I worked with both Kachina and Griffin yesterday. I don't have much time to write up a detailed post, so I'll quickly do my best! I'm leaving in the morning for WY, and will be gone all week.
I've been thinking about the differences between Griffin and Kachina and what I need to do to get him to be a little more willing to work with me, like she is. Kachina will follow me and stand in the middle with me, whereas I have to approach Griffin, and I often feel like I'm pinning him against the panels to be able to touch him. So with Griffin, I spent more time driving him around the pen, and asking him to turn in off the fence to me. I then decided to try the rope with him, and test him out how he would handle if I threw it at him. I started by approaching him with it, and he was very cool about it. He bravely sniffed the coil, so I backed off and tossed it to the ground in front of his feet. He snorted, but did not move, and reached down to sniff it. I did that a few times, and then went ahead and tossed it over his back. I got it on him within 3 tosses! He did run, but he was not super panicked, so I felt okay about tossing it at him. Once the rope stayed on over his back, he stopped running and sniffed at it. He's a brave boy, just not so trusting of me. I eventually got it around his neck, then did more mini-roundpenning with him, asking him to turn into me when I stepped in front and pulled on the rope. I got him to turn in and face me, and not in a corner! Then I spent time approaching and rubbing his neck, then I progressed to his face. He needs to let me rub his face if I am to halter him, and he's not so comfortable yet. He tries to evade my hand to move away. By the end of the lesson, he was pretty good about letting me approach and rub his forehead from the front. A good first step toward haltering! He's not so afraid of the rope either, so I hope this goes well! He is feeling so much better. When I was mini-roundpenning him, he was trotting out really well, and confidently. He has a huge stride! No more catwalking! By the end of our session, he was not snorting anymore when I asked him to trot out. He was snorting every breath when I first started.
Kachina had a good lesson, except that I had to throw the rope at her again in order for her to let me halter her today. I think that was because my parents were watching, so she was nervous. Plus she obviously just needed to move. In addition, my halter also had a leadrope attached this time, so she was leery of that new thing. Once I had the rope on her, it didn't take too long, and then she was haltered, with a long lead rope! I spend time mini-roundpenning and asking her to stop and face me with a step in front and a pull on the halter. She did freak out a few times with the new feeling, but she got it. I also "led" her around in circles and she follows the feel of the rope really well. I also gave a steady pull from the front, and it took a while, but she eventually figured out that she should take a few steps foward when she feels that pressure. I didn't do too much of that because she wasn't quite ready for that. Then, I decided to see how she's take fly spray from a spray bottle. She was very nervous at first, but let be get her good side (even her belly and down her back legs!). Her bad side took her a little longer to settle down, but I solved the problem by adjusting the nozzle so I could stand back farther and spray her. It was the noise of the spray bottle that bothered her the most. So, I sprayed my wild mustang with fly spray!
I've been dying to get the tangles out of her mane for a long time. Yesterday, I accomplished it! I had to cut them out with scissors, but it didn't shorten it too much. Her mane is very brittle, so then, I put hair lotion on it (called Pink - get it in the African American hair section at the store - it works great at moisturizing!), and brushed it out with a brush. I was even able to brush her forelock, AND trim her a short bridle path for her halter! I'd say she's a tame horse! I just need to get her more comfortable with letting me halter her, and then get this leading thing down, then I'm ready to begin some more hard core stuff...possibly taking her out of her pen for a walk soon!
22 hours ago