Kachina is doing so well! Now she's better than Griffin! All along, she's been pretty comfortable with me, but really scared of the pole. The next session after I got her to stop running around when I was touching her with the pole, I started off by approaching her without the pole (I had planned to use it) and she allowed me to touch her face! I had to do a lot of movement over her face with my hand, and she wanted to move away at first, but she did let me rub her!
Then I progressed to rubbing her neck under her mane (she's very itchy there) and her chest. She was quite relaxed with me, and she let me touch her for real for the first time!
The next day, I started by rubbing her face and neck with just my hand, then I introduced her to the halter. I rubbed her face, neck and chest with it. She became pretty comfortable with the strings swinging all over. I didn't try to put it on her because she's done so well with this new thing and I didn't want to end on a bad note.
Instead, I introduced her to the curry comb. She kind of liked it, but it makes a funny noise when you brush her with it, so that made her nervous. I only brushed her a little bit before I called it good for that session! Awesome!
Today, I had a larger audience. My sister, mom, dad, great aunt and great uncle all watched and I think it made both Kachina and I nervous. Plus the flies were really bad today, so after she kept trying to evade me when I was rubbing her face (she was stomping her feet and really irritated by the flies), I decided it wasn't going to work this way, so I decided to try to apply fly spray to her. Previously she had not let me touch her anywhere other than her topline with the pole. This time, the pole was also wrapped in a smelly dripping rag.
She was nervous at first, and not so happy that the pole was back, but she did stand, and I slowly worked down her legs. Then, she seemed to almost understand that the pole was keeping flies away (or maybe I somehow communicated effectively to her that the pole wasn't going to break her legs off), because she stood perfectly still and let me wipe every inch of her body!!! No kicking this time either! She thought about it on one side, but I just stopped moving the pole and waited for her to put her foot back on the ground before I continued. She did so great!
Then I left her to work with Griffin. When I came back, my audience was gone, and I was able to rub her with my hand all over her neck, face, chest, and a little under her belly and behind her elbows.
Now, she wants to be with me. I can "mini-roundpen" her and it is a punishment for not wanting to stay with me when I am touching her. She definitely wants to come in to me and if I keep her out moving around, she does try to stay with me a little better.
Something is Starting to Take Flight
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