Sunday, April 6, 2008

Sandy's Fourth Week

Yesterday we introduced something new. I borrowed Cheryle's big stock trailer and backed it up alongside the barn. The space is roughly 8' wide and 12' long. I put a round pen panel behind Sandy after leading him into the space. He wasn't thrilled with this new situation, but he wasn't frightened, either. And although he would walk up to the back end of the trailer, he wasn't inclined to step inside.

I'd left Pokey the sheep in the space with him for company and put alfalfa down on the floor and left him for a bit. No doing. I tried waving a flag behind him. Nothing. So I went and got his number one enemy; the blue tarp. I had to rustle and rattle it a bit before he decided to climb into the trailer. The moment his front feet were inside, I stopped making noise with the tarp. He stopped for a moment to contemplate whether it was safer to be swallowed whole by a trailer or face the unknown fate of a tarp.

Being swallowed won. I think it was because it meant he could eat his dinner in peace. He'd made it to the front of the trailer at some point and eaten the alfalfa that had been left in the manger (out of Pokey's reach, as that sheep will consume alfalfa faster than a hoover sucks up dirt.) When I placed his breakfast in there this morning, he was completely relaxed and went straight in.

Now all I need to do is convince him that the tarp really isn't going to eat him! I had second thoughts about using it, but loading is a must if I'm going to get down to Curt's. He didn't appear too concerned with it this morning, thankfully, as he stood between it and the trailer. In fact, it looked like he may have actually stepped on it at some point.

Sandy's accomplishments this week are:

1) Picking up all four feet.

2) Loading into a trailer.

3) Dropping his nose to the ground when asked.

4) Leading past scary tractors and trucks nice and light on the lead rope.

5) Letting me touch his back legs.

6) Letting me reach under his belly (I'll be able to grab the cinch now!)

It's not a terribly long list, but I think it's shown the most progress so far!


Mrs Mom said...

Yeah, short list but HUGE accomplishments Tracey!!!! Just think of how all those things-- little now, but HUGE later on --- WILL be a massive benefit to him.

Keep it up woman! You two are making headway and covering ground the right way!

Christy said...

What a GREAT week!!!

Rising Rainbow said...

I can't believe it has been four weeks. How time flies when you're having fun!

mrs mom is right about your list having huge accomplishments. I have to remind myself about the importance of dropping that head to the ground. I need to be working with some of mine on that one.

You are doing great. Are there plans to go to Curt's anytime soon? That would sure help with this stupid weather that is forecast. I think of you every time it rains. I don't know if we need to get a medicine man in here and do so kind of sunshine dance or what but this rain sucks for training horses.

Tracey said...

I'm very happy with his accomplishments this week. The hind end was a big deal, as was his trusting me as we walked through the yard.

M~I'll be hauling down either Monday afternoon or Tuesday morning. We're going to clean one of the broodmare stalls tomorrow, plus I've got my lesson. I think there should be time to get him down, though, especially with the longer days. It's pouring again right now :(

Mustang challange - Gav & Roy said...

Great week, anything with these scary cats is worth noting. I can't wait to hear your on him. Everything will move fast when you get on his back. (I hope) We have not taken Roy out of his safe round pen, but Gavin did sit on him yesturday for the Frist time.

Katee said...

That's a nice looking trailer and I'm glad that Sandy has become comfortable with it. Sounds like you two had a great confidence building week!

Callie said...

Cool, even more progress, he'll get there. Sounds like he's got the right temperament. Great work!