munch a few mouthfuls, then slowly backing up to a more comfortable distance to chew and chew while standing there looking at me. Then he'd come up again to take a couple more bites. He was really not afraid of my arm, which I had hanging near his bucket most of the time (when I did this to Kachina, she refused to come closer - she's surprisingly skiddish after getting over being sick!) This video shows my last encounter with Griffin before the camera ran out of memory. It was a good one! When he gets over being leery of me, he's going to be one solid horse! Sorry that it is sideways, but I couldn't figure out how to turn it upright. You'd just have to get a crick in your neck watching it!

1 comment:

Kate said...

I love your "chair sessions"! What a great way to allow the horses to investigate you - I love the photos of Kachina sneaking up behind to "whuff" you! Griffin seems pretty bold already - I love the color in his mane!