Thursday, December 15, 2011

First Touch!


Okay, Impulse has been lipping bits and pieces of hay from my hands since the beginning...and in doing so her lips would occasionally brush up against my fingertips. However, that does not constitute as 'touching' in the wild horse world. Not in the least. But it sure doesn't hurt on the road to getting there!

Treats are one of my favorite methods of getting into a wild horse's space. I like using bribery. Some people may not agree, but they're still standing in the middle of a round pen with their horses trotting circles of ignorance, while I stand in the center feeding treats. And touching lips.

To be honest, I've been busier with Kitty and a few others down at the Cowboy's place, cleaning stalls in an enclosed warm(er than my) barn rather than standing about in the cold and wet with wild Kiger girl. But that doesn't seem to be an issue with her. She prefers my time being spent doing something other than forcing my way into her space...even if it is for treats. But my friend Ty, the grain guy who sponsors my lovely mustangs, has had a hankering for a new wild one for himself, and of course he wants me to do the gentling again (he adopted Mustang U's 'Liberty', the grulla sale authority mare, as well as one of Darling's yearlings, in the past.) And you would really be a good thing (I thought to myself) if Impulse was gentled before I tackled a new one.

Yes, City Boy, I know I've got five horses out there. No worries, dear...we'll fix that!

So outside I traipsed, in the damp and the cold, to hand treats to Miss Kiger Mustang. Lead rope in hand, I stood next to her, handing off one treat after the next. She was happy. Very, very happy...and then rather than pulling my fingers back, I left them on her muzzle, and she was less than very, very happy. She was...confused. And she lifted her head away, but she didn't attempt to go anywhere because, lo and behold, another treat appeared. And soon we were treating and touching and treating and touching.


Then the hand made a daring move, and the fingers stroked and rubbed up the cheek, and the chewing of treats stopped as she watched me cautiously from the corner of her eye. I rubbed beneath the halter and up toward her ear, then down her face. She stood quietly, waiting to see what I'd do next. She was pleased when 'next' was taking another treat from my pocket, and she was once again munching on treats before I stepped away.

Now, all of this touching and treating and rubbing of faces is nice enough. But the reality is, the most important thing in these photos is my hair. See it? It's straight! All those fluffy curls, vanished! I mean, touching wild ponies is good enough, but look at my hair! I know, I noticed it right away, didn't you? And you just could hardly contain yourself, and barely noticed a thing I said about touching and treating. You were in shock, yes? I knew it...


Shirley said...

Yes I noticed your hair- colored too. You using a straightener iron? My sister with really curly hair uses one.
Impulse has a soft look to her in that last photo.

Tracey said...

Yes, had to buy a ceramic one to make it work. Actually, Darling bought it, as her hair is so straight that nothing else will curl it...but I've been using it more than she has!

Impulse is a very soft horse. I think if I spent a full week with her, she'd come along very quickly. Guess that's why I've not worried too much about her, eh? But it would be nice to have her fully gentled before that baby bump becomes more than a bump :)

Jessie said...

She has a beautiful, soft eye! Keep us updated on the progress!

Crystal said...

funny, one on the first things I noticed was your hair looks different!!
Glad to see shes coming along, I can see how treats are working wonderfully with her :)

shadowlake2005 said...

I'm new here, but I'm with you on the treats. Nothing breaks through a horse's nerves & helps them focus like a treat! Combined with equal amounts of firmness, patience and praise, treats are the fourth ingredient in my training program. I am so looking forward to your babies' progress!