Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The Round Pen

It's not pretty, and it's probably not even round, but it's what I'm trying for now. I worked Sunny in it yesterday morning, pushing and pushing until she finally decided to stop and look at me. She doesn't come up close, but she 'follows' in terms of keeping her face towards me when I walk about inside her pen. I was also able to scratch on her and slowly make my way to her face.

The face is the biggest issue. If she weren't so shy about it, I think we'd be miles ahead of where we are right now. But when you've got a horse that's so sensitive that she refuses to eat treats from your hand for fear of touching you, well, things just get hard. So I scratched her back and her hip, yet when my hand worked up to the withers and neck, she began turning from me. Just her face at first, then her front feet.

At that point I stepped back and made her move in a circle again. She almost immediately faced up. Again I approached her and this time she let my hand work up to her ears and down under her jaw, where she's quite itchy. I let my hand run along her halter, and I could tell she wasn't happy about it, but she also didn't pull away. I took the rope off and left her alone.

I made an anti-fungal salve for her, as she's loosing quite a bit of hair up near her forelock. It appears to be working it's way across her forehead, and I spotted a very dandruff laden spot on her chest yesterday as well. I need to treat her, but golly, this doesn't make winning her trust any easier when I'm worse than an eight handed octopus boy on a first date with her!


Clickoncowboy said...

If you can get a halter on her, you are doing great. She needs more time to understand that you are her helper, not the enemy. Does she show signs of surrender (licking her lips, blinking, cocking her far side rear leg)?

Start taking away the pressure before she reacts to help her feel the release.

there is nothing better than working with a mustang to get her to the point of freindship. Good luck, and thanks for posting your comments.


Tracey said...

Hi Clickon! Thanks for the words of encouragement!

I've had Sunny here since early February. It's been a long, hard haul with this girl. The other two are very easy, but Sunny is lacking trust, especially with the face.

Yes, she licks her lips a lot these days. Actually put her out in the pasture without the lead rope dragging this morning because she finally seemed to 'get it' yesterday in the round pen. Every time I walk into the pasture (and really, it's just an over sized paddock) she faces up to me, and a couple of times I walked up and scratched her shoulder.

Anyway, once we get the face, the rest will be a cake walk!

Clickoncowboy said...

You are welcome. I don't have much experience with sheep, but I enjoyed your pictures at Carpentercreek.

I am enjoying the posts on your site and I have linked both of your sights to mine. Check out the links at http://Clickoncowboy.blogspot.com.

Pass it along.

photogchic said...

At least at one point she gave you two eyes! That's progress.

Rising Rainbow said...

This seems to be the summer for fungus, I'm fighting some cases of it here too.