The photo is Whiskey--from the cell phone, not too good, but you get the gist of it, he was fine! Yeah!!! So anyhow...
This post brings me to this afternoon. I had a wonderful time with my friend Monica at the barn. I played with all three of my horses and just had to share (as usual).
Whiskey and I played together first. I played with him and using approach and retreat, patience and a lot of neutral. I was able to eventually rub him all over with the carrot stick that had the savvy string on it and a plastic bag. I could touch him everywhere with ease. In the old days, I think I forgot the retreat part which in essence is the release and it is the release that teaches (like Pat and Linda teach us). Well I use it now and it truly makes a difference. We were able to play in the aisle today and fortunately, it is very wide and there are interesting obstacles including a sandy area. We played all of the games, with the bag, and had fun. We even played with yo-yo and the stall and he was able to back in his stall. This took patience, time, and savvy for sure. I did not get frustrated at all. and neither did he. I was provocative for him and keep his interest up, and he appreciated it. He also loved the apples and carrots I brought along as treats (and definitely not bribes).
Fosse was eagerly watching and was next (he also loved the goodies). We pretty much did the same but he took to the bag even easier than Whiskey. It was a true test that our relationship has become much stronger because in the past he would have been reactive and afraid. I then took him outside and we played with water obstacles and sand. These areas were new areas for him and he instantly became right-brained and upset at first, just leaving the barn (the others were calling to him). However, I continued to the small arena and we started to play the games, playing with the water, and he went back to left-brained and was thinking---then out thought me and got away! This was my fault for sure, should have had the 22 foot line, not the 12 foot, my mistake, it will never happen again. However, he did not run away, but walked to Monica. She easily got ahold of the rope and he and I played some more. This was interesting and fun.
Mini-Me came out next and dove his head into a shopping bag--the one with the treats, he could have cared less about the bags and even walked over bubble wrap several times (my friend Cindy's challenge). This little guy has come a long way and is brave about almost everything! I also took him outside and he practically bathed in the water, he ate some grass, played games with me in the sand, and went inside.
So, that is is, a beautiful day, fun with a friend, and of course, my beautiful horses. I feel satisfied that our relationship and communication is well in tact and that once they are home and I have even more time with them, we will be back on track for assessments and other stuff.