Tuesday, February 27, 2007
Saturday, February 24, 2007
Tuesday, February 20, 2007
Tait's presence sparks curiosity in Sunny.
What's this? Should I get close? Hmmm....smells a little like grain over here...
Once I'd finished my lesson, I left the chair and Sunny. She explored the area, looking for a little grain and just a bit disappointed that it hadn't been there. The next morning it was raining and I moved the chair inside the barn where I sat with a scoop of grain. It didn't take long for my sidekick, Tait, to realize a sweet treat was at hand, and naturally, Sunny followed.
Someone had mentioned trying to slip a baling twine into the halter. It was smaller than a lead rope, so perhaps I'd be able to slip it in without the horse noticing, they'd wondered? Worth a shot, I decided. I found a blue twine, held it in my right hand, and settled down with the scoop.
Sunny reached out for the grain, then jumped away. She then reached again, grabbing a lip full of grain before jumping back. After a few mouthfuls like this, her desire to munch down the grain kept her standing pretty still. The end of the twine was rubbing up against her muzzle, and she both felt and saw it. I managed a couple of times to slip it up under her nose band, but she'd jump before I could get it in far enough for it to stay and it always fell back out.
Although I ran out of grain before getting the twine successfully wrapped around the halter, I did feel it was a bit of progress as she'd felt it moving alongside her nose and was relaxing. She also let Tait sniff all around her legs, including her back legs, and under her belly without being upset. It may be taking a bit more time to win her trust than anticipated, but I know she'll come around. Once she does, she'll make one heck of a nice horse.
Saturday, February 17, 2007
Shame on Steve... Bad Steve... Mean, mean Steve...
Friday, February 16, 2007
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
Our biggest issue (our, meaning the two of us) is getting her to relax enough for me to cross to the other side of her body. No clue how long that will take. For now, just have to be happy with the little baby steps!
Monday, February 12, 2007
Tait show Sunny how it's done!
Of course, this isn't the road I'd take with just any horse...they're all different and not all will respond the same. Older horses may take more time than younger ones to gain trust. Quiet Storm can be quite a pill when it comes to her feed, so I wouldn't (and didn't) take this approach with her. Sunny hadn't shown any aggression towards me in any capicty, so in a way, she'd earned my trust before I ever tried this.
Another major step today was switching her long, twenty foot rope out for the shorter six foot lead. I'm not sure if that was the wisest idea...but I hated to see her dragging that long one behind her any longer. Plus, Tait assures me she'll help catch Sunny when I need her!
"Okay, mom, here she is. Can I go play, now?"
Saturday, February 10, 2007
While Sunny has been getting quite a bit of attention of late, Quiet Storm has been left pretty much alone. I'm thinking we'd better get to work with her, though, as she's feeling pretty good these days!
Friday, February 9, 2007
Thursday, February 8, 2007
Sounds funny, doesn't it? Wild, yet respectful. But she is, and I'm feeling quite comfortable around her as she just isn't showing any desire to retaliate in any form other than running away.
Wednesday, February 7, 2007
Sunny's red curry is soaking in bleach water after our grooming session.
Tuesday, February 6, 2007
I sat with Sunny again this morning, attempting to lure her up to me with the scoop of grain. She plays a game with me; if she's not looking at me, I can't see her. Or at least that's what it seems she's thinking. So to ease her fear I began looking away from her, wondering if eye contact was something she was avoiding. It didn't seem to matter, though. Her biggest issue is putting her little muzzle down inside that narrow blue scoop. Her lips wiggle and she can absolutely taste the grain; you can see her yearning for it. She comes right up to me, stands with her front feet just a couple feet away. If she wanted, she could reach over and sniff me, but she doesn't want to. Not yet.
Walking up to her without first picking up the rope still isn't happening, but we're getting closer. She no longer wheels around and makes to the other side of the paddock like she did 48 hours ago. She's been a bit shy about me working on her left side, but since I've been sitting out with grain she's gotten a bit more accustomed to seeing me from that side and has become more relaxed. I think it's also helped having Tait out there running around her feet. She's become accustomed to the motion on both sides of her; at least when the motion is down near the ground :)
I'm going to add a couple of links off there to the right of the page on lice for anyone interested in reading more!
