Monday, December 26, 2016

Happy Holidays!

Christmas craziness has passed, Hanukkah has started.  I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah or whatever you celebrate!

We finished our daughter's loft bed a few days "early" from our plan - it came out really cool and she loves it.  She got a major room overhaul and our son got some new things too to make it all work.

So what have I been up with Prophecy since our demo saddle had to be sent back?  Trailer practice and ground work!  Aside from anxiously awaiting our own saddle to come in from Italy...
Friday brush out
He has appointment with the Osteopath a few hours away this Wednesday, and since I haven't asked him to load since arriving at Still Pond, I figured we ought to have a few dry runs.  Normally he goes on with minimal issue; never has taken more than 20min and few on/off attempts... however, when I asked him to load on Thursday we ended up in a 3hr standoff over the last foot coming on.  I had no intention of leaving before getting him to load all the way, but I could see he was mentally over it all so I took a few steps "backwards" and just asked him to calmly load his front feet and back off at my asking and called it a day.  I returned on Friday with a similar idea in mind and discovered after a few attempts that part of our issue was the butt bar for the back door as it laid against the wall - he would rub into it and get goosed and say "hell no." So I took the bar off and this time within the hour I had him loading several times with minimal resistance (pressure and release to forward motion following me on). He travels in the front stall with the divider closed, so the butt bar is just added security - we will work on getting past that goosing sensation in the future.

He was also highly motivated by his buddies sweet grain and some real peppermint candies!

An hour later and we are on :)
I returned on Monday to do more practice. This time I put a cooler on, as I think Wednesday morning that is how we will haul out there (30s in am, but afternoon will be warmer and may not need it coming home) and I want to expose him to how things will be before it really happens.

I think I got my boy back!  Within 30 minutes I was hooked up, caught him, brushed and put his cooler on AND loaded 3 times!  He barely balked the first time.  I asked with some pressure and reminded him of the yummy stuff waiting in the feeder and he eagerly came up behind.  He got a few mouthfuls, we backed off and turned around to do it again. This time I closed the divider on him and went around to the escape door. Had him stand in there munching for a bit, then backed him off, took a short walk around the driveway and came back to load once more - he got some more yummy treats and then I backed him off and called it a day.

One more practice run for Tuesday...then the real deal Wednesday! I'll update about the appointment after - I'm really curious to see what she finds and what she says we can fix/work on with him.

Cooler is almost too tight in the chest!

Ok mom, now what? :)

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