Monday, March 7, 2016

One Step Back, Two Steps Forward

I've been working with Tex two or three times a day, doing carrot stretches and just hanging out.  Instead of breaking off pieces of carrot ahead of time, I keep the carrot whole.  Tex stretches and I let him bite off the end of the carrot.  This gives him control over the "snap" and gives immediate positive feedback since the carrot piece is in his mouth.  He went from jumping to leaning away to flinching to no reaction.  He's also getting more comfortable with me being on his right and stretching on that side.

Sunday morning we had a brief break between storm fronts so I took the opportunity of working with him some more.  We spent some time hand grazing, some time grooming, and then I took him into the fenced arena.  I have a fairly long lead rope on his halter so used it instead of a lunge line to see if I could get him to walk in a circle around me.  I profusely praised every little piece of try, the halting steps forward instead of swinging to face to me.  He thought, and licked his lips, and tried some more.

He did it!  I'm not gonna lie; I almost started to cry.  He walked in a complete circle around me.  Sure it was a small circle and it was done very cautiously, with a ton of encouragement, but he DID IT!

I took off his halter so he could roll, which he did, and then he immediately came back to me.  I walked away, thinking I would give him the space to run a bit.  Instead he did that join-up thing.  He put his nose at my shoulder and followed me.

I did start to cry.  And I kissed him.  And he liked it.


9 comments:

  1. Aw. That is so cool. " he did that join up thing". That made me terry too.

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  2. Very cool. Warms my heart.

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  3. Very neat. I didn't cry, but you did get a huge smile and an "Awwww" out of me. Attaboy, Tex. Well done.

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  4. Yay for improvements!! So happy to read this :)

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  5. "Oh my goodness! A human who Gets me!" Straight to the heart.

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  6. I think it's very special that he wanted to be with you. It seems like a huge step, I would have kissed him and cried too. Every small step is very encouraging.

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Thanks so much for commenting! I love the conversation.