Quiet Storm wanders across a foggy field.
Hopefully, she won't pick up any lice from Sunny.
Monday, February 5, 2007
And so I waited...and waited...and waited. She'd begun to relax so much with the scratching that I was convinced she'd become bold enough to eat while I held the grain. She'd eye me warily, and take a few steps forward, then a step or two back. Both of the dogs thought the grain quite tastey, and I allowed the a nibble or two while Sunny watched from ten feet away.
After a few minutes, she lost some of her fear and made her way over to me. Clever girl that she is, she made it look as though that was never her intent. She'd turn her head and look at her side, avoiding eye contact, then take a little side step that brought her a few inches closer to me. Her little baby sidesteps brought her front feet within a yard of me, where she stood and wiggled her lips in anticipation of the sweet treat she knew was but inches from her nose.
But she just couldn't bring herself to reach into that scoop. The dogs had knocked a bit of grain onto the ground around my feet, and Sunny found that just too irresistable. She felt she'd won the battle, I suppose, as she managed to lick up a few stray oats around my toes; she even brushed up against my boots with her nose, she was that close! Perhaps next time...
Okay, I just had to add this last picture in because this girl has a gorgeous butt, especially since she's a bit thin :)
A major Thank You to Steve and Janice for taking care of Sunny while she was at their place!
Quiet Storm, refusing to go inside for fear of missing out on something.
Sunday, February 4, 2007
I woke up this morning to hear the rain. It's been so cold and clear, then warm and clear, and I'd hoped it would hold out a bit longer. No such luck. Quiet Storm is standing outside with the sheep, and everyone is soaking wet.
A couple days ago I got an envelope in the mail. The return address on the label read United States Department of the Interior, and beneath that was the familiar address of the BLM's Spokane office. Hooray! The filly's paperwork was here. There was also an email from Steve, and we made arrangements for him to bring our new girl home on Sunday...today...Superbowl Sunday!
Darling and I had sorted through dozens of names for the new red filly and finally decided on one that we think will become a theme here. Her name is Sun Storm, Sunny for short. And so today, when it's pouring outside, our Sunny has made the journey to yet another new home.
Steve had said he'd be here about noon, but of course I needed to document the loading! (I'm certain I've driven the poor man crazy with my camera down there.) The trailer was backed into the arena, and Sunny was brought out of her fenced off corner. As usual, she was snorty, but she led out rather nicely if I do say so myself! Once she realized she was walking towards the trailer, though, she opted for an about face!
Steve kept encouraging Sunny to move forward, and eventually was close enough to run the rope up and around a rung inside the trailer. Sunny actually surprised me as she moved forward on her own accord to see what it was all about. A couple of good sniffs and...
...in she went! The entire process from leaving her corner to getting into the trailer was less than five minutes. Once in the trailer, she went straight to the front and stood there politely, waiting for the door to close. And that was that.
The drive home was uneventful, although she did work up a bit of a sweat. When we opened the door of the trailer, Sunny got her first real look at her new home. Quiet Storm and the sheep were lined up waiting to see what came out of the trailer as she peered out the door.
After a moment or two of hesitation, she jumped out of the trailer and ran towards the back of the paddock...all I could catch of her was her back side :)
Saturday, February 3, 2007
Oh, boy...let me grab my camera!
"Nameless" watches from the corner"
He throws the rope and... Gotcha!
Once the nameless filly was roped, we got her inside and managed to slip the halter onto her face. I'd have loved to have taken pictures, but it was dark and I didn't want the flash going off in her face. So you'll just have to suffer through my word picture! Steve wrapped the lariat around a big post in the arena (it was holding up the wall, not a snubbing post, lol!) so that Nameless couldn't jump too far away while he slipped the halter over her head. She was about 15 feet from the post, so not tied up close. She was leaning back, but it didn't take long for Steve to convince her that she really wanted her ears rubbed, and that meant having a halter put on at the same time. Entire haltering process took about three minutes. Not bad at all...but I'm hoping I don't have to do it once she gets home!