Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Hola's Training Log 2
Yesterday I didn't get to the barn until late, right around feeding time. Brought the girls (Marm, Ella and Hola) in from the field loose. Hola was keen to be caught as she associates it with being brought in to her stall (she lives to eat and grain is her faaaavorite so going to her stall is a great thing as it means suppertime!) so I was a bit surprised when I tied her to the wall and she didn't put up any fuss. The past four days I have tied her then gone in to the barn and got a bucket with a handful of grain. (no treats by hand). I guess after just a few days she has figured out that being tied means food! Knowing how positively Hola associates anything to do with food is a serious advantage (in my mind) in that it allows me to easily create a positive experience. however, I know I have to be careful with it and make sure she doesn't start acting up when she doesn't get food. Anyways, rather than aiming for a set length of time I decided to focus on added pressure situations while tied. I had a blanket I wanted to try on her (for fit) so, after letting her give it a good smell, I put the blanket over her back, then pulled it down and around her body. She sucked up a little and looked at the blanket cockeyed (only her 2nd time have one put on) but she seemed to understand that she was tied and didn't pull at all. I then went and got out the fly spray. I have sprayed her a half dozen times and while she is good about it she still is a bit wary of the sound. Note- I filled an old bottle with water and used that to train with which allowed me to spray freely away from her and gave her a chance to get used to the sound before feeling the spray. Well last Night she kinda sucked in to herself a little when the first spray hit her but didn't seem to react at all differently for being tied. I was REALLY happy about that. I then went ahead and prepped all their evening feed (from where she was tied she could hear me but not see me... usually she likes to stand at the gate and watch.) she was maybe tied for 10 minutes total but I was just so happy with how she didn't paw or get stirred up by the sounds of supper, the blanket or the spray. It sure is nice when it all goes right!